Hope is the Thing with Tethers
By Jane Tawel
April 12, 2022
And I realized I had no more hope, if indeed I had ever had any hope at all. And I realized that all my hope had been in me; in the holy trinity of Me, Myself, and I; and in my ability to convince God – to control God –with what I erroneously called “prayer”. And hope fled like a frightened frail thing with no feathers. And reading newspapers and being aware of all the deaths we die, as we die in body or die in spirit or die from lack of meaning, made me want to live. To live! More than ever. But how can I – I who have spent a lifetime seeking God, claiming faith, working towards loving and being loved – how can I live without the third leg of the tripod that holds up the world? I could find the leg of the tripod called faith; it was rather wobbly but propped up. Love was throbbing in my heart and, oh it was better by the crucibles, a stronger steel,ever more trued and pure, but what good is my love without hope in The Love? What an ultimately weak limb of our humanness is what we call our “love”. The Triune Tripod meant to remain forever as true Truth, as Who God is, and What Reality is – Faith, Hope, and Love – a cord of three strands that could not be broken could be seen for the poor frayed and burnt and weak two stringy strands it was in me. Without Hope, Faith was a sham; without Hope, Love was self-satisfaction, not Divine Intervention. I looked at any hope I had ever thought that I had held, and found it a wing-less bird, a dodo, extinct; hope was the thing that would never rise to fly, buried in the ground, resurrectionless.
Hope is the thing with tethers,
that lurks around the soul,
and seeks to bind, with tuneless words,
all lies to truth’s death-roll.
It cheated in the nails He bore,
and by the cross He wore,
by hope’s abashed implausible
of life forever more.
I hear no notes of hopeful song,
in all the world’s great wrongs.
The land is stranger every day,
and oceans warm and chill,
and faith and love are left to scream
while hope remains dead still.
Perhaps, that’s how hope first appears,
to those, like I, who cannot hear?
Perhaps the Silence is the awe,
And that’s all hope is …..
Oh, faith is trembling legs that walk,
through brambled narrow roads.
And love’s our chirping heart’s desire,
that gives our world a song.
But hope though naked, barren, void,
is what we beings are,
it is the wind beneath all wings,
and when night ends, it is the Morning Star.
I’m just a silly little bird,
and featherless alone.
It is a God of hope I seek,
a hope, that will lead home.
hope’s the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all.
© Jane Tawel, 2022 (With eternal gratitude and admiration for the poetry of Emily Dickinson)