Some thoughts (and quotes) about Hope

Hopeis the thing with feathers
(still figuring out how to use my tablet!)

 

Hope to me is somewhat of a dichotomy.  Sometimes, all that keeps us going is hope that things will get better and then hope  is a gift.  But hope can also hold us back in a way, as in false hope.  In Spanish, esperar means both to hope and to wait.  And hoping generally does involve waiting for something better to happen. Sometimes waiting is the best thing we can do and sometimes it’s not.  Like in this quote (where we don’t wait):

“A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” – Junot Diaz (Author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, among others)

But if you keep going, doesn’t that mean you have hope that something better will come along if you persist?  Ugh–I’m thinking too much about this and getting myself all confused.  Here is a poem I really like about hope:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314)

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“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.
I especially love the first line of this poem–it’s such a beautiful image about the strength and beauty of hope.
But here’s another poem about hope, also by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
   Hope is a subtle glutton;
    He feeds upon the fair;
And yet, inspected closely,
What abstinence is there!

His is the halcyon table
That never seats but one,
And whatsoever is consumed
The same amounts remain.

I’m not really sure that I understand this one, but subtle glutton doesn’t necessarily sound like a good thing.

 

“Hope is a waking dream.”
― Aristotle

Here’s a verse by Rudolf Steiner from Calendar of the Soul, which is a series of verses for each week of the year intended to capture to soul mood of the week:

 I can, in newly quickened inner life,
  Sense wide horizons in myself.
  The force and radiance of my thought --
  Coming from soul's sun power --
  Can solve the mysteries of life,
  And grant fulfillment now to wishes
  Whose wings have long been lamed by hope.
English translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

Again I’m not sure I understand this (and it is translated from German)–I often feel that way when I read Steiner, but it’s a spring time verse that seems to me to say that the power of human thought can solve the mysteries of life and grant fulfillment to wishes– whose wings have long been lamed by hope.

“Whose wings have long been lamed by hope”  I don’t think this is the good kind of hope, this is the kind of hope that keeps a person waiting for something to happen instead of taking action.

OK–here’s another question I guess I’ll be living with.  But that’s a good thing.  A few years ago, I went to a conference called, “Living with the question in an age of answers.”  Which leads me to one final (I promise) quote–one of my favorites and not about hope but about living with the questions by Rilke.

be patient with all that is2
also done with my new tablet!

 

That’s all for today–thanks for stopping by.

This post brought to you by h

the with thanks to  the A to Z blog challenge

I am a writer, handworker, artist and teacher (a WHAT!), and a mom of two beautiful daughters who are amazingly 17 and 21. I am working on getting my first book, a fantasy novel for young people, published and am busy spinning on my new spinning wheel. I have been a Waldorf early childhood teacher for 10 years now, and before that, I was a lawyer. Teaching is much more fun.

2 thoughts on “Some thoughts (and quotes) about Hope

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There’s definitely a learning curve with the tablet, but it’s fun to learn something new. It will be a useful tool. That’s a curious quote about the wings and hope. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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