Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self care

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

The Photographs 
Spanning Many Years
Many Roles
~ The Sweet Fragrance of Childhood ~

Student on Trip to England with Professor
Teacher in Classroom

Wife of
High School Principal
Mother of Five Children
Grandmother of Seven

April is National Poetry Month

Grandmother at Journey into Elderhood (click on either word to find her blog) posted the poem above on her blog today.  I was reminded that I had posted this same poem in December of 2009.  I have added a few photos to that original blog entry and am reposting it today.  "Love After Love" is one of my favorite poems.  Just as it did in 2009, it speaks to me again of the importance of self care.  I continue on that journey of finding "that stranger who was yourself."

Repost of thoughts about this poem from blog entry posted in December of 2009:

We play many roles in this life.  As mothers, as sisters, as wives, as teachers, I think we don't always take good enough care of ourselves. Not only do we neglect ourselves, but we sometimes find that we have become "the stranger who was your self."

At the end of 2009, I am working on becoming reacquainted with my self. What do I really want to do with the remaining years that I have left? What is really important? What remains in my life, and what do I discard?

I hope to start taking down those "love letters from the bookshelf" and explore who I was, who I have become, and what it all means. The demands of motherhood, career, and professional responsibilities are now behind me. It will be interesting to see what choices I make in 2010.


DJan said...

This is a very thoughtful and poignant post, Sally, thinking of the past and the present, and who we are to ourselves. Thank you so much for your presence in my life.

Joanne said...

What a beautiful poem! What instantly comes to mind is blogging and how much I love it.How much happier I feel just by being able to write everyday. How I have found a part of me that was hidden away, while I did all those Mommy things. Thanks you! Blessings, Joanne

Deb Shucka said...

This makes me smile - both the poem and the pictures. Love to you.

LC said...

I had not encountered that poem. Lots to think about. Thank you for the privilege of going on a bit of your journey with you through your words and photos.

Kay said...

You have had to deal with much more than many, but I see that you are also blessed with a lot of beautiful loved ones around you. I'm so glad. Thank you for letting us into your world, Sally. Please take good care of yourself.

Grandmother said...

I like your linking of the photos of your life with this lovely poem. In our blogs we witness each others' journey which helps in that process of finding ourselves. Thanks.

Jeanne said...

Love your blog and the photo trip through the parts of your life. I am a Baby Boomer (Just turned 60) and find myself doing that more and more. Leaving my mark on the world I guess. I am blogging up a storm and have published 3 books. Working on some more.Wish I could add the "Retired" to my name but I have 4 more years as a Reading Specialist in an elementary school. Love it but would love to work full time on writing. Nice to meet you!

Jeanie said...

I had never seen this poem and I really love the direction it takes my thoughts.
It was very fun to see your photos....I also have seven grandchildren.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Sally, I'm so glad to get to know you... Five children, huh? I knew about the 3 daughters --but didn't know about the sons. AND--7 grands???? Wow... I only have five.

YES---we do need to get in touch with ourselves as we go through life playing all kinds of roles --and basically, taking care of the world. I don't think I EVER took care of ME --until I retired. These days, I'm loving the ME that I am!!!!!

Love the poem and this post.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Sally, wow. This is a wonderful post, and I so appreciate you sharing it with us. I do enjoy getting older, and blogging has really helped me to incorporate all the areas, ages and stages of my life as I discover new interests and meet new friends.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for being one of the new friends that I have met.

God bless,

Kathy M.

Barb said...

The poem is a celebration of life and your photos are a tribute to a life well-lived.Take care of yourself - I'll do the same.

Joanne said...

Sally, Thank you so much for all the sweet comments you wrote on my blog. They mean so much to me and I appreciate everytime you stop by for a visit! Blessings, Joanne

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

it's time to take stock of the passing years and enjoy life. Lovely pictures of you through your life.