Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Okay, this post departs from all my normal topics (unless we pull in Emily Dickinson's famous poem, "Hope is the thing with feathers..."). I've been thinking about hope, considering it, tasting it, turning it over.

For a long time I haven't let myself hope for anything. It seems an illusory, fraudulent wisp. It teases. It cheats. It doesn't look squarely at life. It rarely materializes. Better to stay with something solid. Better to stay centered on bedrock amidst the tumult of living, and let the daily tides wash past without hoping for any particular outcome. I tell myself, just breathe. Just stay with the flow of events, emotions, thoughts. Yes, the whole political scene in this country has gone to hell. Yes, species are winking out. Yes, close friends depart. Just breathe, just stay with it.

The downside: I'm feeling worn. Living without hope also erodes joy.

Today a powerful surge of hope welled up, and it didn't feel fraudulent. It felt charged with light and with healing.

My sister sent word of new research on MS (multiple sclerosis) which shows real promise of repairing the ravages of the disease by repairing the myelin sheath around the affected nerves. (My sister is among the many who are dealing with MS.) Click here for a link to that research.

Today's hope feels qualitatively different. It makes me think that we need to refine our language naming "hope." One name for the kind of hope at which we grasp––illusory, cruel, deceptive, fraudulent. And another name for the hope that surges up of its own volition and transforms us with an inner healing, coming as it does from the light at our core.

"Hope is the thing with feathers...."
(Acrylic of Sandhill Crane by Narca)

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