We were brainstorming about Hope today and I wonder where my own hope comes from. As a child I was not raised to practice a religion, no prayers before bed or candles to mark the passing of the week. I always feel I was shortchanged on hope – on faith – on the ability to believe in something more, bigger, grander than I am. I was cheated from the comfort that “all things happen for a reason” and that “god hears all prayers.” Without faith, there is no one to rescue me from a hopeless situation, or to make right of the things that have gone wrong.
But that is the passive hope that someone described in class today. It is a hope that springs from wishful thinking.
I struggle with faith but I do have hope. My hope is small, dogged and lingering. It is active and propels me to solve problems. My hope won’t let sleeping dogs lie. My hope would get me into fist fights with bullies if I would let it. My hope is stubborn and refuses to believe that the answer is just “no”. My hope untangles bureaucracy, slashes through red tape, and reads between the lines. My hope is me in the place where heart/mind/soul meet. Hope is the engine. Hope resides in every unfinished piece of writing I still keep in a notebook, in the travel brochures of places I didn’t get to tucked inside photo albums of my trips, and in post-it notes full of scribbled ideas that litter the edge of my computer monitor. My hope refuses to let me rest. My hope lingers when all else has fled.