Hope

Our mission is to plant ourselves at the Gates of Hope –

Not the prudent gates of Optimism,

Which are somewhat narrower.

Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;

Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness

Which creak on shrill and angry hinges

(People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through)

Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of

“Everything is gonna’ be all right.”

But a different, sometimes lonely place.

The place of truth-telling,

About your own soul first of all and its condition.

The place of resistance and defiance,

The piece of ground from which you see the world

Both as it is and as it could be

As it will be;

The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,

But the joy of the struggle.

And we stand there, beckoning and calling

Telling people what we are seeing

Asking people what they see.

 

  • by Victoria Safford
safford_victoria-1

Rev. Victoria Safford

The Reverend  Victoria Safford,  White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church minister in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, is the author of Walking Toward Morning: Meditations (Skinner House, 2003) and a contributor to The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books, 2004).

Victoria Safford image: http://www.uua.org/directory/people/victoria-e-safford

Gate image: http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/open_garden_gate.html?mediapopup=32875733

Thanks to Patricia R. for introducing me to this poem that seems very significant today.

May your lives be filled with hope  –

“The place of truth-telling . . .

Telling people what we are seeing

Asking people what they see.”

Aloha, Renée

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

One response to “Hope”

  1. Rosita says :

    Beautiful poem. I liked yuh reply to my last ask 👍🏼 And do yuh know anything about Eastern European countries? Is it true they’re very violent ones? And BTW I’m fine. U?
    Wishing y’all lots of hope – and optimism -,
    R

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