Love after Love -by Derek Walcott
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.
I haven’t had a poem resonate this hard with me in a long time. It encapsulates my goals/hopes/dreams with this project (and where I’m currently at in my life) perfectly.
Thank you to Wesley Flash and his How to Love Project. The project is wrapping up now at the end of February, and I have so enjoyed reading through it and gathering information to inform my own love process. I struggled with filling out his survey, but I finally did it after midnight last night. I wanted to be a part of the project, even though my own feelings around love and being in love are complicated and raw right now, still. I’m glad I contributed and doing it helped me heal it all a little more. And I agree with Wesley when he writes:
love makes all of us do/feel/and say stupid shit, but it doesnt matter because, to us, in those sacred moments, love conquers all. we all want to believe this and many of us always do and for most of us, at some point in our lives, love is all we’ve needed to make it through the night. which is what makes the loss of it so tragic, terrifying, and real.
And also for me, love and loving myself is also about learning how to mourn. And how to get back to knowing myself by heart.