Hope against hope

Sometimes I can't think what to say, what will help
even knowing the way it is when you're stuck there
under the dark clouds, feeling the lethargy, apathy
the hammering of self judgement knocking loudly
telling you repeatedly that you're useless worthless
and any small effort you make will never be enough

If I tell you positive things you might just raise a smile
but fundamentally the change comes from within
so anything I say can only ever have little effect
except to let you know that despite how this feels
despite the deep aloneness that comes with these clouds
you are not alone, I am with you, right beside you

And the reason you can't see me is no reason at all
I am here and you are there but I am also there
in that I have sat or lain under the same dark skies
feeling the hollowness that comes with the wind
numbing my mind, turning me inwards onto myself
blocking my view of the outer world altogether

Oh god and the tiredness, the bone aching exhaustion
of dragging yourself through the bare minimum tasks
of washing dressing eating walking talking ... doing
wading through the treacle of everyday existence
waiting for the chance to climb in under the duvet
hiding in slumber from the wastelands of my life

There will always be that temptation won't there
to take up again the medication that alters temporarily
these bottles with no prescription label, liquid oblivion
taking you away to a place removed from reality
rocking you gently in it's seemingly safe embrace
come the morning the mirror tells it's own tale

Come the morning comes also the terrible knowledge
of an addiction fed once more, the clouds descend
ever closer enveloping, swirling within our nausea
as the self loathing rears up to engulf us once more
the descent seems almost inevitable from this point
is there any spark of hope in this dark soulless place

And so it is that I come to write to you now my friend
to talk once again of the nature of hope against hope
the wisdom I share is not my own, although I own it now
but passed to me in a time of my own deep need
in the safe knowledge that although it might take time
I would should the opportunity arise return the favour

Perhaps hope seems elusive because it is too close to see
is it possible do you think that the answer lies within
if you consider even the remotest chance that I'm right
you might well stumble across a crumb barely recognised
for this crumb born of my distraction is a tiny kernel
from which I'm sure hope might be nurtured to grow

How is it that I know or suspect the answer lies within
do you not remember the day not so very long ago
when you told me that these things pass, always do
three words then two that I took inside and grew
from five words to this, my inadequate gift back to you
in the hope that you will at least find some comfort here

We talked some time ago about a sunny green hillside
a quiet place just beyond the outer edge of the storms
found by plodding face towards the gale force winds
finding strength on strengthless days for just one step
the next day two, my friend these things do pass
steps that might seem aimless lead somewhere else

Somewhere else doesn't sound all that safe does it
ah, but I can't promise a safe haven or sunny hillsides
but I can wish, I can hope, I can wait there for you
if I walk towards you how close will I have to be
before you see me, before you feel a spark of hope
shall we see, can you see me yet ... how about now?


  1. J, I'm always so moved by your words that I forget to tell you of their worth as simply words, words laid out so well, so finely crafted. So there. There is this. You are a helluva writer.

    And then this. It is within but it's more elusive than just that. It's a nubby spot, like another, this happiness button, this button of it's OK. I was on the tip of it last night but with the coming of one day and nothing else, just one day coming, arriving, and me looking at my feet, socks puddled at ankles, holy shit! I look to where my feet were last night and today I am simply standing in a new spot. Nub falling down beneath the skin of the world.

    It is not you. It is human. It is a condition - THE human condition. And then layer on your years of pain. That can cause that spot to be even crankier. But hold fast. It will rise again and if you're lucky, you'll be standing in exactly the rigth place.


  2. I love to read. I love the power of words especially when they are taken and put together to create something as stunningly special as the writings here . Storms will always abound, the cold winds and rain will always hurt us but there will also always be the words of real friendship from real friends that will pull us away from the cold and help us feel the warmth of the sun again. There will always be that hill overlooking the storm which will always be basked in the brightest and warmest of lights. It will always be there for us. We can go there in our minds when the storms are at thier fiercest. how could anyone fail to see you when you yourself are filled with the most irredescent of lights and are part of what creates the warmth and brightness on that hill. The sun is a light bulb in comparrison to what is within you.

  3. You who have been hurt so terribly in life. I believe that God is with you.

    I love you and everyday I pray that you will be more gentle with yourself.

    Love Renee xoxo

  4. Erin coming from you, whose writing I so admire, well ... thank you seems so inadequate unless you can imagine the look in my eyes as I say it. And I think you are right that it is more elusive than that. I hope you find yourself in exactly the right spot too!

    Whiterose, you say you wish you could write like me and yet here you are writing such amazing things. Real friendship is something we both value, it powers the light within us both I reckon.

    Renee, if God is with me then my prayers for you and yours will be all the more powerful. That will be gift enough. I will learn the art of gentleness, thank you.

  5. I hate that I can't promise that safe space for the people I love, or even for readers/friends such as you. But, I love the hope you are carrying, the hope that will be reflected in your eyes if you let it swell in your own heart.

  6. Jos I adore you and I love you so much.

    You who have been hurt know how to love so well.

    Love Renee xoxo