Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Poetry of Hope

Photograph by Kathleen Tyler Conklin

The third week of February teased us with warmth.  The cold temperatures have returned, but they don't feel quite as bleak.  The springlike days gave us hope that living will become easier soon.  No more heavy coats, icy sidewalks and roads to maneuver or freezing fingertips and toes. Light has nudged aside the early dark afternoons. We trust more light, warmth and color will soon surround us.

Yet, there are times when we feel this will never happen.  We fear that we will be confined to a life that is cold and dark, drained of color and warmth.  In tough times, despair can take up all the space in our psyche.  We can barely take the next breath.

Most of us have experienced this feeling, whether through personal losses and suffering or from witnessing the conflict, violence and misery that afflicts our world today. Likely both. Life is tough. To be alive is to feel despair.  It is part of being human.  It is at our core a longing that will always be there…whether you feel it as a longing for completion or a union with the divine.  I cannot define what it means for you, but I can suggest one antidote…turning to the mystical poets for help.  Their words may bring you to a better place for awhile.

Rumi, a well known mystical Persian Poet writes "The wound is the place where the light enters you."

Hafiz(Hafez), another great  Persian poet, has left the following words of encouragement.

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing lightness of your own being."

May the light of hope be with you.


  1. "Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet."
    Wendell Berry
    Perfect caption for Kathy's picture.

  2. Wall St (1987):

    Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.

  3. "Despair is a necessary and seasonal state of repair." David Whyte
    "Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair."
    Edmund Burke

  4. A bit of existentialism there Mike eh?