at the risk of seeming ridiculous…

what of hope?

Posted in written thoughts by Charles on June 3, 2010

C.D. Do you think intellectuals today talk too much? That they encumber what they say with a lot of stuff, much of it irrelevant to what they really have to say?

FOUCAULT The word intellectual strikes me as odd. Personally, I’ve never met any intellectuals. I’ve met people who write novels, others who treat the sick. People who work in economics and others who write electronic music. I’ve met people who teach, people who paint, and people of whom I have never really understood what they do. But intellectuals, never.

we exist in a peculiar situation don’t we?  and by we, i mean people… us.  we, us simultaneously noble and cancerous creatures, are really not that much different.  we all feel a spectrum of emotions.  we all bleed the same color.  we’re all incredibly fragile, though we like to assume that we’re of a bionic lineage.  but at the same time, we are different aren’t we?  or at the very least, we all strive to be unique.  that plaguing word that seems to woo our imaginative faculties, daily ponderings of how we can be different, or dare i say, better than the other.  or perhaps in a more basic sense, we long for a vital amount of distance.  distance both within, between, around…

we’re liminal aren’t we?  we’re of an in-between sort.  grandeur dreams of a united humanity… a peaceful, loving, creative arena where competition breeds not war, but great art, great culture, great politics, great society… just great.  but we also strive to be alone.  to momentarily be isolated from the other.  to be different enough where we’re not mistaken as another person.  sometimes (or sadly most times), a sort of distanced isolation that dangerously treads the cliff of entropy.

perhaps this isn’t always the case.  perhaps we can argue that most of humanity are trained to be a docile, order-following mass.  much evidence supports this very well.  after all, aren’t children generally forced to cap their creative imaginations with no empowering alternative means to channel it?

i don’t mean to be grim.  i’m just trying to be honest.  we got a lot of problems.  the evidence is usually against us.

so what of hope?  what is this elusive posture that seems to bloom out of cracked grounds?

i don’t claim to have any answers.  nor do i trust anyone who says they have an answer.  but what i feel is that hope is usually something that arises out of dissonance.  hope springs forth from an empty well.  just when our own contraptions have extracted all that we have believed to be there, hope is a rushing river that pierces the cobblestone tunnel.  hope is that which appears when all is haze.

but it’s momentary isn’t it?  it comes at those times where we most need it.  some choose to cling to it.  some don’t.  but it comes.  for some, it comes from God.  for others, from within.  perhaps for all, it should be both.  it’s like a moment that somehow clicks.  that all the dissonant sounds surging, ecstatically circulating around you… funnel into a river of tones.  a wave that carries you to and fro.  all you really do is ride it.  you are both in control and out of control.  the perfect, dynamic, trilling distance between, within, and around.

such hope is of the moment.  and it can only be such because the present moment is ever in flux.  it’s dynamic.  it’s motion.  it’s movement.  it is something you are only able to cling to if you too are willing to fly.  it is by letting go, that you grasp.

essentially, all this bullshit that i just wrote… i’m just trying to say one thing: we are people.  and i mean that in its most basic, intuitive sense.  we’re not bankers.  lawyers.  cleaners.  homeless.  intellectuals.  blah blah.  we’re people.  and as people, we have a certain gift, a certain privilege.  we get to be conscious of the moment.  we get to be in flow.  we get to experience the utter joy of being utterly present.  that in the present, no past is unredeemable.  no future is unreachable.  that now, this very moment, is where we breathe.  where we feel.  where we commune.

for me, that’s what it means to be a person.  to be ever-changing, to be dynamic, to be.  and it is that i cling to.  it is that space where God is, was, will be.  it is where human frailty communes with divine creativity… where our chains meet a sacred key.  surely, it is a holy distance.  both intimate and to be reached.  both found and wanting.

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4 Responses

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  1. An Rong said, on June 3, 2010 at 06:39

    That was deep, I agree with most of what you said, and strongly agree with the, We are people. Good thoughts!

  2. Jen said, on June 3, 2010 at 06:49

    yup yup. there’s gotta be some free-floating center to all the constructs, words, forms, and perceptions…it’s the connection within. you’re a beautiful writer, chuck. it’s always enjoyable to see how you express an idea…

  3. Paul Yang said, on June 4, 2010 at 03:09

    Hope is something innate and human, although I doubt it’s unique to our species; hope is what keeps us going when it doesn’t seem reasonable or possible to, and in that sense hope is as well a delusion, isn’t it? To say nothing of the breadth of life at large, we humans are very good at deluding ourselves – even smart people believe silly things. Then the only virtuous actions that we can make would be to pick our delusions carefully before we kick it. All in all though, I think I’m okay with this one.

  4. Jy-Ah said, on June 24, 2010 at 03:52

    Amen. This is exactly why…. “great art is a sign of hope.” 🙂


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