Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife

In one of those crazy incidences of synchronicity, this past Saturday night saw me at the home of some of my favorite people. Let's call them Art and Music, for as I am Writer, they eat their names with savor.

Saturday evening, after many a libation, we were visually walking the bookshelf and Art told me about a book she'd been given but never read: The Time Traveler's Wife. The next morning, mildly foggy from the aforementioned evening, I appeared back at my parents' house. Before I went home, without mentioning the previous conversation, I was handed The Time Traveler's Wife and told to read it.

The Time Traveler's Wife

So now I must.

But I don't just spill trivial bullshit on a regular basis, so here's the crux: I've barely begun the book (working on Harry Potter 6 right now as well), but caught this poem in the opening pages. It's called "Love After Love" but is more appropriately entitled "Love During Love." Because we need it. We forget, sometimes, during a relationship and especially during a marriage, that we are solitary figures, that we have an individual personality. We forget to know ourselves, our desires, our dreams. And sometimes we need to give ourselves a giant fucking hug.

(note: I realize this punches in the face the Zen Buddhist parts of my idealistic life, but I'm an admitted walking dichotomy, so get the hell over it.)

I almost cried the first time I read it. I cry now reading it again and again. Because I've forgotten.

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.

Derek Walcott

No comments: