The Caribbean region recently lost one of its popular poets and playwrights, St. Lucian Sir Derek Alton Walcott, who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. Let us take a closer look at one of his offerings, ‘Love After Love.’ As with any work of art, there is the intention of the creator and the interpretation of the observer; inviting you on this thought-provoking observer journey; one that allows for individual detours, disembarking and re-embarking as you so desire.
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.
Teen time is the awakening of the hormones and in no subtle way that desire to have our genes passed on to the next generation. And this continues thereafter. Now in our Caribbean context, we know all too well, that Tina Turner’s song ‘what’s love got to do with it’ really describes our relaxed approach to ‘generational gene transfer’.
We can also appreciate too that being the colourful and passionate people that we are, “love” takes on many colours and flavours in our romantic relationships. Here Walcott reminds us of the potential joy of ‘eating’ or feasting in self-love. He hopes for us all that the time will come. From teen years and beyond many of us move eager to be ‘fed’ by another and seek that satisfaction of having another give a stamp of approval, a sense of confidence, that we might not have received in full supply as we might have liked from parents or other significant figures in our lives. Yet no matter how much we sit at the feet of our sought after partner or current partner and ‘eat’ we are never truly satisfied.
We are never satisfied because there is no one at home.
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.
Walcott invites us on a journey to self-discovery; a journey to find self-love.
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.
This great son of our region might be no more, but surely if we feast on this offering from his life we too will find love after loving another before ourselves, love after a love relationship might have ended and a love that will be with us forever after, that is if or when we decide that the time has come, so KarryOn Caribbean
By Kerriann Toby
Kerriann Toby holds a Master of Counselling and Bachelor of Psychology. She is a dynamic therapist, trained mediator; and educator since 2000. In addition to being a trained educator, mediator and therapist, she is a certified Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Professional. Kerriann has also trained in cybercounselling and holds clinical registration with Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) & Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
In mid-October 2015 she initiated operations of KarryOn geared toward the provision of a variety of enhancement and developmental services for the individual, groups and the organization; e-Coaching/Counseling, Mediation, EAP Services and the creative presentation of psycho-social information. She can be reached at: email@example.com