Spring has arrived. It took about 123 weeks, but it happened. The snowbells are blooming, the sun is shining, the Democrats took back the House, and I think I may be able to write again.
Until the last presidential election here in the US, I had not clearly seen what an act of hope writing is: we hope we figure out our thinking, we hope someone publishes it, we hope someone reads it, we hope it makes a difference. And when your hopes for a better world, or a good world, or at least a world not currently ablaze and flooding at the same time, at a time, I say, when those hopes are dashed not just in the course of an evening as the map of your nation turns red with what isn’t currently blood but could be, but also over the course of day after day, week after week, month after month—
I think you see where I’m going with this. Circumstances like that make it hard to have enough hope to write.
I’ve tried. I’ve started things, short and long, but they never seem to lead anywhere and I can’t see the way forward. So I stopped.
It reminds me a bit of that moment in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry is up in Dumbledore’s office and he sees his professor’s old, sick bird burst into flames and turn into a pile of ash. “Your bird,” says Harry frantically when Dumbledore returns to his office. “I couldn’t do anything—he just caught fire—”
Dumbledore explains, “Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes.”
I was thinking of this because of a project I got starting with a friend and the thought that our conversations these past few days got the ashes sparking again. I will be writing about that soon, and hopefully (feathers crossed) often in the coming days. And weeks. And months.
Image: “Phoenix Rising” by Michael Balchan