Perhaps the World Ends Here...
I woke up this morning to piles of dishes, empty wine bottles, and stacks of crusty pots and pans. The glorious aftermath of a dinner party. We had our first Moth-inspired storytelling dinner last night, and among the ten of us gathered around the table, the stories were legendary. We heard tales of ghosts, near-arrests, nightmare first dates, and an attempted arranged marriage. Everyone had such a good time–we were still sipping wine and lingering over dessert long after midnight. But more on the dinner party later...
As I finish my second cup of coffee (and munch on a piece of leftover pumpkin gingerbread cake), I wanted to share with you a lovely poem my friend Kathryn York recently sent me. She said this poem had become an anthem of sorts for her the past year, and I think I'll adopt it as well. It so beautifully sums up everything I believe about living life around the table, but could never quite find the words to express. I hope this poem inspires you all as it did me. It makes the piles of dishes seem worthwhile.
Perhaps the World Ends Here
by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the
table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it,
we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow.
We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying,
eating of the last sweet bite.