by Hilary B. Bisenieks
Hope comes from behind, from the dark corners of our minds, as a surprise when things feel hopeless. Hope is a surprise. Its light blinds me, showing me more clearly the darkness all around, making me gasp, making my eyes water–no, of course I’m not tearing up. Hope does not wait for your permission. It is not going to sit patiently by until I tire of my bad mood–it does not have time for self-indulgence.
Hope is the second half of a public radio interview when I’m late for work: stressed, engine revving longer before I change up. I must step back, mentally, because hope is here, reminding me that the world isn’t doomed. Hope plays the longest game, and it might be a year, five, ten, a lifetime before you see how the pieces are falling into place, and once you see that, you can look back and finally notice the patterns that you couldn’t see at the time. Hope is the forest, growing one tree at a time, breathing out new life, previous oxygen, absorbing the carbon dioxide, for hope could not live without a bit of negativity. Hope acknowledges change, effects it even when you think that it’s lost, that you are hope-less, devoid of any potential for change, and when you look away, when you bury your head in your hands, it strikes: surprise!