Last night I had the great pleasure of revisiting the Rose Theatre, which has to now be one of my favourite places in Second Life. The last time I had been there was on April 2nd, to enjoy Seth Regan’s CD Release Concert and it had been a night to remember.
As I walked up near the stage behind those red chairs again, I remembered that night and how wonderful it had been. It had been a perfect cap to a great day of accomplishments which had seen us rent some more, but vital, land for the club build, and find a piece of equipment we had really wanted. And then, the concert, which was as fantastic as you can imagine in a setting that brings together “art, music and passion within one venue that will tantalise your senses and provide a visual and audible feast for your soul”.
As I stood there, suddenly, a flowing tide of melancholy swept over me and I thought about how things had changed so much since then.
This morning in the shower I got to thinking, does time really heal all wounds? Or is that just one of those trite things we like to say to people when they are grieving? Is time all we really need? And how much is enough I wonder? A few minutes for a slight? A day for an insult? A week for a betrayal of trust? A month for losing a friend? What exactly is the exchange rate these days when trading time for healing?
Or, is it what you do with the time you have? One can find innumerable ways to manage. Whether it’s going on a week-long cruise, scuba-diving into new hobbies, opening up to new friends, shopping like an addict possessed, building a new house and underwater park, diving head deep into your work; working as fast as you can to do more and more than you ever thought you could possibly do in the time that you have – there are loads of things you can do. And, if you’re anything like me, you might do all of those things, and you might even do them all at once.
Does that work? Not in itself, no.
Eventually, you have to stand alone in the deafening silence of your own company. You have to look into that reflection pool, look at yourself and say… “Ok, well, your broken self may not be completely mended but you’re all you’ve really got so stop hiding, swallow that red pill and really start giving yourself to yourself again.”
This morning I looked up this poem that I had first read years ago. It’s called “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 others 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 of 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 image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
So, as Derek Walcott writes in this “wake up and smell the coffee” poem, eventually you just have to crawl out from that rock of teeming distractions and step into the disinfecting sunlight of day. You can wipe away that veil of loss and all of those happy memories on which you’ve been feeding, and celebrate your life for what it is – and who remains in it. Give wine, give bread. Give back your heart. Celebrate and feast on it, even.