Why do we hope? In my life it tends to be the cruelest of emotions. It sneaks into my soul and runs through my veins for short periods of time only to be destroyed by the realization that life isn’t about fairness or even goodness. And hope runs as fast as a river and as deep as that ocean; it is as plentiful as the stars in the sky and can be felt each day and most especially each night.
I am learning in my life that hope, the belief in something or someone, is really a waste of time. And I hate that cynicism. I don’t believe I was born cynical, but I believe that my life has made sure that there is no other way forward than with loss.
We hope that those we love will change. We hope that our children find happiness and health and yet this life gives no quarter. We hope for love and beauty, for a safe haven in the curses that this world speaks. We hope that God is there, and we hope that He can hear our screams over the screams of the millions around us.
I hope for peace, for respect, for adventure, for laughter. I hope desperately for the chance to laugh and feel light. I hope for the love of a good man and the acknowledgement of my battle scars. I hope for tears to cleanse this feeling of failure and I hope for the desperation to find its home somewhere safe. I hope that the night is not so lonely and the day not so abandoned.
I am not interested in hoping for peace on earth or even that all those who deserve love find it. I believe in working towards a goal and finding that peace deep within your own self. I believe in finding answers not in the discovery but in the questions, and I believe we all must disidentify ourselves for the truth.
There are days that I wonder if I am really going to live another fifty years of this. There are days that I wonder if this is it for me, the reality I will have to face over and over again. There are days when I can’t see the ending and believe desperately in making my own. There are days that no matter how hard I hit the ground there is never anyone to patch me up.
There isn’t great love that is supposed to comfort and heal in times of great sorrow. There isn’t great happiness in my own self but rather only in the smiles of my children. There is no world for me but my children, and while that may be what a mother suffers, there was once the hope for so much more.
I believed in love. I believed in the cure of laughter. I believed in the happiness that literally radiates from the skin and touches the world around you. I once believed that if I just work a little more, or give a little more, or even if I forgive a little more, than I would be rewarded. I once believed that if I was the first to forgive than others would fall to. I once believed if I just tried, talked, screamed, ignored, forgive, only look forward but learn from my past; if I just had a little hope than it would be all okay.
I don’t believe that any more. I don’t believe in the perfection of love; even love with a lot of work. I don’t believe that there is someone out there who has the interest in giving to me a silly and safe world. I don’t believe that the world I live is one that exists in any dream and I don’t believe that I can truly breathe on the flight my soul is taking.
I am learning to hope for the day that I get to change all that I once believed in. I am learning to hope for the day when forgiveness isn’t needed as much as simply time. I am looking for the day that I don’t feel bad for making the first steps in the blizzard of my winter. I am looking forward to finding that wild frontier that only exists in the hope of dreams.
I know that there is a moment out there that can be exclusively mine. I know that there is a set of arms out there that can hold me in complete and utter confidence. I know that there is a dream out there that can be achieved simply by earning it. I know that no matter where I go, I will always regret this moment in time.
I don’t like to give up. I don’t like to believe that my soul, my heart, my very veins can’t hold onto the promise of something. Maybe my heart is turning to stone, and only for my children, my perfect and life saving children, can I find a will to mend.
The unfairness is truly the burden we must place on our children. The burden we must place to find happiness in their happiness, to find forgiveness in the eyes of those that don’t know what a lie is. The unfairness of what we do to our children because our own hope can’t sustain us is cruel. It is where the lessons of life begin; in the childhood unfairness of expectations. It is where we begin to learn that fairy tales aren’t any more real than the smiles of those we love.
I get tired of feeling this way. I get tired of knowing that my life is so much less than what it could have been. I get tired of looking around me at the ashes of my soul and not finding the light that must be there. I hate that my life has created this creature and forgotten how to free me into my very salvation of hope.
When is it that hope forgets its course? When is that moment when we become something so much worse that what are dreams promised us? When is that second that we learn that love is as rich and perfect as the blank slate it comes from? When is it that we give up? When do we stop fighting? And we do we finally get to lay down the mantel of responsibility and find laughter where it was once promised?
I don’t like who I am these days. I am a soul who once believed completely in love and completely in others beside myself. I don’t know where I lost my trust, my belief in the sanctity of life. I don’t know where I stopped digging for forgiveness in the truth of this life.
I try and cling, hard and with intent, to the belief that one day it will all be different. Not better but simply different. I try and cling to the dream of finding something other than my own hope to get through a day. I try and remember that child that I once was and the day so long ago when I made that first fatal step to this place. I try to remember that not everyone has this life and despite what even I believe there will be a day when I stand up and show everyone who I am; when I walk from the need to forgive and find the need to laugh. I cling to the hope that one day the chimes of the church bells will say Hallelujah once more.
I cling with fingernails bloody and sweat dripping in my eyes. I cling with the knowledge that I will one day fall. And I cling to the knowledge that there is no one out there to catch me. And yet, I cling to the dream of someone who can.