Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hope is Harder to Sustain than Despair

This is a Phalaenopsis orchid, which lives in my window now, but I didn't manage to get my own photograph transferred to the computer.  You get the idea.  Mine is white.  This is a web photo.



Another omen arrives: a high-flying
orchid: ten white winged blooms
with fragile pink centers soar on 
tall stems.  Where to give them
“bright, filtered light”?  I choose
the cat window where the other orchid
has sprawled over the window sill
and the old filing cabinet.  May it
always lift my spirits.  A Mother’s
Day gift from the family of two
Chinese-American young men I help
with their writing.  When we missed
a week, I felt how they didn’t want
to let me go.  Their young souls open 
to me.  They are high fliers, too.  I 
want so much: to get more books 
in print, to write about my Russian love, 
for the garden to produce food, for the 
weeds to feed the hens and not keep 
iris from blooming nor the besieged 
daylilies.  Time to plant zinnias, rescue 
the volunteer cosmos.  The orchard 
needs fertilizing and belated pruning
of dead wood.  Every day has its tasks
from dawn to beyond dark.  I negotiate
my aging limitations reluctantly,
but still expect success on so many
fronts that I wonder if it’s all possible?
Can I outwit time to this extent?
My deep voice says yes, if I eat and
sleep well, yield when tired, vary
my activities and keep hope alive.
That’s where you come in.  Your
love keeps despair at bay.  Erikson
noted that ego integrity was harder
in these later years.  We might say: 
remembering who we are and what our
lives are for.  My life is for showing
love and telling the whole story of my
life and the world I’ve created and 
lived in.  I’ve penetrated boundaries. 
I’ve  learned so much about the human 
soul and kept my own in tact and healthy.
The world has largely ignored me, but
the people who matter have paid
attention.  I do have a small but
significant audience.  My work is 
the main thing now: getting it done.
Hope is harder to sustain than despair.
Despair erodes determination; hope

feeds us all we need to be ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. As lovely a poem as your orchid, Judy. I also feed the weeds to my hens except the ones like buttercups which must be toxic because the ponies avoid them. Today I've been a little despondent because of the incredible amount of rain we've been getting since yesterday - too much so it will be days before I can do any weeding in my soggy clay soil. Also, the sun room roof that was replaced a month ago is leaking worse than before it was replaced. Oh, well, it could always be worse, couldn't it.