Thursday, 10 April 2008

THE LARK ASCENDING...


“Listen Sweety,” Alice said - she says this frequently - “let me read you something from this wonderful book:
‘There is one dimension common to us all,’” she mouthed the words delicately, “‘a dimension which all humans, without exception, may enter and leave at their leisure. This dimension is called hope. Precious as life itself, this hope is our redemption and it is entirely up to us to preserve it untarnished by doubt or anxiety. Nurse it as you would the apple of your eye.’


Isn’t that beautiful?” She heaved visibly

“Beautiful?” I said. “I repudiate it with contempt. Fool’s gold, if you want to know. More innocent than obtuse, but no less irritating. No substance and all glitter. Any suggestion of entering or leaving the realm of hope at your leisure is simply grotesque. When the world comes crashing down on you, and you are peering into the dwindling prism of the last ray of light reaching you down through dust and rubble, that’s your final court of appeal, honey. Hope is what you cling to, like a pinprick in the sky.”

“Gosh.” Alice said.

“Nursing it as the apple of your eye is not my idea of hope.” I was working myself into a frenzy. “Nor are silly books about nothing that people read habitually and without apparent discomfort.”


“Sheesh.” Alice said.

“Sounds suspiciously like the purple patch of a twenty-something saccharine, cloud-hopping poet,” I was out of limits.

“Of an octogenarian Rabbi, actually.” Alice came back peevishly.

End of conversation. She saw no reason to be emollient. I felt singularly unmoved.

So how about you, folks?

Hope is not about mental, nor physical, preference. As I have found many times in my own life, hope is the most vital life force after hunger. Hope is religion in its most profound and mysterious sense; and nobody knows that better than God himself. Hope is...








.. the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune--
without the words,
And never stops at all ...


It’s got to be - because every time I look at this verse, my tears are welling up - thanks to Emily Dickinson who, by all accounts, was a tall, bony, American spinster, with an unhappy life and a difficult character. And thanks, too, to the immensely enlightened person whose name presently escapes me, but who posted this verse for Nige on Bryan Appleyard’s excellent blog - (to which I am unable to link or access at the moment of this posting, since it appears to have crashed).

All is not lost though, there’s HOPE!


Dreamy

8 comments:

Nige said...

Hope there is indeed, Selena - and I quite agree with your critique of that 'uplifting' gush. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who can't get on to that flippin' blog - I thought it might be NigeCorp technology again. I've emailed Bryan, wherever he is (several hours behind,that's for sure), but haven't heard from him. I live, of course, in hope...

Selena Dreamy said...

Gosh, Nige, so glad you could make it. One survivor at least from that mysterious Appleyard-crash - we'd be lost without you...

D.

Selena Dreamy said...
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Selena Dreamy said...

My my, this is looking really serious, what with Nige & Bryan having crashed, and Elberry trying to commit suicide...

Methinks we need all the HOPE we can get!

Selena Dreamy said...
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elberry said...

luckily i'm staggeringly incompetent at suicide, and indeed suspect it's impossible, one of those myths to cheer people up.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Nige on Bryan Appleyard’s excellent blog - (to which I am unable to link or access at the moment of this posting, since it appears to have crashed).

It's up now.

Selena Dreamy said...

Thank you Semaj - and here's the link that should get you to the relevant post:

Pete