“A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is Hope Always Viable?


What accounts for hope,
for one's faith in renewal
though gloom may prevail?

History may say
the odds favor sorrow's wail,
not joy's healing hand.

Those who struggle with
an incurable disease
may question hope's worth.

Is hope logical?
The facts may point us elsewhere.
Why insist on hope?

When odds are awful,
does hope no longer make sense?
I resist that thought.

I may be foolish,
perhaps tilting at windmills,
yet I affirm hope.

for creating new meaning
will always exist.


Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Hope can take many forms. It could be hope for a cure. Or for the emotional strength to endure. Or for having friends and family who lighten the journey. It might be something as simple as hoping the next step does not result in a fall. Or even that a step can be taken at all. The important thing is that some light can be envisioned, whatever its form. Because without that light, life with MS can be dark, indeed. Also, as I say in one of my sidebar entries, "Research shows that, 'in all cultures, the conviction that one’s predicament is hopeless may cause or hasten disintegration and death.' [Jerome and Julia Frank, Persuasion and Healing] The tools available to me to fight this disease are limited. Could it be that keeping hope alive is the strongest weapon in my arsenal?"

Muffie said...

I've said for some time now, that hope is a virtue with which I struggle. False hope, for me, is worthless. What do I hope for? To get well? That I'll regain all I've lost (or that's be stolen from me?) I just can't do it -- I don't believe any of it will happen. But you've opened a new door for me. I'm trying to see hope from your vantage point. "...creating new meaning" -- that I can work with. Thank you for giving me something to which I can cling!

Gail said...

Hi Judy - beautiful poem and also your comment is filled with truth and understanding and yes, hope, :-) I ty my best to keep hope alive. Sometimes I feel hopeful by surprise - for example on another MS blog the author wrote of how shehas not had and relapses in over 4 years - her doctors told her that they have seen where MS burns itself out - just stops harming the host. In that I found great hope and is now part of my daily prayers.

Love Gail

Judy at Peace Be With You said...

I want to clarify further that my intent in writing this poem was not to suggest that one should engage in denial about one's reality. There may be times when one seemingly can only feel defeated by the dismal prospects ahead, when someone talking about hope can almost feel like an insult. However imprecise I was in my wording, though, what I ultimately wanted to convey and still believe strongly is that, however desperate one's circumstances are, one still has the ultimate freedom of choosing how one thinks about the situation. In this, I am inspired by the words of individuals like Socrates (condemned to death) and Bruno Bettleheim and Viktor Frankl (holocaust survivors). Perhaps there is another word than hope which best describes what I'm talking about. For me, though, it remains a hopeful thing that I can choose how I think about circumstances, that I can find new ways of creating meaning and sense of worth, regardless of and even despite my situation.

Karen said...

When you lose hope, you die. If not physically...death of the soul.
A very deep and moving poem Judy.

Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Muff, I'm glad I was able to give you something to work with at least. I certainly never want to imply that a Pollyannaish view of what we are facing is a good thing. Focusing on my beliefs and perspective--in short, attitude--have eventually, though, gotten me out of many a deep hole. And, I emphasize eventually. Because sometimes I can spend a great deal of time in that dark hole.

Gail, yes, I too know about MS burn-out. I'm hoping that this is something which applies to me in a lasting way.

Karen, yes, we are addressing the soul level in keeping hope alive. Thank you for your compliment about my poem.