first night: hope




on that first night, there was only oil for one night. who knew to even begin to hope that the oil would last all eight nights? and yet they did, somehow. they kept lighting the lamps, even though the oil should by all rights be gone. 

and so it is when events are at their bleakest. who among us can sustain hope in the face of ultimate suffering?

we can, because we must. 

I think, given my experience, that there are those among us who are hope holders. we hold onto hope long past any reasonableness. we seem foolish and native, perhaps, but we don't really have a choice. we hold hope because we must. 

so even on the days when nuclear war seems to loom, even on the days when the oceans rise and the hills are burning, even on the days when children die, I hold on, somehow, to the hope that things will improve. that change will come (good and bad) and the ultimate trajectory of life is for the good. 

I may not live to see it, but I remain filled with hope that one day, Martin Luther's dream will come to pass. 

(speedily and in our day. please.)

I may not live to see it, but I remain filled with hope that one day the human race will find a way to live in harmony, together, with each other and with the earth and all who inhabit this planet. 

(speedily and in our day. please.)

I may not live to see it, but I remain filled with hope that one day, love will win. 

(speedily and in our day. please.)

hope is what fuels us towards justice. hope is what sustains us after anger has burned through. hope is what remains in the bleakest hour. 

hope. 

in my infertile days, we used to say (type) to one another: keep hope alive! and when it got really rough, we carried hope for others. when you falter, I've got you, and when I falter, you'll be there, holding on. 

hope links us to the human race. 

(hope and grief, both. our loves and our losses. this is what it is to be human.)

hope is what I offer now, on this first night of Hanukkah. this is the work, in the bleak place; to see beyond the moment. to see what might be. to reach out in hope for what is coming. 

one day, we will all be free. 
one day, we will all be equal. 
one day, we will all be liberated.