To hope and keep on hoping is a virtue, the middle ground between hopelessness on the left and hopelessness on right. As all virtues, there is that tug-of-war in hoping, the tug-of-war between extremes. The hoping man has to strike that balance somewhere, plus or minus.
Even as I try to think of the heady days, with these wars going on--with brothers becoming like Cain and Abel to each other, in Lebanon and Israel as elsewhere--and hearing more and more of the Armageddon-type of discourse from the rightists of faith and other fundamentalist rah-rah-rah boys and girls whose narcissism and megalomania are damn so masked by the mass media, I think of hope.
I hope for hope.
I think of hope and I have a reason to hope.
Many thinkers have reminded us well: Life is a text and it is a difficulty.
A believer has to be tested of his faith, I suppose. Like a writer going through hell in order to write and then after writing, he cannot even be sure if he can feed himselft afterwards.
And yet a writer has to keep on thinking of metaphors and tropes to interpret the world and human experience.
With these thoughts in mind, I walk past the rainbow showers in baby pink and dark pink and light yellow and orange. In the fall, the clusters will gradually succumb to the punishing power of the elements.
The beautiful flowers will soon die, rot in the ground as if at one time they did not give off hope to people looking for hope.
And then the cold months of winter will bury all the memory of spring and summer, all that is beautiful including the flowers that made me hope and hope for the best. The wind will chill people and the flowers and the breeze from the sea will be less kinder in these parts as elsewhere.
I walk to the Newman Center, that intimate church where believers go for the only mass for the day, the mass at noontime.
We are 15 or so, many of the congregants middle aged people with middle aged hopes.
On the first day that I attended mass, the priest introduced me to the congregation. I felt hope at that instance. I wanted to keep on believing of the redeeming power of flowers in bloom, of the redeeming power of the breeze from the sea, of the redeeming power of the crisp air from the mountains garbed with proud trees, dense and green, their crowns reaching to the heavens.
Small things like these make me hope.
These are enough reason for me to hope.
As I write this, there is drizzle in this late night. The street lamps give off a yellow glow on cemented pavements that cut through Waipahu and its heart.
I pray for hope as I scan the flickering lights dotting the Pearl Harbor. I can only hear the silence now at this hour and I remember about hope springing eternal in the living well of the soul that keeps the faith and the love.
I take in all the scene of this late night and I think of the early morning hours that will wake up the bright morning and the blades of grass heavy with the dew from the sea and sand and surf.
Tonite, I will let hope to stay by my side, watch over me as I sleep the sleep of a man who hopes for the best days ahead in this land of im/migrants.
A. S. Agcaoili
July 28, 2006