Love After Love

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I had a pretty bad year last year. I try not to dwell on it, but lately I just can’t help but look back and feel gratitude that I’m not in the same, terrible space I was last summer, fall and winter. For a long time I believed the post break up depression, and the anxiety about my new life would never pass. But it did. And in the past four or five months I’ve found confidence, clarity and stability again. It was hard won, but worth the struggle.

Today I was feeling especially grateful. On my lunch break from work today I walked, like I often do, by the ocean for exercise, fresh air and a chance to reflect. I thought of the great weekend I had, which consisted mostly of sharing food and wine with family and friends, new and old. I thought of how robbed I was of joy last year, and how blessed I am with it now. I also thought of how my relationship with myself had to evolve, out of necessity and survival, from one of self loathing and doubt, to one of acceptance and kindness.

Then I remembered a poem that I found last year. I used to read this one over and over, and wanted so badly for “the time” to come for me to love my life again. Luckily, the poem offered some instruction in a language I understood, via the metaphor of feasting. Give wine? Give bread? This I get. I love the imagery of doing this for your heart and your soul. It’s a beautiful poem. And anyone who’s been through the process of rediscovering themselves after losing someone they loved will understand its message, and get inspiration from it, I hope.

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.

-Derek Walcott

More Food, Less Pain, 

xo-L

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