Weird Assistance from the Literary Ether

It happened again: a piece of literature– a poem, this time– found me right when it was most needed. Delivered courtesy of Brain Pickings, Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love” fell into a heart much in need of its insights and gentle reminders:

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.

I’m often amazed at the frequency with which what Carl Jung would call synchronicity happens; one of those “meaningful coincidences” in which a clue, a connection, a helping hand, pops up and seems to lend credence to that biblical assertion found in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (NRSV) I’m probably stretching the Jungian definition and/or interpretation a bit, but still. This poem falling into my lap when I’m trying to achieve just the state it describes; being presented this afternoon with lessons learned through the life of Milarepa, when, in a completely different context and for entirely different reasons, that morning, I’d been researching the organization Adam Yauch founded and named after the saint; and always, always in my school days, being amazed at how the ideas being perused in one class showed up at the same time in the assignments and readings for something in an entirely unrelated field. Far be it from me to build any sort of metaphysic upon these things of which I’ve taken note– but today, at least, they’ve helped, and that’s something. They’ve helped.


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