I was wounded by hope in 2012. Almost mortally.
I spent 2011 laying the ground work. Put a lot of work and belief into it. 2012 fought back with great vengeance and furious anger, really backed hope into a corner.
I have hope in 2013 but it is a more cautious hope. Less romantic. I really lost something there.
Life is a bizarre animal. Life is something you have, it is something you live. Life is also something that exists outside of you but still interacts with you, is influenced by you and by others.
You stumble through life doing things, making decisions, sinking below the surface, coming up for air and you believe you are moving forward. At least up to a point.
For most people at some point you lift your head up and take a look around and realize that your life is in stasis and will probably stall there until the end. This is not a happy realization. This is where booze and drugs and depression and hostility and a jaded point of view take over.
This is why there are so many angry people out there.
Still, up to that point you live your life and believe you are in control, believe that you can effect change.
What you don't realize is that there is a life is moving along parallel to the reality in your head, being affected by the decisions you make. What you don't realize is that you are being monitored.
Somebody is taking notes.
This somebody notes your inconsistencies, the times and the way you deviate from the expected path, and they write it down. This somebody is also the somebody who makes the rules. Who defines what is acceptable and what is not. Rules that really have no context in your life except for the fact that you must live your life within this larger, more detached parallel life.
Nobody tells you this.
When you are young the odds are 10,000 to 1 you will ever have the life you expect. Nobody tells you this either but you can figure it out by looking at all the unhappy adults surrounding you.
A few decades down the road the odds are 4.4 billion to 1 you will be able to change your course. Because your life has been charted and it doesn't measure up against the rules. If you try to change your approach, there will be a backlash. A harsh, unforgiving backlash.
You think you have been living your life accumulating knowledge and experience, that these things are valuable and that you can use them to negotiate a new path, a more informed life.
You find out that if that knowledge and experience does not conform to the rules of the game, it means nothing.
You become cornered by life and you cannot understand why. Your mind recoils in disbelief.
At this point if you are lucky, hope survives as a low flame. For many, it is extinguished completely leaving behind a wisp of smoke and the echo of hollow laughter.
Hope is meant to be a bonfire. It works better that way.
Life is a lot more delicate than you could ever conceive of when you are young. It is as delicate as Waterford crystal when it comes to negotiating it, making sense out of it, working it to your satisfaction and happiness. One small thing gets out of line and the whole thing crashes down around you.
Cornered by life, wounded by hope.
Still, even with hope on a low flame, fighting is preferable to kneeling.
You just might assert your individuality. You just might align your life with your soul and experience sublime peace.
Stranger things have happened.