I’m engaged in first steps towards bringing order to eleven years worth of not quite sorting out or throwing away things in my study. I now have boxes marked ‘throw’, ‘shred’ and ‘keep’ (the volume of paper going into these is in this order) and even a pile marked ‘these things belong to St Michael’s'.
From near the bottom of the oldest pile, I’ve just excavated a sheet I appeared to have used for groups in Advent 2007.
In 1986, three years before he became President of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel was asked ‘Do you see a grain of hope anywhere in the 1980s?’. He replied
“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.
Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond the horizons.
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed...
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”
The seedpod pictures were taken in Arizona a few weeks ago now.