Writer, activist and historian Rebecca Solnit writes of hope: “ Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act… hope is “an embrace of the unknown and unknowable.” Hope is “ an account of complexities and uncertainties with openings.”
I have always been interested in the fertile nature that openings offer. The spaciousness they create to look beyond what one sees with the eyes- to imagine and experience with all one’s senses a deeper reality that lies just at the edge of our consciousness.
Hope lives in the spaces – between the worlds of skepticism and dissatisfaction- appropriation and deceit- fear and hate mongering- despair and longing. These pockets of hope while they may come out of dark places make the journey with intention to the light. Called forth from their dark fecund origins, they incubate until they are ready to be recognized and received.
Cynthia Bourgeault tells us in Mystical Hope: “Hope’s home is at the innermost point in us, and in all things. It does not come at the end, as a feeling that results from a happy outcome. Rather, it lies at the beginning, as a pulse of truth that sends us forth.”
In these times when our realities are hard to face, when confusion brims over with fear, stopping us in our tracks, we are called to look inward. While the external world appears to have established boundaries- whether real or constructed, they bind us in ways that often make us unaware to what is possible. Looking inward, we are free to let our imagination run wild and our creativity breath life into new ways of engaging and being. The discipline of looking inward is ultimately essential for individual and collective growth. Rather than look outside for affirmation and other objects of our desire we are encouraged to go deeper within. From this interior vantage point we are poised to sit with, discern and cultivate understanding and wisdom out of our own experiences, leading us to engage with others and ourselves in a more enlivened state. If we can remain consciously alive, we are forever open to the radical possibilities that our human nature can provide.
Human nature is communal, cooperative and compassionate. Its life giving properties has an energy that fills us up and those around us, through our engagement. Hope both instills and springs from this collective energy. It breeds a generative and expansive perspective in our own lives and into the ways we wish to live in the world. In hope we share a kinship and a feeling that we belong to the whole.