I have been away from here for two months. My apologies. My Mother passed away and I have been immersed in the difficult process of dealing with that reality: the loss of a beloved parent. Some of that part of my story can be found at my other sites: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ and
Today, I’d like to speak about Hope. I’ve been rereading the first two books in a series by Dean Koontz: Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein. To many that might sound a bit ghoulish, but it’s been a while since I did much reading at all. And even more since I originally read these two books. Surprisingly enough, they are the perfect thing for me to be doing.
The ultimate end to the grief process is a recommitment to life as it continues to unfold and evolve. That can’t take place unless one has hope of a further existence with meaning and purpose. And what I found in these two books is Hope, a careful examination of that element and how it works within the human psyche.
Each of us goes through the grieving process alone and in our own individual manner. Although the process has definitive steps, we take those steps in our own time and in whatever order and form we personally choose. For me, that meant a lot of intuitive moments, an awareness of the synchronicity that surrounds my existence, and eventually creative endeavor in the form of writing and playing with colors. And of course reading, because reading means staying open to another’s words, thoughts, and feelings. Allowing those things to mix and blend with an already seemingly overfilled cauldron of the same.
In other words: hard work. I have written every day in the past two months. Personal writing, carving out my feelings, engaging in a thought process, and finding the words to do just that. I would have preferred to roll over and go back to sleep and numbness.
When I got the signal to go beyond my own words and re-engage in the world of colors, I resisted, but only briefly. I found that my sense of color had been changed, altered by my most recent experiences. Dark and brooding might be a good definition, yet also with a certain element of light at its center.
That need to go beyond myself brought me an encounter with a Pelican, a symbol of buoyancy and the ability to dive into the deeper complexities of life, grasp what is needed, and resurface to nurture self. Sounds very much like the grief process to me, but also how life actually works if one is aware.
Then came Dean Koontz and his take on the Frankenstein story. I underlined several ideas about hope, one a quote from Emily Dickinson, the poet queen of the death and dying process:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
Now it all made sense. Hope is a feeling, a belief with feathers. The ability to fly like a Pelican, but still dive down into those deeper shadows of life, securing what it needs to survive, to resurface and to go on singing its own peculiar song.
Creativity is Intuition at work, making connections and giving birth to new ideas. But creativity is ever an act of hope, bringing the idea to fruition through ones own efforts. The magic of making something from nothing. An expression of self, a song that continues to sing even in the darkness of depression and despair.
Loss is never easy, but I believe it can be a gift if we allow it. Acting on hope is a healing process. What we create may not turn out to look like the idea we started out with, but it is different, new, and therefore a new path in our journey. An opportunity to learn that which we didn’t know, but might need in order to continue to grow and to evolve.
We need to listen to that inner voice, especially during times of loss. It is the song perched in our soul, that one that best expresses who and what we are and are becoming. It is a song of commitment to life and to further living.