Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

(Emily Dickinson)

Thank you, Miss Dickinson, for this poem.  When I need the reminder most, I often go to these words.

I'm not a huge fan of "hope" as an inspirational motivation.  Typically, I'm more of the "just do it" approach.  Which really means I just keep pushing until something moves, in the name of having a plan.

That's me.  Big on plans.  Because plans imply I have control.

Yeah.  (I hear you all snickering.)

In November, I spent some time at one of my favorite places on earth, a temple in the desert.  I hadn't been there in several years.  It was such a good reminder of who I know myself to be, at my best.  But someone I haven't felt much like in the past few years.

While sitting in the Temple, I picked up a small token, a rock.  


I almost put the rock back down on the ground.

But, since rocks are my "thing," and often a way that a power greater than myself communicates with me, I reluctantly put the hope in my pocket.  And, later, on my altar, where it sits with other rocks and beads and flowers and tokens.


I'm struggling with hope.  Because I want guarantees.  Not hope.

I want to know that I can make a living doing the work that I love.  Not just a squeak-by-every-month, robbing peter to pay paul, oh please, I hope I make enough next month/semester/year living.  I want a hope full life.  Or maybe a life full of hope.

I haven't figured it out yet.  But just writing about it, makes me feel more hopeful.  That Emily Dickinson, maybe she's on to something.