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League of Inveterate Poets

The out-of-context contextuality of a foolish sage

LOST Finale? I’m With Iris Dement: “Let the Mystery Be”





By on May 24, 2010

I became a fan of Iris Dement after hearing her song “Our Town” used to close out the series finale of my favorite television series of all time, Northern Exposure. The song perfectly summed up what the series was really all about, why it continues to speak to me when I watch it again now 15 years after its ending.

Last night my second favorite TV series (and the only other one I’d re-watch from end-to-end) came to its end. LOST’s ending seemed to anger or at least frustrate many of the show’s fans, those who wanted the mysteries all explained. Others of us saw something different. For me, very much as with Northern Exposure, LOST was ultimately about “lost” people who find salvation, not through traditional religious conversion but in each other. They come to realize that it’s ok to say, “Will you help me?” and that if they don’t “live together, they will die alone.” They are both stories of grace, beauty, and triumphant love found under harsh circumstances.

But what of the mysteries in LOST left unanswered? For me, I’m willing to once again give Iris Dement the last word:

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever, and some say you’re gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour if in sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory and I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact.
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory and I don’t like the sound of that.
Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly.
But I choose to let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Here’s a live performance of “Let the Mystery Be” by Iris Dement:

YouTube Preview Image

BONUS: My friend Travis Prinzi, author of Harry Potter and Imagination: The Way Between Two Worlds, I think nailed some important parallels between LOST, the Potter series, and C. S. Lewis‘s The Great Divorce that contribute greatly to appreciating the LOST finale. Read his post LOST Finale: Why I Loved It.

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Comments

  • http://gfmorris.net/ Geof F. Morris

    Northern Exposure love in the house!

    [Was this about that show I didn't watch?]

  • http://foolishsage.com Foolish Sage

    I really need to get another VCR so I can watch through the Northern Exposure tapes you sent me a few years ago again. I have most of the seasons on DVD, but it's not the same without the original background music, much of which was dropped from the DVDs due to rights issues.

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