“But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.”
TS Eliot, The Four Quartets.
Hope is defiant.
Like the sun on a particularly bleak afternoon,
she moves beyond what is known,
just past those silent clouds of pugilism,
crafting her shafts beyond what is seen.
I’d like to say that I understand hope but
I do not,
for when I look, she scampers away.
I cannot look at Hope, but I caught a glimpse of her
on the edges of my consciousness
To declare that a day will be great defies the fact that it will not be.
To say life is glorious betrays the inevitable.
Boundless optimism, therefore, is not hope;
Optimism born of ignorance is not hope.
If you clutch these things:
optimism, positive thinking, can-do-it-ness;
the sweet by-and-by, brighter days, and sunny-sides;
the long arc towards human evolution towards betterment,
You will be disappointed
for these idols will slip from your grasp
You will be left clutching
only bloody palms and broken fingernails
and disappointment in the night,
wondering why your hands hurt so much.
I waited without Hope,
without hope for Hope,
without knowledge of hope for Hope,
without the desire for the knowledge of hope for Hope.
Yet, she remains, if you but do not look at her.
But simply let her be in
and the Alleluia.
And she might answer with her own song antiphonally.
Hope sings within those who have no hope for Hope.