On these crisp November evenings, the light sits low, sinking slowly in shades of gold, red and pink. The light dies early. Darkness comes before the heart even has time to awaken.
I am alone again. A phrase which has become like a mantra to me lately. Alone again, I sing to myself, as if saying the words will somehow make the profane sacred again.
I am not sad. I am not happy either. I am just… alone.
I walk past the window in the living room. I have a long list of things to do, of ways to make this day useful to someone, to something, beyond myself. I have papers to write, friends to call, plans to make.
But when I see the sunset, I realize I cannot watch this sunset with – or for – anyone but myself. A truth that breaks my heart.
I am reminded, though I wish I wasn’t, of all the sunsets I shared in love. I am reminded of one evening in particular, when we held hands and witnessed the entire event of a mid-winter sunset, from its glorious bursts of orange to its soft murmurs of pink – together. I am reminded of the way I gently cried, squeezing her hand. Of the way my heart broke, even in a state of such fullness, fearing that this love, like the sunset, would not last.
I choose to write about this moment because being a femme is not just a way of presenting, it is a way of loving. It is a way of loving others, but most of all it is a way of loving yourself.
Tonight, nothing can make up for the heartache of what I have lost. But though I may not have a hand to hold, I can still love myself enough to cry. I can love myself enough to be vulnerable with this pain, to be vulnerable with this fear and sadness. I can love myself enough to let it hurt.
Love after Love
by Derek Walcott
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.