Hope, and when I think of the word, I cannot help but think of Emily Dickinson’s poem:
“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.
That’s a little ditty if ever there was one. Had Emily been alive today she’d have been a songwriter, and maybe she was the Tori Amos of her time, or would have been, had there been enough publicity.
And I hope you will forgive me, but, as there are HOPE signs popping up all over my little town, I am going to say something you probably won’t like me saying.
I don’t like the word hope; I don’t like its meaning or the sentiment it conveys.
Oh my goodness, how could you pick on the word hope at a time like this?
Hey, it’s not my fault. (And I hope you won’t think it is.) I cannot walk my dog without a dozen or so of these adorable HOPE signs in constant view, all over my very neat and manicured housing development that I am very lucky to be safely ensconced in during a pandemic, and I know it, that I am lucky, and the signs are there, so cute, a little heart at the end of the word masquerading as a period as if all we need is HOPE and period; so innocent. HOPE they insist. Blech.
Hope is, to me at least, and I would argue one could say Merriam Webster agrees, a word about powerlessness, and that is why I don’t like it. “I hope this will happen” usually means, in my experience, “I have no reason to think this will happen, but, gee, wouldn’t it be great if it did?” Gosh, I hope so.
Hope is a bandaid for when life allows you no agency. Here is a situation, be it as bad as a pandemic or the current president or as every day as my arthritis, that I can do nothing about. So, well, I hope it will get better, will change, will hurt less.
Action Action we want Action!
Sorry, all out of action today. How about some Hope?
Would you just sit still and hope already?
Every little breeze seems to whisper hope-ie….
I know; I know; you think I’m just a terrible person.
I guess, rather than a little hope, I’d prefer a job to do, some action to take; maybe it’s my puritan work-ethic heritage, maybe it’s my life-long association with a bunch of magical thinkers, maybe it’s my atheism or general irreverence for life; maybe it’s what my mother says, that I am too smart for my own good, who knows?
I hope you don’t think I know.
I only know I get tired of being told to hope.