Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Hope -- my one word for 2017

"Hope" flickr photo by mclcbooks shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license
Hope for Gus' health--
Hope for our children's education--
Hope for our country--

This post, outlined in my head, half written as a draft for a number of months, now briefly summarizing thoughts I've discovered and uncovered. For I believe that hope will enable possibilities, often ones we've never imagined or ones that seemingly now appear so distant.

C. R. Snyder’s work from the University of Kansas at Lawrence, shows that hope is a function of struggle. ( And as I witness Gus' epic struggle with his MS, I hold hope--
Like John Steinbeck:
Not that I have lost any hope. All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. I don’t know why we should expect it to. It seems fairly obvious that two sides of a mirror are required before one has a mirror, that two forces are necessary in man before he is man. (

And as I consider the seeming trajectory of our nation and our public schools, hope, as Synder says will be "the fuel". The fuel to help us reach our aspirations and our dreams-- those of a meaningful public education for every student and those of a democracy in all of its idiosyncracies and beauty that not only prevails but thrives.
To Snyder, hope reflects the interaction between your goals, your sense of personal agency, and your pathfinding ability. It’s your ability to link your present to imagined futures. After all, much of life is contemplating, pursuing, and completing goals — what you might colloquially call dreams — and hope is the fuel that gets you there.

It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.

It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
surviving cruelty,
it is the motion that runs the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born. 

It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.

It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.
~ Lisel Mueller ~

1 comment:

Linda Buckley said...

Dear Lani,
I am returning to teaching after a 6 year absence and just finished reading the "The Connected Educator". In searching out more about you and Sheryl I have had the absolute joy of reading your blog! My word for 2017 is LIGHT I didn't know other people chose words to guide their year. I love your word of HOPE I have always believed that word to be a dangerous and cruel word. Thank you for your sharing yourself with others.
Linda Buckley