I found myself writing about hope this morning--on this freezing morning the gold lit up the top branches of the big trees. The lift of the branches toward the sun reminds me of a ballet dancer's graceful upraised arch of arms, gorgeous, momentary antlers or the outlined shape of roses. This gesture, caught by gold, the shadows that leaped out, the utter plainness of the beauty--gesture, light, shadows--somehow brought to mind the green noses poking through the crusted earth all over the garden: the gold, the cold, the green gleams. It's March 15th. Hope is the name for this moment.

Here's Emily Dickinson on this:

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

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

What's wonderful here is her invention: thing with feathers.  Hope is a bird--a little bird in the second stanza--but, more than this is that it's alien, its odd, strange, and is perched in the soul. Who doesn't see the battered, unstoppable little bird that asks nothing--not even a crumb-- of the person it resides in the depths of,  singing its bravest, sweetest song during the worst of storms--in the gale?

Allan DiBiase
3/15/2013 09:12:35 pm

Hope requires a hop to new position. Singing on the way.

Is this William James leap of faith?


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