What a strange time to debate the feelings and meanings around hope. Hope seems to be a concept sold to us at an early age, usually in the form of gifts or self serving good things that we want to happen. It’s almost always self serving as a youth and even now as adults we hope for snow days, we hope for that winning scratch ticket, we hope for luck in finding love in this strange fucked up landscape.
I sat and wondered for awhile about the origins of hope and the concept, the feeling that seems ingrained in our species. Did the first peoples living in caves and fear hope for a world in which they could walk over smooth concrete that buries the very food they forage for?
The early hopes of the first peoples, were they as basic as hoping for warmth and food or were they able to conceive ideas as complex as hoping for opportunity? I can’t reconcile this, as hope seems like such a base level want/need and always redirects to self serving, even though politicians speak about hope as some elusive superhuman white whale that is just out of reach with our salvation.
The concept of HOPE similar to my last writings about truth has been under direct attack for some time. The dreams of hope, the inspirations of hope and the traditional meanings/ideas seem withered and hollow. (See more recent ongoings of political nonsense in the current 2020 impeachment etc.)
The two arguments for hope being either a necessity for survival (again self serving if its based out of a basic need) and hope in a symbolic sense which requires some reaching.
Much like the skewed and doctored history of the United States we were fed as children, the concept of hope was holding hands with that very history as this country was built up to be the world’s superhero (without the concepts of truth and fairness like a certain Kal-El of Krypton.)
We were spoon fed ideas and narratives about being salvation for people around the world, to venture forth to a land of opportunity. The concepts of an “American Dream” where people could migrate to a land of safety and acceptance while making a living and life for their families.
How pleasantly nauseating that we now live in direct contrast to those flowery depictions of how great America is and what it really is. Like dutiful little robots perfectly programmed by the ruling class, they have been planting seeds in impressionable young minds for hundreds of years. We are presented with history books that completely ignore atrocities and genocide committed in justifying this ‘dream’. Wars that are presented as further defending the ‘dream’ but decisions that are entirely based and founded in anything related to a dream or hope.
A dream that completely disregarded hopes and dreams of the very people they stamped out. Peoples that were seemingly pushed back to the point of near extinction as a culture and society because damn them if they stand in the way of this narrative.
It’s completely nauseating.
It’s overwhelmingly devoid of hope for a future when we look at how decrepit the past has been. How do you walk on stairs that are seemingly crumbling because the foundation was built on false promises and dreams?
You can ask these questions but is any answer really going to satisfy?
How do we even get to a baseline where the future seems POSSIBLE never mind being tolerable? How do we combat hundreds of years of propaganda without being labeled as a detractor, as a non-patriot or anarchist?
Diving deep into this hole is how I can feel the trickles and bleed of Hope. Hope reaches out through the ether to remind us of what we have to gain by embracing the concept of a future. Hope can be the warmth embrace of a loved one, it can be the laugh of your closest friends, the wide eyed excitement in a child as they explore and discover things for the first time.
Hope can be your art piece, hope can be your self serving desires to survive the week. Hope can be the rattling scream and war cry to warm your soul (see Apple Music Hard Rock Playlist: Hardcore Essentials.)
Hope can be your comics, cooking, knitting, video games, gardening. What could be more hopeful and rewarding than cultivating life (whether it be plant or animal).
I’m struggling with feeling hope in the present climate. Like I mentioned in my writing last week Superman comics have been a huge influence on me as of late in driving home the concepts of TRUTH but also helping to soothe the wounds and spread the positive waves of HOPE. Working on my own comics and kicking around these concepts of TRUTH and JUSTICE actually feels pretty empowering. When you are reading about the best possible person that holds up these ideals and selflessly saves people it tends to have a bleeding effect on your outlook of life.
Granted I won’t feel completely healed nor a devout acolyte of hope by any means but I do have tools and escapes to help with that. I think it’s normal to struggle with those concepts especially in a world so intent on crushing the hope out of you.
Just like Kal-El we need to be unbreakable, we need to stand tall, and we still somehow need to hope. Keep your eyes and ears open.
PS: I hope you enjoyed some of the images inserted in the writing this time around, they are some mixed media abstract prints I made over the weekend when feeling seriously defeated and angry. I enjoy working like this and the freedom from some more traditional means of art making at times. Make some art folks.
PPS: Apple Music Hard Rock Playlist: Hardcore Essentials is seriously helping.