“Who we are and how much we split ourselves apart,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, often cannot be explained in a cognitive way. Rather than offer ”some definitive prose statement which is bound to be inadequate and incomplete,” the scientist and mindfulness guru offers (in the audio above and text below) the Nobel laureate Derek Walcott’s poem as a way of communicating his point about unity and fracture:

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.

“Love after Love” from COLLECTED POEMS 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 1986 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.


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4Reflections

Reflections

aspect-dawning, like this poem, is an act of cognition, but one of showing/illustrating rather than talking about. poetry take a great deal of thought to do well and to receive well. If you look at the works of the great zen poet Basho he has rewritten all of his masterworks many times to achieve the sense of them being direct communications/impressions.

 I like your comment, but consider that writing a poem or drawing a picture or any artistic endeavor initially is like hallucinating. We don't think. It comes from somewhere while we're in a daze. The editing comes later. When I was sick, I couldn't write about it directly. I found some help in writing a few poetic lines and sketching some graphic images.

 hi M, hallucinating/imaging-making/intuiting like all sensing/experiencing is also thinking, our images, like our memories, are creative products, gifts if you will, of our particular embodied way of minding the world. We literally dwell poetically whether or not we ever write a word of poetry.

beautiful and very healing.
teejay