Saturday 22 November 2014

Hope: a thing of magic

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

Madam – Hope is magic.

So here's the bit where I'm supposed to fly. Be optimistic. Successful. Only I'm falling not flying, and the sun's warm and something in me tells me even if my wings appeared in this moment, strong and wide and beautiful as I could ever dare to imagine, that somehow the self-doubt, the bad news, and the scars of the past would make me some kind of ridiculous Icarus because people are watching and I might fail again.

And in the fleeting moments of confidence I'd be blinded to my own flaws and I'd burn and the world would witness.

And the usual chorus of 'I told you so' and 'we always said she's no good' would be the last song I'd ever hear.

Rising time after time is hard. Knowing each night when I lay my head on my pillow that the odds are against me and have been for a while, and knowing the morning comes and I have as much power over that as I do over the banks and the government tomorrow, makes me wish for sleep that I never have to wake from again.

But . . . there is a thing called hope. And I believe hope is a kind of magic – even though we might get so beaten down we forget sometimes. And it is said hope is a dangerous thing. It is true there's danger in hope.

The risk of another letter with that crushing red line and those killer words 'Final Reminder.' And the knock on the door or the look of pity in the eyes of someone who sees you and doesn't understand because where they stand today, the waters you're drowning in now haven't reached them yet. But they probably will. And some of us will inevitably drown. Or suffer so much damage we never deserved, that when and if it's all over, what they leave us with of who we once were will be different.

And it will have made us hard. Cold. Without hope.

I can't pay all my bills. I can't promise I won't want to die sometimes. I can't give what I want to give to those who have less than me. I can't say I have any clue where or how the light is coming in. But I look for it anyway because of hope.

Someone gave me hope just by listening to what I needed to tell them. And like a tattoo that reminds me, I come back. The hope an angel has given to me comes back too. Day after day. Week after long and, at times, suffocating week .

And I absolutely, defiantly and forever refuse to believe in a world without the kind of magic that hope is.

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