What is hope?

that stripy cup of hope

Ever wondered what fuels hope and why it exists? Do animals or plants have it, or is it solely a human characteristic? And what is hope?

Here’s one wikipedia definition: Hope is the ‘feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best’.

The fight

Ever had a week (day, month or year) that’s so shite that at the end of it one small thing can set you off on a path of destruction, anger or temporary insanity? I have. And we shall call it Black Sunday – when a simple question from my husband set me down a path of psychosis.

And the poor guy had just done a sweet thing too – made me green tea, my best. In my favourite 400ml stripy cup, with a piece of ginger in it, plus honey. I was just settling down to read the Sunday paper at the kitchen table, happily scoffing a handful of chocolate-covered peanuts. Heaven.

Until The Question from my husband (and don’t ask me what it was, I can’t remember).

That giant stripy cup of tea didn’t know what hit it. Actually, the kitchen sink hit it. And I didn’t throw like a Bok, choking against the All Blacks. I threw it across the kitchen like a peed-off polar bear that’d been rammed up the bum with an electric eel.

The cup hit the sink with such drama – like that terrible scene in Narcos where Escobar beats that drug underling to death – afterwards laying there defiantly unscathed, right side up. With that proud piece of ginger still in it, and most of the tea down the kitchen wall. 

Hope springs eternal 

That wasn’t my first or last fight with another human. But from now on whenever I use this mug I know that whatever life brings I WILL TAKE IT. And I won’t break. If a simple cup can take that much shite and remain whole, then by gad, so can I.

Whatever you’re going through, however inconsequential or manageable it may seem to an outsider, please never lose hope. Once that’s gone, there’s no telling what might ensue. Find a person, animal, beauty in nature, scar, photograph, piece of music, writing or seemingly obscure thing that keeps you going. Your very own lucky talisman and symbol of survival. Giving up is not what you were born to do, you crazy diamond.

Disclaimer: Even though I will no doubt continue to show hectically antisocial, crabby behaviour, I’m counting on general society and my husband and child to continue to understand because my hope is all I have left.

my favourite stripy cup drawn by the child, aged 7