Saturday, April 14, 2012

hopeless hope

I have a lottery ticket in my purse which was drawn last week but which I haven't yet checked. I could be sitting on a million for all I know and then again I might not be. The chances of it not being a winner are almost 100% but it's the .0009% that I'm most interested in. It's like a flash of excitement. A clock ticking. bell chiming. That .0009% is a morsel of hope, something which exists, even at my lowest point.

Perhaps hope is instinctual - like breathing or coughing. I imagine if someone decides to drown themselves, their mind is made up but the body has other ideas. At some point the human instinct kicks in and the body tries with all its might to get to the surface and breathe in some oxygen. The body tries to live, even if the mind wants to die.

Perhaps that's what happens when hope kicks in too. One may be at the end, the edge, so to speak - with no loveliness and no kindness and no joy but then there it is - like a kiss on the cheek; hope. Hope stops you from jumping. It stops you from dying. You grab onto it and clutch at it and somehow pull yourself up and out of the doldrums. While it is yours, hope is your best friend and your only chance of survival. Hope is a smile in a sea of frowns and a laugh in a serious boardroom meeting. She is impossible not to love.

I like having hope but I don't like living with it. She is beguiling and yet deceitful. She draws you in, makes you feel comfortable and then, if you are me - is then crushed, dashed, falsified. Crushed hopes are worse than no hope at all it seems. And yet, instinctively I find some more hope, even where you would think that hope would be lost. It's infuriating. I am constantly fielding the battle between having hope and picking myself up after losing it.

Somehow this ticket in my purse has grown to symbolise every morsel of hope I have left in the world and yet I am destined to never check it for fear of losing it, once again.

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