Why Look Back?

We’re sometimes asked why Retrospect is focused on looking backward. Isn’t it better to leave the past behind? Don’t we want to live in the present?

Here are our thoughts. We’ve reached an age where it can be satisfying, even important, to look back at where we came from and remember how we got here. Living only in the present ignores a rich personal and cultural history that can give us a sense of wholeness and integration.

We found this nicely summarized in this poem, suggested by a friend when she heard about the site.

Love After Love
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.


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