Je ai de l’espoir/لدي أمل/ I have hope – “Fake it ’til you make it” issue

It seems that as soon as I declare my faith for humanity, people have to go and fuck things up. It’s been quite a week for shame of the species. The attacks in Paris, Boko Haram massacres and government denial in Nigeria, a little girl blown to bits in a crowded market, mosques attacked,the venomous laying low in the shadows, coiling. Depressing.

I am heartened by the march in Paris – more than a million strong, an expression of unity and good will. I saw a sign that said “l’humanité avant la religiosité”, (humanity before religiosity); the public’s forceful reaction against fanaticism is uplifting. Other demonstrations were held across Europe, and heads of nation’s came to walk with the people – that’s impressive. Even before the horror of the French shootings, Dresden citizens took a stand against extremism and for tolerance. That cheers me up a little.

Globally, we are wrestling with the question of how we are going to deal with change. We want desperately to hold on to our beliefs, our cultures, and our values because they are important to us and our way of life. That makes sense. We should cling to what we believe is good and right. However, the only constant is change, and we have to figure out some way to find a balance between staying the same and accepting that we are going to have to adapt.

This:   Daniel Woods      + this:

tsunami has somehow got to equal this:

Nik Wallenda I don’t know how we are going to do it. There is so much hatred and distrust, such fear and arrogance. It’s all so gigantic and overwhelming, and so very sad. Maybe it’s hopeless.

The thing is, I don’t want to live in a world without hope. I don’t think I could make it.

The cactus on my bathroom window sill is reproducing. Fuzzy, light green buttons are sprouting in the small ceramic pot packed with hard soil and mica flecks that it has to call home. The cactus comes from the desert, but we are in the dead of winter and the window panes are thin. It’s cold on the sill. The spiky little plant is completely dependent on me to water it. It doesn’t ask for much and is willing to wait, to struggle, to make the best of what it already has, to share with and nourish the new cactus babies. For my part, I like to look at the cactus, but it is easy to forget about, being so small and quiet. I am unreliable. Sometimes I notice them looking grayish and shriveled, and I wonder when it was that I last adjusted my schedule to take the time to sustain and nurture them, and in those times, I feel guilty. They are living things. They need me.

Life is geared towards hope, and that is what keeps the cactus trying to survive, even in a cold, unstable, unreliable environment. I finally remembered to water it last night. I noticed the little babies and smiled. I looked out the window and shivered, then saw the moon, smooth and silver, made even more dramatic by the dark night and the frosted air. Cold, but beautiful, radiant.

I guess you just have to have hope. Or faith. Or the will to keep going, walking the tightrope, one foot in front of the other, one step in front of the tsunami.

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