“Be careful about hope.
“The thing about hope is this: It’s all well and good when what you’re hoping for is realized, but when you hope and hope and what you hope for never arrives, then it can catch you, drag you down like prey and eat you from the inside until you’re not much more than a husk.
“Hope is what keeps you running to the phone with your heart in your mouth every time it rings. Hope is what forces you look deep into someone’s eyes to see if love is still there.... Hope is what gives you that gut wrench of excitement when a glimmer arrives in your life, only for it to be torn away like a sail cloth in a storm.
“Hope is another way of saying desperate.”
“Sure hope is fine if it all works out the way you want, but most times it’s better just to let go. Letting go is more freeing that hope and does just as much good. It doesn’t mean you have to stop going through the motions, it just means you’re no longer tied to jumping through hope’s rings. You’re standing on your own two feet and taking control.
“And if what you hope for does happen, well then you can have unfettered joy. Joy that doesn’t ride in on the back of hope, but stands alone as one pure moment of unexpected happiness.
“Best just to throw a cold bucket of reality on hope’s
fire. Carry an ember with you if you
must, but move on.”
Halfway through the word antelope, in a deserted campsite in northern Colorado I stopped writing.
We'd been travelling for a few weeks and I had been keeping a diary of all that had happened since we left Tonasket and headed through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming then Colorado. And then I realized I wasn't really interested in writing about the daily sights, sounds, life-as-we-know-it kind of moments. I was more interested in writing about the spin-offs. The emotions, the tangents created when my mind goes off in several directions at once in response to some event.
And from then on, throughout the whole of our journey through the western states of the US I didn't pick up a pen, or type anything more than Facebook updates.
So much has happened, terrible things, in the past few months. One of our beloved dogs went missing and we found her body six weeks later, we were under serious pressure to find a place to live back in the Okanogan Highlands before school started and the winter arrived. We had a really odd car accident and then a spin-out on the ice, Steve's grandma died, and on and on. Things really piled up. But 2014 is now over. We have a place to live for the winter, right next to where we were living before, talk about coming full circle, life is settling into a pattern of school, skiing, Steve searching for a job and all is calm.
And out of all the sadness, in fact a way of filling my mind so as not to think about things too much, I started writing a book. The difficult times may be over, but I'm 20,000 words in and committed to it. In fact I love it.
Good things arising from the ashes of the bad.
The Hope Speech above is a part of the book and I'm going to add another piece of writing from the first draft called Finality. And then another one about choices. I think this is the way my blog will develop rather than talking about day to day living. It'll will be more about what I'm taking out of life.
And perhaps these kinds of lessons are things I can actually hope for without fear of Hope failing me.