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sunday poem (about loving yourself)

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“Love After Love
 by Derek
Walcott (b. 1930), 
Caribbean poet, playwright, and visual artist; 1992 Nobel laureate for literature. 
 
 
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.

image: www.snooth.com

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4 responses »

  1. As I read today’s posting, I recalled a recent New Yorker article about death and dying. And especially the conclusion in this comment:

    Researchers followed 4,493 Medicare patients with either terminal cancer or congestive heart failure. They found no difference in survival time between hospice and non-hospice patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Curiously, hospice care seemed to extend survival for some patients; those with pancreatic cancer gained an average of three weeks, those with lung cancer gained six weeks, and those with congestive heart failure gained three months. The lesson seems almost Zen: you live longer only when you stop trying to live longer.

    To me this says: we can live longer/more realistically when we accept ourselves as we are; and the situation as it is.

    You can read more about this at:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande

    Reply
    • From my time working at Hospice, I remember many patients “getting better” because, as the staff would tell me, they received such good 24-hour care; they and their loved-ones were able to breathe a little easier, worry less about medical care and focus more on the psychospiritual aspects at life’s end.

      Reply
  2. I came twice to read today’s poem slowly and savour each line. After the first read… words tumbled falling out randomly along my moving thoughts throughout the day. I came back again to gather them back into their places, one line at a time. Such a gift to find love waiting. Love that has always been there waiting. Waiting for me to notice.

    Reply
    • yes, terrill, such simple words, arranged in such abundance by a master wordsmith … to remind us/me to sit down and eat and breathe. and delight in what/who sits before us.

      Reply

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