I could write an introduction to this poem. One where I distill a message. I could tell you why I decided to post it. Why this week has felt like a good time to find myself. I could go on to describe how Derek Walcott’s words reminded me of Suzanne Vega’s beautiful song Blood Sings. And why that song makes me tear up. Still, after all these years.
I could tell you about the homeless man I offered hot tea, dry clothes and crisp toast and how he became angry because he wanted money. I could tell you about the three lovely men who have been working in my house who sing and laugh during the day. Who ejected the furious man and told me … “Forget it now, you tried.” I could tell you about my nephew’s sweet face when he saw me for first time in a few days. And I could tell you about dancing with my little niece when she was sad. But I won’t. It has been a long and challenging week. But it has been beautiful too.
Because it has been a week that reminded me of exactly who I am. Because sometimes I forget.
Have a wonderful weekend. Celebrate being you.
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.
(If you have a couple more moments … listen to Jon Kabat Zinn read Love After Love here. His take is part of On Being’s lovely Poetry Radio Project. Mary Oliver’s spoken version of her poem Wild Geese is a sweet reminder of why we should be just who we are. As it was playing, Jack stopped licking his paws and listened intently the whole way through. Then he lay back down and went immediately to sleep.