Hope, 2018

One of the things I’m most afraid of, watching all the screeching and shrieking over petty politics, along with true horror, is that I’ll forget that redemption is possible.

We look at all the people committing violent acts over political differences… and compare them to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And we see them as having the same value. We would rather advocate violent resistance to our political opponents – not our political enemies, but those fools who have the audacity to simply not be members of whatever Party we prefer – than slow down, and think, and remember that we’re all human, we all bleed, we all die the same way and with the same horror and fear.

I recently rerecorded “Hope,” a song I wrote a long time ago – probably during Bill Clinton’s presidency – and I simply cannot help but hear my own words in my head:

When the supplicants of power
Start to sing a new song
They've got the words right
But the tune is all wrong

They've got all the phrases
They've got what it takes
They look like the lamb
With the heart of the snake

   I'm tired of hoping past the edge of hope
   For a world that needs no redemption
   Tired of pushing more than I can
   For the clean edge of justice
   Tired of closing my eyes, closing my heart
   Not seeing calamity before me
   Tired of trying to be innocent
   And so I hate

We look around and see destruction
Caused within and caused without
We might survive distortion
But truth is killed by doubt

Our lives are only messages
Written large upon our souls
What we rescind, receive, acknowledge
Is what the future is told

I hope

I hope my sons understand: when someone compliments an undertaking of theirs, that the compliment more often than not reflects the effort they’ve invested, and not the results.

I hope that they, too, respect the endeavor and not the response.

I hope they always try.

I hope they always hope.

I hope they always dream.

I hope they always listen to that voice in themselves that cries when others cry, that laughs when others laugh, that marvels at the wonders around them… and wonders at the marvels around them.

I hope their memories outlast mine, and I hope that their memory of me reflects more of what they needed me to be than I was able to provide.