Today I’m sharing a piece from the poet Nikita Gill called “Reasons to Live Through the Apocalypse” and a prompt inspired by it.
I love how this poem is composed as a list — so freeing and fragmentary and so much like how the mind works.
It’s inspired me to consider all the things, from my recent and distant past, that buoy me. I consider things like a kiss on the forehead from my brother, who I miss so very much, and playtime with our family dog. I consider the feel of the grass underneath my bare feet and the tree’s bark against my palm.
In my last email I shared how the 11th anniversary of my brother’s passing was nearing. The strength of who he was (and still is to me) always makes it feel impossible that another year has come and gone. If you’ve lost someone you love, you might understand that feeling.
In honor of this, I’d like to also share something that a reader wrote to me. With her blessing, I will paraphrase what she said:
Anniversaries are so hard, aren't they? The pain seems to condense and it can feel as if all the progress you have made is lessened. I find that it helps if I focus on my happiest memory and focus on the love and blessings that I have now and had then. If time is a continuum, they exist as surely now as they did then; it is just that they flourish in another part of the garden of our life.
I hope this poem inspires you to consider all those happy memories, the ordinary blessings of your past, all the small joys that you’d like to hold onto and nurture in the garden of your life.
Here’s to all the things we’d like to watch grow more beautiful this year. May we be part of the making of that beauty.
Reasons to Live Through the Apocalypse
by Nikita Gill
Sunrises. People you have still to meet and laugh with. Songs about love, peace, anger, and revolution. Walks in the woods. The smile you exchange with a stranger when you experience beauty accidentally together. Butterflies. Seeing your grandparents again. The moon in all her forms, whether half or full. Dogs. Birthdays and half-birthdays. That feeling of floating in love. Watching birds eat from bird feeders. The waves of happiness that follow the end of sadness. Brown eyes. Watching a boat cross an empty sea. Sunsets. Dipping your feet in the river. Balconies. Cake. The wind in your face when you roll the car window down on an open highway. Falling asleep to the sound of a steady heartbeat. Warm cups of tea on cold days. Hugs. Night skies. Art museums. Books filled with everything you do not yet know. Long conversations. Long-lost friends. Poetry.
What are your reasons to live through the apocalypse?
Tell me in the comments. Everything you share here helps more than you know.