Monday, September 30, 2013

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Love after Love, Derek Walcott 
          (Me....  About the time I found this poem..... A few moons ago!)

I wrote about this poem six years ago.  Here..  But today I want to visit this poem again.  And today, even though some of these words are still elusive, I can't wait any longer for this recognition to happen...  I live as the daughter and "room mate" of a woman who has recognized herself in the mirror probably all her life.  My dear mother knows herself, knows who she is, is a realist about the qualities of life that matter to her.  Mom has always been generous, enthusiastic, kind, capable, and confident.  There is a strength in her that has given her the practical grace to live fully and vibrantly even though she has been confined to a walker for more than ten years...  

I don't have that.  My gifts, for what they are worth, are entirely separate.  But that's okay.  So are yours.  For Heaven's sake, the sun is warm, the trees begin to tint, and there has never, EVER, been a better time to sit, feast on our lives.  


NanaDiana said...

Gayla- That is a beautiful poem and I hear you. It is really quite bittersweet. Blessings to you as you walk that path with your Mom- xo Diana

bj said...

An amazing poem...I thank you for sharing it.
Thanks, too, for coming by...and hope you will come again.
xo bj

From My Country Sunrise said...

Such a beautiful poem~~and tribute to your Mom ♥♥

Tessa said...

Yes, be our own self, today...

Embrace our own self, today...

Today will never come again...


Dewena Callis said...

The first time I read this poem, in Simple Abundance, it was not the right time. Later I saw it in O magazine and burst out sobbing in recognizing myself. Since then I have bought his book of poems searching for more that powerful. I didn't feel that any of them were but the one was enough. I have tried since then to become less and less of a stranger to myself. It still affects me every time I read it.

I went back and read your previous post on this poem. For some reason It means so much to know that this poem spoke to another and I could picture your joy reading it to your students and your understanding that it was not yet for them. I do wish there were some way of having young people learn the truth of this lovely poem when they're young. It might save them a lot of heartache along the way.

I have loved discovering your blog and have followed you and will gladly add you to my blogroll so that I won't miss new posts.