“When you arrive at the extinction of reality
there is nothing but the spontaneity of pure potential,
there is no other way to dance in the sky.”
~Khandroma Yeshe Tsogyel
The last Friend on Earth won’t be the one
we think they are, nor who they (the sayers)
say she is, nor is anything or anyone with
a name, a form, or forwarding address
whom we might imagine them to be.
We are before such thoughts, though
exactly what that is, who can say?
At play in the funhouse mirrors of this
virtual world, identities are interchangeable,
all roles that may seem fixed are up for grabs.
Whatever is seen, felt, heard, or pictured
in the imaginative mind is actually not so.
Just don’t be deceived! Thought is a transient
phantasm — it has a beginning and an end.
Even some comprehensive litany of what
you’ve never been, still cannot begin
to describe what you actually are.
In the scheme of time’s grand illusion,
one hundred years may be the same
as one quicksilver day.
Just so, to get the gist of this rambling tale
may take a little while, since intellect and memory
have a habit of tossing in their fake two cents,
compounding any ensuing confusion.
Still, there’s no hurry or worry, even though
today might be our very last day on Earth.
If you’re not already here with us by now,
it’s likely that you soon enough will be.
We’ll share a soup of the inexplicable,
at the table of the irresistible.
Clouds and sun will playfully intermingle,
while the sunset breeze skimming overhead
will astonish us with layers of colorful mist,
just like she always predicted it would.
Sitting with this new world of feeling,
we’ll speak little, because the raw intensity
of just being here will be more awe-inspiring
than anything we could manage to say.
The last Friend on Earth will be present with us;
she’s always here, though if we try to figure out
how or why, she will by then be miles away.
She herself will say nothing, because anything
worth saying has been said already long ago.
She’ll neither laugh nor grieve –
just a silent friend when we need one.
Few hear the secrets hidden within her depths –
who has ears for such exquisite melodies?
And yet, there is one song we all hear,
and isn’t it enough that there is?
It’s a song of constant yearning, yearning
for the last Friend on Earth. Anyone who has
ever felt the slightest separation from what
they love understands such yearning.
It is not complicated – it just burns.
If peeled from its protective shell, its flame
would startle this dark sky tonight, revealing
our own heart’s poignant inmost yearning.
In any case, we’ll sit back and relax at last –
there are infinite ways to enjoy true union
with the very last Friend on Earth.
We’ll need not resort to the obvious.
Sometimes the cauldron of this world spills out
in a bountiful garden of richly colored flowers.
We’ll gather a bouquet for her!
Later, we may silently wander down
to a lovely pool in the mountain stream.
She’ll skip behind us, playing an amusing game
of Hide & Seek among the leaning trees, darting
about the boulders, laughing with utter glee.
Sometimes, just when we say, “Aha!”
she’ll be off and on her way again.
As we finally wade into that cool clear pool,
all of our accumulated salt will dissolve.
When we’re finally done and vanished,
there is only one who shall remain:
the one who goes by many names,
the one who can’t contain her mirth,
the same one we are praising here:
our very last Friend on Earth.