Hope is wrapped around every plan we make. The flights are purchased six months ahead of time for those vacation days that are on the calendar. The meeting about your book or dream job or start up is scheduled for next week. The booties are knitted on a Sunday afternoon to take to a baby shower in April. The sweaters are bought on sale in March and then put away for the coming fall and winter. Making plans gives shape to our lives. Making plans means that we hope to stick around long enough to follow them through. Without hope, we don’t make plans. Without hope, we do nothing — there’s no reason to.
How do we keep hope alive when everything falls apart? How do we keep it alive when we don’t know how long it will be before we can start to put it all back together?
I used to be a person who hated the sentence, “I don’t know.” I like to have answers, rhyme and reason — but as I’ve gotten older I’ve had to start to accept that the unknown is the biggest part of life. The vast expanse ahead of us is always unmapped and unnamed, no matter how many marks we put on the calendar that we would like to use as a chart for its navigation.
What we’re facing now is unprecedented. And “how long will this go on,” is the question we ask. How long before we can get back to normal? How long until this passes? How long until we get our hope back?
What if we can’t and what if it doesn’t? What if we all have to come up with new ways to live? What if hope is redefined and allowed to live in this moment, not just in those we dream will come? How can we stuff it into the present? Is it even meant to live anywhere but in what we desire? All I know about it is that we will not ever lose it, not for long. To hope is to be alive.
I’m looking for the poetry and indeed, there is some, just as there is in everything. But that, too, has to wait just yet. Something tells me “I don’t know,” will land solidly in the first line.
Peace and love and happy Wednesday.