All week long, I look for . . .
and then on Fridays?
I report back!
This week I've been thinking a lot about what I mean, exactly, when I say I'm looking for . . . hope.
I know what hope means, the technical definition and all. And I have a sense of what I'm looking for. But it's so hard to articulate. Hope - as a concept - is hard to pin down. It's not just optimism (too simple) -- it's much more obscure; it's fleeting. It's a deeper . . . something. It's one of those I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it (or feel it) kind of things.
I didn't come up with a clear and succinct way to explain it. But I do know that I can look to the words of poets to help me express what I mean; to describe hope to me in a way I can feel in my heart; that we can all feel in our souls. Who better than poets . . . to give us the words that lift us up; that speak to the universal importance of hope and resilience?
So I've decided to just stop trying to define or explain it myself . . . and just offer you a poem of hope from another of my favorite poets, Lisel Mueller, instead.
It hovers in dark corner
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.
It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
it is the motion that runs
from the eyes to the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.
It is the singular gift
we can not destroy in ourselves,
the arguement that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.
It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.
My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.)
Don't forget to look for hope.
(It's out there, trying to speak.)
Today's poem was published in Alive Together: New and Selected Poems by Lisel Mueller, 1996, Louisiana State University Press. Information about the poet can be found here.