Holding onto hope…

January 23rd, 2014 | Josie

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.  ~Emily Dickinson

This has always been on of my favorite lines of poetry, right up there with József Attila’s “My heart is perched on nothing’s branch” (I guess I have a thing for bird references). The latter I’ve turned to in times of sorrow and despair, when I felt like there was nowhere for my broken, battered heart to land. I’ve felt that way less and less often over the years, thanks in very large part, if not in total, to the beautiful love I’ve found and this happy marriage I never expected to find waiting for me. After all my yearning travels and self-destructive love affairs, who would have ever guessed I’d find all the happiness in the world waiting for me back at the start? It still boggles my mind that I had to go such a long way round to find this kind of love and happiness and peace, even years later, and I continue to be amazed. My heart is no longer listless, landless; I once thought there would never be a time when I wouldn’t be drifting, perched at the edge of nothing, and am so happy and grateful that I cannot imagine feeling that way, ever again.

If the words of a Hungarian poet with borderline personality disorder who died tragically young are the mantra of my soul when I am sorrowful and feeling broken, Dickinson’s words are the balm. Even though she herself was troubled by depression and sadness for much of her life, I’ve always found so much hope in this little line, so much possibility. When the storm is raging and I feel myself setting adrift, as I have so much in the last weeks, the idea of that a small piece of hope can cling to my soul and, almost relentlessly, refuse to stop singing against all odds, that tiny idea carries me through the worst of it. Even as I continue to struggle through this new hurdle to a healthy, happy baby, and as I worry about the stress and the anxiety and the medicine affecting him adversely, I can’t help but cling to that hope singing it’s wordless tune. I listen and in the melody find the strength I need, the faith I need to trust that at the end of this tunnel there is a light.

Max is my hope, my light, and each time I feel him kick and squirm away in my belly, I find the day a little brighter, find myself one day closer to holding him in my arms at last. He is the hope that is forever perched in my soul, guiding me through the nothing.

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