HOPE

Today’s guest post comes from Clyde of Mankato 

Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

I suppose a few of you cannot identify that quote from Shawshank Redemption, a movie which portrays enduring hope as powerful, even when the only other option is despair, or maybe because the only other option is despair.

I do not picture myself as a hopeful person, but, as I think about the last fifty years, I see I often acted in hope. Because they are both about living in the present while preparing for the future, teaching and pastoring are hopeful acts. As is marriage.

Fifty years ago today Sandy and I stood in a church in Minneapolis and made promises to each other. The church, a substitute for a different church undergoing renovations, is named Hope. Two months later we joined a church in Dinkytown also named Hope. The coincidence of two churches named Hope struck us then and do me now. Without tracing why, I declare that hope is a thread woven through our marriage, not that I am offering anyone advice, mind you.

Pix 1

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

Pix 2 (1)As I recall, I acknowledge with too simple a point of view, the two predominate political forces of 1965 were hope and hate. Many candidates and people who garnered public attention spoke openly with hate, and with its camouflaged cousin superiority. While I am more a moderate than a liberal, I too hoped we would put an end to hate as a political force, not by law so much as by a change in the hearts of a greater mass of common people.

So here we are in 2015. Need I identify to what we have returned? To which I answer with a voice from 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Ignoring the hate, where do you see hope?

65 thoughts on “HOPE”

  1. Thanks for this, Clyde.

    I see the group of young people my son is part of and have great hope.

    They are not perfect by any means, but they have a core of decency I find encouraging.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Of course, that should read “Star Wars.” Sorry. Was in a rush this morning. Had a voiceover gig, so I was on my way out the door.

      Of course, the amusing irony that I meant is not only that the new Star Wars movie looks pretty cool but also (for those of you that are not initiated in the ongoing Star Wars mythos) Han and Leia’s daughter’s name is Hope Solo. See what I did there?

      Liked by 5 people

        1. I believe that this upcoming movie is supposed to act as kind of a ‘hand off’ to a new cast that will take it over.

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  2. Planting a garden is a hopeful thing. Buying bulbs in the spring, for planting in the fall, in anticipation of surviving yet another winter is the ultimate sign of hope.

    I find hope in the spirit of some of my old friends. Friends who have lived to a ripe old age with their sense of humor and wonder intact show me that it’s possible to age with grace and dignity.

    Whenever I meet a young person who is thoughtful, compassionate and articulate, who is engaged in social justice issues I’m hopeful for coming generations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have a needlework piece framed by a family antique ox yoke. Myy sister cross-stitched it for my farmer grandparents. It says

      “Who plants a seed
      Beneath the sod
      And waits to see
      Believes in God”

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Daughter has been working at at summer day camp for emotionally disturbed teenagers and applied for and yesterday got a job for the school year working part-time for this same agency as a direct service provider in one of their group homes for developmentally disabled adults. I warned her that she may have to provide pretty up close and personal cares for some of the folks and she said she realized that, but that she liked the agency and she could arrange her hours to fit her school schedule. I can be hopeful for her as a hard worker and someone who has compassion for others.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. you done good renee. you have unleashed the greatest hope of all. a future with people who care and are willing to do the right thing.bless your daughter

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  4. I’ve been fortunate to see a number of singing groups lately, both at outdoor and indoor concerts. Many of the people singing are young people, and that gives me hope. I know there are more, will think on this and come back.

    My mother’s name is Hope, and I will be seeing Hope in about an hour.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Wow, Clyde–just go right for the Big Question at 5am. And I love the art you display. It gives me hope.

    I am still thinking on this one. In so many ways the juxtaposition of hate and hope defines human experience.

    I have always been an incurable optimist, except when I worked in bureaucracies which taught me quickly to only expect the worst, including hate. I also learned that these systems triggered the formation of labor unions. And for good reason. But the ultimate irony of that, was that those same unions then became bureaucracies themselves. A mystery, that.

    This is the very crux of my own character which I never have understood. I have always been hopeful. Probably unrealistically hopeful. This hopeful state exists after a life which has in many ways been very difficult. At times I was faced with hateful behavior early on in life from two cousins who bullied me relentlessly, just because they could. My father was incapacitated during my childhood which required so much responsibility from me, my mother fell apart largely due to dad’s illness, I experienced divorce and cancer. And every step of the way I was hopeful for the future.

    I don’t get me sometimes. But I am hopeful. For politics, for race relations, for the future of technology, for the eradication of poverty.

    Pollyanna, I guess. Like I said, I don’t get me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I should also add that a number of people have told me I am the most resilient person they know. If there is a psychologist reading this who studies that most elusive of qualities, the ability to find hope where there must be none visible, must be A critical variable which is difficult to behaviorally define and measure.

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        1. Husband (Mr. Wealth of information) says that Martin Seligman has done lots of research on Learned Optimism. Husband say to look up Seligman and Optimism for the research.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I spoke too sweepingly, Renee, and hope you can forgive me. I sought spirituality in churches once. And did not find it until I left the churches and walked outdoors. But that was my experience, not everyone’s.

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  6. In Life of Pi, a complicated sea voyage is ultimately given two descriptions: one poetic and fabulous, and one grim but more conventional. When Pi’s inquisitors seem unhappy with the poetic version, he tells them they have a choice between the version “with animals” or the sordid and more persuasive version.

    That comes to mind because life is a scary thing, a complicated voyage into the future that is full of threats. The only thing we know for sure is that it will not end well.

