On the last day of the world, I would want to plant a tree. ~W. S. Merwin
On the last day of the world, I would want
to feed you. Raspberries. Thin slices of apple.
Peaches so ripe they drip down our chins,
down our necks. I would want to sit with you
beneath a tree, no we’ll climb a tree, no
we’ll plant a tree, yes all of these. On the last
day of the world, I want to give myself permission
to feel exactly what I feel, to be exactly who I am,
to shed every layer of should and meet you
that way. Knowing we have only hours left,
could we put down our arguments with ourselves
and each other and find no energy to pick them up again?
On that day, I want us to write the last poem
together and let the writing undo us, let it teach us
how to get out of the way, how to obey what emerges.
Let’s run outside, no matter the weather, and praise
the light till the light is gone, and then praise the dark.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer writes a poem every day (https://ahundredfallingveils.com/), so it’s hard to choose just one or two but this one invited itself here today. The quote from WS Merwin has stayed with me since I first read it – such a generative intention, full of hope for the future. On the last day of the world, how startling to contemplate – what would you do?
In this poem, she offers us raspberries, apple slices, peaches so ripe they drip down our chins. She wants to plant a tree, climb one, sit with you beneath a tree. She wants to meet you just as she is, to shed every layer of should (shedding shoulds – yes!). With only hours left, what if we put down our arguments with ourselves / and each other. What if we let go of all that and just sat quietly with ourselves, exactly as we are.
She invites us to write that last poem together, let it teach us how to get out of the way, how to follow the wisdom that emerges when we let go of the ‘shoulds’. Then we could run outside even in the rain, especially in the rain, and praise / the light til the light is gone. That’s the easy part. Then praise the dark, because both are necessary, both worthy of our appreciation.
Think about this: what might you do on the last day of the world if it could be anything?