Love After Love (by Derek Wolcott)

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.

It’s the lines “feast on your life,” at the end of the poem that capture me and remind me of something important.  What does that mean and how do we do that?  Well, first of all I think it has something to do with the first part of the poem – with self acceptance and self love, being kind to myself, and tender with myself as well.   How well and how often do we do that?  To smile at myself.  To be comfortable in my own skin.  To enjoy my own company. To live out of and from my heart.  To remember and connect with that deepest part of me that is good, holy and full of love behind and beyond all the masks, fears and insecurities I have that make me forget who I really am.  To get in touch with that deepest part of me.  This is just “navel gazing” you say?  But rather than self preoccupation it leads to expansion and transformation and to finally being able to feast on my own life and all the goodness of it.  Feasting on my life begins with coming home to my true self, accepting myself as I am and living out of my deepest self, to enjoy and feast on the deepest of life within me and around me.

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