Hope is irrelevant. So is despair.
Grief is real and necessary, especially in troubled times...
Whether it’s Trump or Erdogan triggering deep wounds, one needs the equanimity and willingness to be with the world as it is right now. Only uninitiated adolescents curse and try to manipulate what is when it doesn’t suit them.
What does an adult do?
What does an elder do?
I imagine they understand the cycles of life and death. That there’s work to be done, beyond hope and despair, in times like this. The work is not to show someone how stupid or evil we think they are. The work is to understand why things and people are the way they are and meet the poverty and the suffering of the world, “the skill of your heart being broken on schedule and the schedule says now.” (Stephen Jenkinson) The work is to show up, bruised and disillusioned, and continue doing what needs to be done and to remember what needs to be remembered...We do not have the luxury to rise and ride on our "hope" addiction just to crash again with the next heartbreak when things continue to collapse and disintegrate right and left.
It’s not about what I like or want, in fact it’s not about me at all. If I can stop taking it all so personal, I may yet see ways how to love this world and honor this human experience better...
“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.”
COME OF AGE: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble
Stephen Jenkinson is making a case for elderhood in his new book "Come of Age". In his unique way of inquiry and elaboration, Jenkinson is inviting us to re-member the function of elderhood and find ways to bring it alive again in our midst. This I believe, is one of the strongest medicines and profound wisdom we need for the times we live in. Please visit Orphan Wisdom School for more info.