Sunday, September 23, 2012

On the Road with Hope

Driving past a lonely apartment, a face in a window gazing out, one window of hundreds with the gummy residue in the shape of a heart. Scratched off, removed. It gave me an automatic smile, a straying  thought,a line for a poem. There’s a place where hope for love thrives. Absently my mind flipped it around, like a burger on the grill, a roti on the stove. There’s a place where love for hope thrives.
Was it the grey of the bleak morning, that faint chill that skimmed the caresses of breeze, that beckoned to the multitude of thoughts that seemed to waft alongside? Or the light brushstrokes of lemon sunshine that intermingled sparingly with the tumultuous clouds that tugged and pulled this way and that. It wasn’t absolute, the state of being. Was this melancholy or was this contentment?
A lonesome building, stripped of its identity. Where were the hopes of the people who once occupied it?  Ghosts of the past and future intermingled furiously, leaving behind sentiments that puzzle the bystander of today. Absolute emptiness, a void to be filled in. Fill in the blanks, complete this picture.  Nature abhors a vacuum. Neglecting a dimension that occupied time past, reality negated because it was not your reality. Your reality is today, not what was, but perception, what you choose to see. Do you see the crushed hopes left behind, or the enchantment of hope coming true, being found elsewhere?
Red light, 83 people crushed together on a bus. Where are they going so early on a Sunday morning? Were we all seeking some solace in the regularity of prayer? On the right, Home for Long Term Care. Visiting relatives put away into the care of strangers, a weekly chore of cheek to cheek kisses and murmured sentiments about the weather until fulfillment of obligatory time has lapsed. A sprawling empty parking lot with locked doors to the shopping mall. Leaving behind sleeping children early in the dawn to trudge out again for another day’s work at minimum wage. So many people, so many strangers, and all with their own story to tell. They all get off and get on at some point.
The strains of a song came to mind, We found love in a hopeless place. So much stronger was fulfillment when it outraced struggle. The irony of living was that we wanted things but we didn’t want it all too easily. In sorrow we raise our eyes wishing for our anguish to end and happiness to be showered on us, yet in happiness we hold our breaths, disbelieving. Was positivity a note too high? A summoning of extra energy that we could not hold on to for too long. Not that we cannot, but that we don’t wish to. Or was this simply a mirage that was indeed real – a reality that we could not believe in because we feared for its loss.
So many little things that we forget is beauty. We’ve given up on hope because we continually forget that there are more reasons to be thankful than not. Out of the clouds in the horizon, speeding ahead on the freeway with a horizon before us, a sprinkle of rain that comes out of nowhere. When the sun comes out, shall we dance?