sometimes hope finds me

sometimes hope finds me. sneaks it way into my psyche despite all my reservations and protestations.

this time, i think it’s my ancestors. truly. to be more specific, my woman ancestors.

they’ve lifted me today, given me a strength that’s both unfamiliar and comfortable. it’s a space i feel as though i’ve been born to occupy. a space between love and fate. between care and fulfillment.

it’s not often you’ll find me sputtering on about the potential of life. i mean, life is cruel, harsh, unfair, and unjust. it is a place that so often (so fucking often) breaks my heart. a place that allows children to die, innocent people to be hurt and suffer at the hands of greedy, greedy men.

i’m often not a fan of this world, of having to occupy a space in this plane.

but today, i feel hopeful. i believe in the potential for change, for growth, for people coming together to solve these nasty problems we have.

and i let myself feel it. not because i believe it is truer than the other side. and not because i believe it is my duty to hold onto it. but because this feeling feels necessary, feels like a vital part of my survival, of our survival

i heard a story of migrants moving through mexico towards the united states border. people escaping unspeakable tragedy and loss. and you know what the journalist said it was like, when the camp settled for the night and everyone hunkered down to cook dinner and come together: joyous.

fucking joy.

i think there are some of us who tell ourselves that joy is indulgent, like spitting in the face of those who are less fortunate, those experiencing an existence much bleaker, much less privileged and comfortable than ours.

we rob ourselves of the very medicine that keeps us going, taking on misery like a badge of honor.

and so i wonder, and so i ask: what if it is our duty to practice joy with ferocity? like our lives, like the fate of humanity depends on it

i have spent a large part of my life sad, miserable, depressed, despairing, and i’m really not sure how much it’s served the world. yes, there is a time to mourn, to grieve, to get fucking pissed, to cry. but for me, so much of my time spent in the darkness felt indulgent, self-absorbed. it was blinding, impossible to see beyond.

now let me be clear: i suffer from depression, and there are swaths of darkness that have never been a choice. but let me be even clearer: there are definitely times when i chose to stay there.

because there is comfort in being low, feeling like there’s no further you can fall. there is security in feeling as though you are un-disappointable.

if i believe life to be hopeless, bleak, a lost cause, it gives me the pass to settle for a version of my life, myself, and society that was far from good enough.

i feel the need to clarify this isn’t a toxic positivity rah-rah piece about seeing the good in everything. there is so much shit that is simply shit.

but fuck, there’s also so much wonder, so much awe, so many blessings.

i think of the ShoshoneBannock tribes that stewarded this land i’m on for centuries, for generations. and how insulting it would be to them to take for granted the utter glory that is every speck of dirt, every tree, every bush, every bird.

i think there’s an odd entanglement of entitlement in taking for granted the inherent beauty of life.

i have been blessed with beauty and abundance beyond what i feel worthy of. much more than most of my ancestors ever glimpsed or dreamed.

and as i step from one day to the next, i hope i carry with me the awe they experience through my eyes. not in spite of the tragedy and heartbreak but in collaboration with it.

depression robs me of feeling life in its fullness. it makes me forget all that has come before and all that leads me forward.

and i can’t promise that tomorrow or the day after or a year from now these words will resonate. but for now, i allow the power of hope to wash over me like a warm light of protection. because from this place, i truly believe that maybe we really can change the world. that maybe we always are.