She Said, He Said

He Said, She Said: a Paul Frankenstein Light Industry and Manufacturing co-production with Michelle Foster's Mindsketches.

Today's topic: Hope.


what am i hopeful for?

so start at the beginning...
seems logical enough. it's no small pleasure for me to be able to say that i no longer wake up with a sense of dread. that brief interlude, twas a painful and recent enough experience that i would never wish it upon someone else. moving on and finding freedom from that was liberating, though not a visible path. it seems inherent to me that there is a sense of hope in my daily life, there is not an imminent fear upon waking.

i seem to look on hope as an ease.
a sense of relaxation within my self.
an inner warmth.
the feeling of late afternoon, autumnal sun on your bare skin.
while it's not an emotion and more a sense of being, it's easy to draw the line between these points.

what on earth am i hopeful for
i'll try to spare you the daydreamer list or the usual relationship garble. those seem to be given.

i hope...

  • for a knowledge of self
  • for someone to think I'm amazing (not necessarily in a romantic sense) more just as a person
  • for the ability to live life to the fullest
  • to not take things for granted
  • to have wild sex into my 60s (oh, you are reading this?)
  • to be the kind of friend that you just lean on without thinking about it
  • to walk the line
  • to watch more sunrises and sunsets
  • to give all that I can
  • to continue to try things that scare me
  • to be granted the gift of knowing souls across a lifetime
  • to leave a memory, to make an impact
  • to hope against hope
He wished, but not with hope. --Milton. How could he?


Well, there was this girl I knew named Hope, and...

Oh. You mean the other kind?


Roger Zelazny once wrote a short story that went something like this:

In a time long, long ago, when gods walked with mortals, two men waylaid a youth who carried a small box with him. The youth begged the men not to open the box, for it was Pandora's box, and it contained the most dangerous thing that ever had existed. The louts laughed at him, and opened it anyway (as louts tend to do). A bright light came forth, and a high clear voice said "I am Hope, and I will inspire men to believe that there can be a better world." The men, who were disappointed that the box was the only thing that the youth carried, were going to rough him up until they noticed that another traveller was coming down the road. "This stranger looks like he's loaded; we shall take him with the greatest of ease and retire on the proceeds!" they said, letting the youth go. The youth magically grew wings (literally) and flew up the road; as Hermes passed the strapping stranger, he said "Fair thee well, my friend Hercules."

That pretty much sums it up, I think.

So as a general rule, I try not to get my hopes up too much. 24 years of being a Red Sox fan will do that to you (some, perhaps more cynical than I, would say that growing up a Red Sox fan is a great way to prepare for life).

But still, we hope anyway. It's part of being human. Even Red Sox fans, who know even before the first pitch of the season is thrown that they're not going to win the World Series, hope. Every spring and summer the bars of Boston bustle with men and women, young and old, eagerly trading stories and speculation on how the beloved Sox will fare; though the names bandied about have changed over the years, from Teddy and Johnny and Dom through Yaz, Jim, and Pudge and on to Manny, Pedro and Nomar, the excitement and the, yes, hope stays the same. Maybe this will be the year that the hated Yankees self-destruct; maybe this will be the year that all the pieces come together and stay together.

Well, at least it does we hit the dog days of summer, when the Red Sox pull their traditional August swoon. It's funny: the Red Sox probably have the worst winning percentage in August of any professional sports franchise in any month. Great hitters suddenly turn cold; reliable ace pitchers abruptly pull up with odd, lingering injuries; balls take funny bounces; games are lost on freak plays that leave everyone in the stadium scratching their heads.

And as September draws to a close, the Red Sox fading to their traditional position five-to-ten games behind the Yankees (as of this writing they're 9.5 games out), the Red Sox Nation reluctantly switches off the television and settles back in their Barcaloungers. As eyes gently close in prelude to an early autumn nap, a million minds forget yet another lost season and instead wander forward to next spring, when the grass is verdant and lush and the Red Sox are, once again, back in first place.

That, my friend, is hope. And that, my friend, is why it's important.