David Lynch and Mark Frost delivered moments both baffling and beautiful throughout the 18 hours of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” but no scene was more moving than the Log Lady’s last appearance. Margaret Lanterman said her final goodbye near the end of Part 15, speaking to Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) over the phone and telling him, “You know about death; that it’s just a change, not an end.” The Log Lady’s speech was heartfelt enough to elicit tears, but the moment was even more emotional as actress Catherine E. Coulson died from cancer two years before the scene aired on television.
As with every message from the Log Lady, Lanterman’s final goodbye was defined by the prophetic wisdom that made the character such a beloved favorite among fans. However, the Log Lady’s final words on television were not actually her final words after all. Mark Frost’s new novel, “Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier,” reveals that the Log Lady wrote a speech for her own funeral, which Deputy Hawk shared with the residents of Twin Peaks during her service. The funeral was held on the shores of Pearl Lake. According to Frost, the Log Lady gave Hawk the speech the day before she died.
“Every meeting between friends must end with a parting, and so, my friends, today we take our leave,” the Log Lady’s speech begins. “This is life. None of us profits from ignoring or hiding from the facts, so why should we bother? Life is what it is, a gift that is given to us for a time — like a library book — that must eventually be returned. How should we treat this book? If we are able to remember that it is not ours to begin with — one that we’re entrusted with, to care for, to study and learn from — perhaps it would change the way we treat it while it’s in our possession.”
The Log Lady’s final speech waxes poetic on the true meaning of life and includes the final message from her log: “The answers to all our questions are in the wind and the trees, the rocks and the water. No one is helpless. No one is beyond helping.” Perhaps the most emotional section of her speech, which you can read in full by picking up a copy of Frost’s novel, is when she talks about the relationship between the forces of light and darkness. As the Log Lady explains:
We are born into this world, not the other one. It’s not perfect, but it is what it is. This world presents some simple, certain truths. It helps us grow if we accept them, but many of these truths seem to trouble or frighten us. For instance, there is no light without darkness – and this troubles many of us – but without it, how else would we tell one from the other? We spend half of every day in darkness; surely we should make our peace with this. You may decide to see this as a metaphor. Many people do. I see it as a fact. Metaphors are beautiful ways of speaking about truths. So are facts. Both tell us that time – and light, and darkness – moves in cycles. We move through them, too, often as passengers, but if our eyes are open, there is much to be learned along the way. A traveler learns to be brave, for they know the light will return. Anyone who’s spent a night alone in the woods learns this.
The Log Lady requested her ashes be scattered in the Ghostwood Forest, so they were by members of the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department. Hawk became the new owner of her famous log. As the novel explains: “He keeps it on his mantel. He reports that it it hasn’t said anything to him yet, but he says he’s ‘keeping an ear open, just in case.'”
“Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier” is now available to purchase.