It was an eclectic bunch from around Middle Tennessee who clustered at the mammoth log-cabin-style retreat home of a friend's father. Those gathering on a sun-blessed November Thursday shared a common sense of spirituality and a potluck of earthy-homemade Thanksgiving bounty. Post pumpkin pie, Bliss--a friend who taught yoga--and I talked about our dreams for the future. At some point she questioned the "weakness" of the word "hope" in reference to those future visions. I got it. I agreed. To a point.
From the vantage point of the disAbility journey, we need hope. It is another civil rights pilgrimage we are on. We need to hope that things will be better for our children in a society that defines and expects normalcy, of which we have anything but.
However, in the realm of our dreams of personal manifestation, I choose knowing. When my life course took at tumble one year into midlife--I define midlife as beginning at 50...I mean, 50 is half of 100, right?--I took to saying that I believed. I believed that I would climb out of the pit of circumstances into which I'd slipped and fell. But at some point? I chose to know.
How we manifest our dreams, those glimmers of inspiration--which can be defined as sparkles of hope--is to not only believe but know that they will come into being. This may seem like New Age mumbo-jumbo, or hoo-doo voo-doo, as I like to say, but we all do it. We dream. We have inspiration. We have ideas. Consider that those sparkles are God-given, if you believe in God--or any name you choose to call the Great Divine, Higher Power, Universe, etc....Those sparkles are backed by the gift of our talent, skills and smarts. Then they need us to breathe the breath of belief into them, fanning, then igniting them. And then, with as much absolute certainty as we each can muster, to know we each will accomplish those dreams. It's how books come into being. Businesses. Any endeavor birthed into life!
And, back to disAbility, specifically....I do hope for the lot of our people. I do dream and hope that society will continue to give way in their attitudes, institutions and hearts. I also know that it will be alright. It is. C'mon, it is. We are not living, for instance, in worn-torn Syria here. (God bless those dear souls as they wage their own, graver war of liberation.) IGBOK. It's going to be okay. Few of us face death in our daily circumstances. Know with me that whatever circumstance that you face, you will come through it. Just look at my personal history. There is victory and triumph that rises from the depths of despair and loss--being fired in my mid-20s, having my only child diagnosed with autism, divorcing not once but twice. I used to joke that I was a poster child for survival. But my friend Gregory helped me know that, instead, I am a poster child for thriving. Resilience. We can all have it. The seeds, like sparkling embers, they are deep down in your soul waiting to burst forth and flame into life and be light.
Hope? Yes. Believe? Okay. Know? Definitely. Know it. Know....
Above: A reject collage painting, "Dream Balloon," enhanced through photo filters, ©LeisaHammett.com