Hope is

fireynoHope is the yawning mouth of the river. It gathers desire, expectation, and disappointment into a single current. It binds me into a place where my stomach growls and my throat swells. Hope is a jailer whose prison pretends to sunshine.  It holds out bright open spaces and blinding joy, but it denies revelry. It builds its box one ray at a time, until the light is painful. It burns me until my skin is scalded.

Hope is every childhood nightmare. It is the feeling of running away from the monster down the street of faceless houses. It is the certainty of escape that crashes against the pursuing evil rounding that final corner. It leaves me wandering close to home, hopelessly lost, unable to arrive. Hope is a trolling lover. It exploits. It runs alongside and suddenly lifts, but then snatches itself away at the arch’s apex. It offers itself but withholds consummation. It decimates me but teases, offering to rebuild, only to pull back again at the climax.

I would prefer to carry my life forward hopeless, to live without expectation and dwell in the small moments. But I am not that kind. I look forward, carried up on a swell of broken glass, all sharp edges and shining promises. I prognosticate and play at the meteorology of emotion. I try to predict myself so that when hope pulls back and burns, I can control my fall and tumble back into contentment.


We’re all about the mouth over at Trifecta.

And don’t worry – I’m not sitting around all maudlin and shit. I’m good. I just hate hoping for things, and this is what hope is like for me. It’s a sea of uncertainty, and I like to KNOW, not half guess things. I’ve got a longer, less metaphorical, and probably more boring post scheduled for tomorrow to tell you what I’m hoping for and why I’m going a little nuts with it right now.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Hope is — 24 Comments

  1. I have lived in and with HOPE for so long, that I never really looked at it the way you do here.I honestly think my optimism and HOPE is what kept me breathing for so long. I never would have gotten through infertility or my love life without it. I had to believe that something better was coming, had to HOPE that I wasn’t wishing on something that would never come true.

    but your words were spot on, in the middle of those awful 4 years, I wanted to punch HOPE right in the mouth..but I didn’t. Don’t have it in me.

    as always your words are spot on, make me feel things that I’m not sure I want to..but am glad for the provoking anyway.
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  2. This was wonderfully written. I’m on board with you on the ‘hope’ roller coaster. Or rather waiting in line with you, watching everyone else jump on the ‘hope’ ride. 🙂

  3. Great piece. You so seldom see anyone considering the difficult, painful side of hope — the fact that if you’re hoping, you’re not there yet.
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  4. Hang in there, dude. You write like a champ. That opening line is magic and everything that followed was ait’s show.

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  5. You brought me in with the first two lines and made me see the anguish that often goes along with Hope. Hope can be fickle, but I think too often we forget that Hope must be accompanied by Work. For me, that is what makes it different from Luck….
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  6. Glorious approach to something normally depicted otherwise. And, of course, equally glorious use of visual words,
    sensory detail, and stripped down emotion. Excellent, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hope is so complex, and you captured and described that complexity brilliantly (:

  8. Hope is neutral as far as I am concerned. It has it’s good points and it’s evils but I for one, sometimes wish I could kill it when it comes to certain situations. Fantastic read. Thanks for sharing 🙂
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  9. I love your turning point: “But I am not that kind.” You describe the epic struggle well.

  10. Am floored by this beautiful piece-what powerful words,it was like sipping from a cup of your favourite drink,not wanting it to finish!!I would love to reblog this-with your permission:-)
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  11. Ive been picking through your archives because I wanted to solicit you for my next issue of the Woven Tale Press; this one keeps me coming back, to reread. It’s weighted with abstractions somehow, but it works. Not easy to pull off, and a really surprising and memorable twist on the idea of hope.

    The first issue is here: http://jesterqueen.com/2013/01/30/hope-is/

    email me? sandratyler@me.com

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