[I left this comment on a very good post on Halden’s blog — see here — but nobody seems to be talking about much over there and I’m curious to hear what others think of this idea, so I’m reposting it here (I also felt like it said some things I have been wanting to put into words for awhile). Feel free to disagree… or not.]
It seems to me that you trying to look but taking back what you see at the same time. While trying to confront the severity of hope, it seems as though you still end up blunting the confrontation in a number of ways. Of course, that’s how things used to be for me as well, when I first started encountering the context of hopelessness and godforsakenness. Spend some more time there (if I may be so bold as to presume to speak this way) and this is what you will find:
Hope will stop crying out. Hope will stop dancing. Hope will not be appeased by any word or Word. The context of hopelessness and godforsakenness can cut out your tongue, cut off your feet, and make you deaf.
In the end, hope is simply the decision to remain alive. To not kill one’s self. That’s all.
No matter how a person chooses to stay alive (with the assistance of drugs or alcohol, by lashing out at others, by slashing his or her own body, etc.), all of these lives are the embodiment of hope, precisely in the way that they are lived, for as long as a person chooses not to die.
Some say that “where there’s life there’s hope” and take that to mean that things could be better, things could change, God could intervene, you never know what might happen… I take it to mean that choosing to remain alive, in one’s unchanging circumstances, and not choosing Death, is the most audacious act of hope there is.