Hope Index, Vol. 14: How in the World Can a Weary World Rejoice?
Guys, I was on the internet a lot this week looking for hope, and I am sorry to have to announce that there really wasn't much.
The Atlantic, my favorite print magazine, sensed my/your/our collective fatigue and published this little roundup on where to find beauty on Twitter. No smarm and meager memes on the feeds linked in that piece, which is exactly what my hope-starved synapses probably need.
I also felt mildly uplifted to know that Cicero echoed my general zeitgeist melancholy this week before he got his head sliced open. "Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book.” He even feels the way I feel about the publishing industry! And I would never have known without this this piece on Electric Literature that discusses the merging of substance and style. A real eloquent long read for a stormy midnight #mood.
At least Thursday was #NationalPoetryDay, bringing to mind some of our favorite lyrics and long form poems and also giving us this lovely interview on Christianity Today by poet Amena Brown. Poetry is just more powerful in times of unrest, upheaval and uncertainty because of the transient qualities it carries that other literary genres just don't capture. Brown's thoughts on racism in America, collaborating with Ann Voskamp, and writing an open letter to her hair are spoken with an urgent, gentle simplicity. We'll be looking forward to following her work from now on.
For better (or... for worse), we are still each other's only hope. And while the goodness that Leonard Bernstein so ardently campaigns for might seem absent from the dialogue-at-large, there is redemption and mercy happening behind the scenes and off screens that we have to account for. Here's the end quote on that article, maybe it'll inspire you some:
"We must encourage thought, free and creative. We must respect privacy. We must observe taste by not exploiting our sorrows, successes, or passions. We must learn to know ourselves better through art. We must rely more on the unconscious, inspirational side of man. We must not enslave ourselves to dogma. We must believe in the attainability of good. We must believe, without fear, in people."
There's good episodes and bad, even of Parks and Recreation. In the meantime, there's a new Wilco album and some #hot #takes coming this week on the mag. Let's stir a little hope, ourselves. Where did you dig up some encouragement this week? Feel free to share with us in the comments! Cheers, friends.