I think this month is Poetry month, and today is Pocket Poetry Day and my prof Cindy suggested this poem “Love after Love” by Derek Walcott it goes:
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.
So, in the last 18 hours my life my world has had a large ground shaking with a magnitude of about a 7 on the Richter scale. As I was leaving work last night, like literally just grabbed my food and was headed out the door, I get a text from my mom. Saying she is splitting with her husband of about seven years and partner of about 12. This man was by no means a perfect person, or even great, but he was a father to me when my own father wasn’t. We had all seen it coming, and the potential was always there, but she had finally had enough.
I was in utter shock. I felt the world spinning around me, my stomach knotted in one big pretzel and then went on a roller coaster ride. I immediately went home, I reheated my dinner. I slowly ate and thought about what I should say to her. I still hadn’t answered her text. But what do you say to the woman who means the most to you when she’s obviously hurting like this? How do you mend the gap that you’ve both created between each other, in ten minutes? How do you gather yourself to call and not throw up the rice and chicken you just ate? How do you comfort someone who is 900 miles away over the phone? How do you tell her that everything is going to be OK, because we’ve done this before and we’re better off now, without seeming inconsiderate and harsh? How do you keep yourself from calling and yelling about how stressed you already are, and now this is happening and you just don’t have the time?
So, I faced all of these questions and I just called. I told her I loved her, and I listened. Because we’ve always been there for each other, we’ve always been like The Golden Girls, a friend and a confidant for each other, no matter what time it is, how far apart we are, and no matter how long it has been since we last had an actual conversation. She told me everything that had been going on, I listened. She told me how she has been feeling, I listened. She told me about things I had known for months, but didn’t want to bring up, and I listened. And she’s doing ok, as ok as she can be.
So, how do you cope with an earth shaking blow in the final two weeks of class? How do you pull yourself back together by the next morning? How do you lie to your class and tell them that it’s just allergies and long nights? How much eye brightener will it take to hide the dark circles that have been growing bags for their bags? How can I find some cucumber without buying an entire cucumber? And how do you act like everything is ok when you’ve been depressed and anxious, and ridden with panic attacks damn near every day for a week?
I’m not sure yet, but I’m taking everything one step at a time. I’m working on loving myself more, and treating myself better. And “Give[ing] back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life.”
That’s it. Signing off, Jaile.