    We can make that journey with high hearts or with dread. There is much evidence to support either. It comes down to a choice, as it did for Pi. I choose to make my voyage with hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i have kind of come to the conclusion through the love of dogs that life both mine and dogs is a thing to be appreciated at the time it is going on. you can feel bad about tearing your heart out at the end of a good dogs life but would you have traded it? i used to tell my kids wh had pets to teach us about death and how to accept it when a the time comes. i think today teaching about death teaches about life. hope is the main thread that runs through my life. i need to believe there is a golden ticket in the world and that i just need to continue at the best life i can do and if the odds play out i may hit the golden ticket or in reality the journey is the golden ticket and you ahead better look around while you are on it and take notice because that is the journey. this is not a practice round.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Another reason for hope! The movie “Rickie and the Flash” with Meryl Streep, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline debuts this weekend. Great reviews so far. I cannot wait. Gotta find my old hippie clothes for the event.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m making salsa and a corn bean tomato salad today w/ some of my garden’s goodies. Putting out a bowl of water (for thirsty critters) has not stopped the occasional tomato getting munched by squirrels (assuming it’s squirrels, since I have little fences on my bales this year that I doubt the bunnies are scaling). But I have enough ripening that it’s not cutting into my horde. And the basil is going crazy. Have made pesto and also frozen some basil in ice cube trays, but there’s plenty more!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. We have received custody of our late great neighbor’s garden until the house is sold and I’ve seen evidence of rotten theiving squirrels (RTSs) in her tomatoes.

          Not just chewed on the plant, but picked and carried off to take a couple of bites and then be abandoned.

          I can only guess they leave my tomatoes alone because they do the same thing to my apples. Reminds me of Leslie Ann Warren with the box of chocolates in Victor/Victoria.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Darn, that was supposed to go under Jacque’s comment about her tomatoes ripening.

    Anyway, I may be in denial, but I generally do not follow or listen to the majority of news. It’s just too hard on my heart and soul. So I am a hopeful person at heart or I would certainly have despaired with the challenges of the past several years. I see my fine, intelligent and compassionate sons and know they will be a wonderful asset to this world. I observe small acts of kindness, generosity and bravery every day — and know that everything will be OK. Maybe not each moment, but in the long run.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, If I listen to too much news, like daily, I start to get disheartened and cynical, and believe we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. It’s hard sometimes to find good news to counteract that, but important. If we could focus on the good that is happening instead of the media’s choice of the (sensational) news, the world would be a better place.

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  9. I believe hope is generally a good thing, but I have read (somewhere) that there is a downside to being too “full of hope.” This would be when a person puts all their eggs in the hope basket – the belief in hope is so strong that it leaves out the inclination to action. A small for instance: I hope I can remember where I read that. Or, I could go and start to look it up.

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  10. I do believe that a change for the better is possible. I suppose that makes me a hopeful person. My hope is that a significant number of people rise up and demand change. This is a little different from the public having a change of heart which is what you said you hoped for, Clyde. I do agree that some kind of awakening is needed and is not impossible.

    Recently I have heard several people talk about the need to not ignore many bad things that have happen in the past and work toward making sure that there is no reoccurrence of these terrible things. This is a message I heard again today from advocates of nuclear disarmament on the anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. Clyde, your artwork and your words hit me right where I need it. I”ve had a turbulent few weeks and what you said, paired with the art, was just perfect.

    Today, I saw hope here, on this blog, with your post, Clyde, and with all the comments. Just what I needed.

    The only dissatisfaction I have with the blog post is now I really, really want that artwork at the top. But how nice that I can come here to the trail and look at it anytime I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you purchase it, Jacque, can I come over to your house and look at it “in person” whenever I want?

      Kidding. Well, sort of.

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  12. Lovely art, lovely writing, and some hope for the world. I am hopeful each time I see someone acting out of kindness, being the change they want to see in the world. Raising a child is a hopeful act – you hope that the world is better for them, you hope that they can live out their dreams, you hope that they can make their own ripple of change for the good in the world.

    An earlier mention was made of church and spirituality. I started attending church again because I found a faith community that chose to take action and not only to hope – to hope that we can find an end to homelessness and to volunteer and make donations to seed and feed that hope; to hope that we can create a world where people are accepted and loved regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, identity, race, or even how they experience the divine and to actively pursue inclusivity and radical welcome in the sanctuary and in the world; to be the change they want to see by painting houses and fixing fences in Detroit, by packing backpacks with notebooks and crayons and pencils and folders for kids who can’t afford school supplies, by being at Pride and allowing people there to see that there are people of faith who see the face of the divine in who they are (and not only in the cis-gendered straight community), by trying to be a little more gentle with our world. It is a community of hope, but hope in action.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. What a wonderful church! I’m impressed that there’s no sermon, no praying, and that all denominations are welcome. I also like that their children go to Sunday school every week and instead of preaching Christianity being pushed, they’re taught about every religion around the globe.

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  13. We had a good day. Fun party, about 40 people, all we invited. Then ate at our favorite restaurant in Castle Danger. Both kids and their families were here. Our best of friends and family made it to both parties.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Re the art: feel free anyone who wants to download the art. The original is a pastel. Very hard to ship. It is not very large. It is the sunrise over Fishermans Point from Burlington Bay, the other of the two harbors, the one with a campground and no ore docks. I will be able to deal with it Tuesday, measure it out and see about shipping issues.

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