Romance isn’t uppermost on your mind after a divorce – at least in my experience although I’m sure there are people who do experience it immediately and long for it. I preferred to take the time to get to know myself again, while straightening out the crinkly mess my life and emotions had become. This poem below says it so well. It’s called 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
Then when things settle down a bit and you’ve regained your calm you begin to think about romance and try and define what that means for an older person who has been married for a long time. Is romance only for the young? In India it often seems so. It seems that love is only for the young and for mature romantic love in a marriage. Everything else is perceived as lacking in elegance and grace. There’s a struggle within, reconciling those two diverse views of romance, neither of which fits in with an older divorced person’s life. I find this intensely romantic poem relevant for anyone who thinks of love after love.
Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
~ Carol Ann Duffy
Below is a scene full of romance from Jane Eyre where Mr. Rochester declares his love to Jane. She’s sceptical and he needs to convince her that he really is sincere.
I leave you with an image of a couple dancing.
This is the R post for the A to Z Challenge. You can click the link in the badge above to find out more. My theme for the Challenge is the Lexicon of Leaving