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|"Hope Springs Eternal" began in response to the flood of hopelessness I witness in my work, the media, in friends and family as they struggle with the relentless unpredictability of what a friend calls "the life monster." It seems so easy to forget about the things that keep us going when we are flooded with despair. Poverty, injustice, environmental deterioration, violence, and the subtle and not-so-subtle erosion of diversity and "soul" in our daily lives: these things make me grim, keep me up at night, keep me looking for ways I am accountable for change - as they should.|
|But, in order to keep going, we need joy, silliness, beauty, surprise. Signs of hope emerge before us daily, but we forget to look for them. I decided that if I drove around surrounded by these signs,
I might remember them more often. Thich Nhat Han, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, talks about using tools from everyday life to remind us to be mindful of the precious moment. In his book, Being Peace, he suggests that the telephone ringing can be a call to mindfulness. We can say to ourselves at that moment, "the phone is ringing and
I am alive and can be calm in this moment." I like to think that my car can do that for people - be a giant ringing moving colorful "telephone ringing."
|And people answer! Driving this car every day has changed my encounters with people. Where I used to be suspicious of strangers,
I now find moments of genuine smiling contact.
|I come out of the grocery store and there are 5 or 6 people standing around the car talking about hope. My 92 year old grandmother loves it when I pick her up at the nursing home in it - the car once got a standing ovation from all the old folks on the front porch.|
|And of course, it's just a lot of fun. It seems like a little subversion of the status quo. You're really not supposed to drill holes in your car - but it feels great! I wrote a poem about women and power tools...|
|So, I invite you to take a minute to remember signs of hope given to you - by nature, by mentors, spiritual teachers, through danger and risk, your own body, the cycles of family life and the natural rhythms of healing, the turn of the wheel of years, the planting, growing, harvest and resting. What gives you hope? And what do you feel when you notice it's absence? And how do you discover it again?|
|Send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org send poetry, notes, favorite quotes, drawings, etc. We will assemble them here so they can be shared.|
|One caution - while many people find hope in their religion, this is not a religious forum. Please be respectful of our amazing spiritual diversity.|
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