Tonight I am walking between ordinary daylight and incipient twilight, beneath billowing clouds against a sapphire sky. Faraway stars shun the darkness. As if on a tightrope, I am moving just above inconceivable grief and below the swell of vertigo where there is no return. I walk in limbo, in the wake of atrocities, adults and children taken from their golden times, of happiness robbed, peace vanquished. Oh, all the families, friends.
The walking takes me into a whorl of anguish and gradually out again.
My old companion, interminable hope, lies low. But how it breeds in the deep of heart despite sorrow or outrage, unable to surrender. It stakes a claim in the fields of abundance or paucity. It talks back when silenced. It yields not to cruelty or grave error, or the pressure to exit. This hope, how it disturbs tonight with its strong back and blameless grace. Hope, like a lion, rests when unnoticed, then raises itself up with stealth and might when called upon.
It is hope that makes us vulnerable. It makes this life break apart with tenderness and recreates itself. It unfurls from many small spaces when there is nothing found to praise. When its power is denied we lose half our selves to these damaging times. Without hope we succumb to woundedness, that anchor that drives us down into cold depths. Even a small bit of it, even a whisper of hope, despite disbelief, will keep us floating. Will keep us close to its lifegiving heat. And so I hold the hope where it matters most, in the rich sinew of heart and that mysterious guide, the soul.
The walking propels me into a torrent of sadness, then brings me back again. May I keep holy the softness of compassion. May I be strengthened with even a thread of hope rewoven into this humaness.
I envision a circle of angels, such a circle as has no beginning and no end, and they are gathered round the world as it heaves and spins, as it barters and bleeds. They make a ring of light and everything is aflame, their radiant tears streaming. They are with us now, between this life and the next. Between earth and heaven. May hope look up again.