8 In thinking out loud

love after love


venus (after surgery). banksy installation at the bristol museum 2009

so, anyone who reads this blog (or any of the blogs of emma, jo, lisa, megg, penny, sas and susannah) will already know that last weekend we all got together in a cottage in a small village in england. i still don’t (and don’t think i ever will) have the words to adequately describe the weekend, even to those that were there with me! it was a gzillion different kinds of wonderful.

the weekend was full of such openness, sharing and love that the only way to be there was as my truest self. i come home on a high, with a heart full to bursting point, fallen in love a million times over with each of the beauties i shared my weekend away with.

and i find myself returned home to the same place, the same husband, the same job, the same clothes in my wardrobe (okay, apart from a new coat purchased after being inspired by emma) and yet not the same life.

it’s the same feeling i have had upon returning home from being held in the company of women in the past; a feeling of being accepted, fully, simply as myself, then leaving that safe space & making my way out into the world once more.

and it’s hard.
hard to come home and integrate back into the world.

because i am no longer physically cocooned in a cosy cottage, within a warm blanket of loving arms, understanding and love. all i have here is me and the world.

yes, my friends are still there and still love me. but they are not here. and i am not there with them.
yes, my husband is still here and still loves me. and i love him dearly, that hasn’t changed.

but still i feel like a piece of me is missing…
it’s like all my friends suddenly grabbed their coats and left the playground, leaving me standing there alone with just the sound of the empty merry-go-round grinding slowly to a halt.

as i said before, it’s not the first time i have come home from a weekend away feeling like this. and the realisation came to me today that this is all i really have.

me. here. by myself.

so, everytime everyone else has said their goodbyes and gone home, i better bloody well be willing to love myself; to sit down with my reflection, greeting myself with the same look of love in my eyes that i have seen in others when they look at me.

that is my love after love.

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

  • katherine
    25/01/2010 at 21:26

    Lovely lovely words. I am always amazed how much my women friends fill me up–how much joy I find in their company and how much of me I see in their reflections.

    I miss my girls too, and your words about the feeling of everyone putting on their jackets & leaving you at the park really pulled at my heart.

  • kristen
    23/01/2010 at 11:56

    everything that lisa said.

    xo

  • sas
    23/01/2010 at 11:21

    ‘feast on your life’
    fuck yeah!

  • pen*
    23/01/2010 at 10:12

    so, so true.
    you amaze me.
    truly.
    now i will get some dates to you later today,
    so we can at least get together for a baby soul refill :)
    i love you
    xo

  • Bea
    23/01/2010 at 08:17

    I have never had the kind of friendship you’ve written about with such passion. Your words have unlocked deep vaults in the private corners of my heart, where I hope to be known inside out one day by friends I knew before I existed. And I hope to know myself this way eventually, too.

    Thank you.

  • doorways traveler
    23/01/2010 at 00:06

    and this, leonie wise, is why you are so fucking amazing.

    i love you.

  • Marianne
    22/01/2010 at 22:42

    Beautiful and wise!

  • Emma
    22/01/2010 at 21:54

    truly, truly beautiful words x