Defining hope

“the gaze towards up at the rock bottom,
the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat,
 and the wish for the light in the complete darkness.”

 

Hope, I didn’t like the word. I found that the notion of hope was deceptive. A false belief that things get better somehow and someday, but in most cases they never would. That was one of the reasons I didn’t like my name, which meant trusting in hope.

When saying “hope”, I wanted something tangible. Not the abstraction of an idea, not the sweet mental candy for a desperate soul, not the self-assuring mantra in an unbearably painful situation. Because the word “hope” is only useful in those times. In other times, we don’t speak of it. We speak of shoes, weather, and grocery lists.

Tonight, I saw the movie “Defining Hope”. I was interested in that premiere but didn’t intend to go. I could guess what the movie was about from the preview. But somehow, something got canceled and the movie kept bothering my mind. I drove to the theater ten minutes before the movie started in the dark rain.

The movie was about lives at the verge of death. Hospice, ending life with some dignity. Pretty much what I expected, but I still cried. Tears ran through my cheeks even though the scenes and the stories didn’t poke the emotions sharply. I was relieved that I was entitled to cry in this setting, in the theater talking about death, and hope. Hope that betrays life in every way but still there, not promising or changing anything but still there. Whenever desperation comes at the corner, hope walks along and sits by our side, when we bury our head in our arms, or our face in our hands, sobbing.

I left the theater only the half an hour passed. I couldn’t take the needles, the oxygen tanks, the sterile walls, the depleting lives. And trusting in hope. Words come easily, but reality doesn’t. One patient said that now she enjoyed every moment of her life; the birds, the wings, and the trees through the window. Next day she cried in despair by the losses; the loss that she had before, the loss of what she didn’t do and can’t do. What can console her? Nothing. Even hope retreated in silence that time.

I remember the time in my life asking ten more years of living, so I could see my sons growing and they could be ready when I left them. And I have over lived beyond that time. My sons are not still ready for my death. They never will be. It is how it is. But I am grateful that I can find my time that I can live some of mine.

My current feeling about hope is neutral. I don’t mind its deceptive quality for people in desperation anymore. Sometimes, we need to hang onto something. Even though it might be the rope of rotten lie and we know the truth in our deep-down instinct, the soul needs a tightrope of faith that connects us from now to the time to come, continuously balancing our shaking bodies looking over the other side at the pitch-black night.

Hope goes side by side with despair. But hope is the gaze towards up at the rock bottom. It is the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat. It is the wish for the light in the complete darkness. How can I blame it? Hope. I don’t wish for it, but it will be there with me at dark nights under the shadow of the mortality. After all, it is one of the best creations of the absurd human being, to live, and to wish to live. In the end, I guess it is okay to cry; to cry for hope.

<November 1st, 2017>