The Shape (and Choice) of Love

Tanaya Winder
Mar 20, 2017 · 9 min read
© Tanaya Winder

An essay by performance poet, writer, and educator Tanaya Winder on coping with loss, and how poetic form, song, and Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love” helped her to “greet herself at the door.”

As an Indigenous womxn writer who also struggles balancing living in two cultural worlds and confronts colonialism daily, I found hope in Derek Walcott’s poetry.

As an artist I give form to my poetry each time I organize lines into their rooms, stanzas of understanding. I consciously think about where I break a line, because in life I don’t always get to choose my breaking points (these are often discovered along the way).

But now, the poet and writer in me ever conscious of language and the words “chose,” “choose,” and “choice.” I choose me. I choose happiness. I choose it see it as the end of me settling for less than I deserve and the strong opening to me knowing my worth.

There is no way I could have stopped this storm from happening; so I’m grateful for the rupture; it reminded me about what I am most passionate about — poetry, running, working with youth, collaborating with artists, uplifting other people, and always returning to heartwork.

Walcott’s poetry and his legacy will live on and I am grateful for the reminder in the power of poetry. “Love after love” came right when I needed it.

My story is about practicing love (for self, the journey, the path) and acceptance. You learn from the past and you let go of what doesn’t serve you because there is never a reason to keep something or someone who is incapable of holding all the wonderful, overflowing light you are.

ANMLY

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and…

ANMLY

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art

Tanaya Winder

Written by

Tanaya Winder is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and performance poet. Follow her @tanayawinder or visit www.tanayawinder.com for more information.

ANMLY

Features Supplement to the Online Journal of Literature and Art