Beginning In The Middle ~ On Hope And Optimism
by Eve Livingston
I wasn’t sure where to start. This is a long-awaited blog, at least by me, and so there’s quite a back-log of topics to write about. Of course, as usual, it feels as if there’s less time than there are topics, but I’ll just do the best I can. I’m hoping for this to serve as catchment and germination for the many ideas and thoughts that bubble around in my head, and also for it to be useful as a reference resource for others.
Since I’ve already been doing the work I do and thinking about the things I think about for quite some time, and yet since it’s all a work in progress, I’ll just jump right in and start in the middle. Just grab a thought and toss it out, and see what develops from there.
I’m thinking about hope. About optimism. I’m thinking about how to describe them. They’re that breed of entity which are both delicate and robust. Perhaps most things are, if you look at them through a certain lens. I’m going to borrow the words of David Steindl-Rast, as he managed to say something I often try to express, but he says it more clearly: “As pilgrims we have a goal. But the meaning of our pilgrimage does not depend on reaching that goal. It depends on remaining open in hope, open for surprise…” He goes on to say, “Hope happens when the bottom drops out of our pessimism.” I’d say when the bottom drops out or when we open our minds to the possibility that we might not really know where the bottom is, or what the bottom is, so we let it go.
Yes, psychoanalytic koan. More on this later.