On What is Hope?, Letters & Love Old-School, and Lego

On What is Hope?

I just finished reading ‘So Far from Home: lost and found in our brave new world’ by Margaret Wheatley, as per a friend’s recommendation. It’s a bit of a heart-breaking book, but much of it resonated.

Wheatley talks about how she has come to a point in her life where she has become resolved to the idea that the world cannot be saved. Environmental devastation, political and big-business corruption, and distraction & disconnect with reality due to too much  technology have all contributed to a very dire situation, and we are so very far gone.

It’s hard to argue with this, even if you are the kind of person that sees little pockets of love and goodness everywhere.

I am still not convinced that we won’t get it together eventually.


Wheatley calls on all of us to let go of clinging to outcomes and take on ‘warriorship’

simply for the sake of the human spirit,

which I can easily liken to my own ‘Peace at Home Project’ and why I do it.

What other choice do I have? What choice do any of us really have?

At some point, we must accept that we can only do what we can do. Perhaps it makes more sense to stop despairing and railing against the ills of this world,

and simply focus on doing our own good and meaningful works in our own ways and in our own little corners.

Sometimes we must accept that we are in the dark of night, and then bravely light our own candle. That, maybe, is true courage, true kindness, true resilience – the fortitude to not give up even amidst the black of night.

We are not going to light up the night, but we can light the spot we stand on. We all can.

Hope then becomes detached from an expectation of outcomes, transcending how we think things should be or should turn out.

Hope       just         is.

Hope is not a feeling that comes and goes with with external circumstances. Hope is who we are independent of outcomes. Hope is as basic to humans as compassion and intelligence. It is always present, it never leaves us. It is not dependent on success and not afflicted by failure. Thus, it is free from fear. And without fear, we can see clearly. We see what our work is, we have the strength to persevere, we do what we feel is right work and, as poet T. S. Eliot wrote, ‘the rest is not our business.’          Margaret Wheatley



Letters Old School

While I was convalescing from my heart surgery, I received a care package in the mail from a dear childhood friend. It’s hard for me to properly describe the utter delight I felt when I opened up this box filled with books, chocolate, tea, puzzles, and other treats. What a lovely, heart-warming, inspired, genuine gift of love.

I so want to reciprocate. I so want everyone to send each other unexpected boxes of treasures.

How fun would that be?

This thoughtful gift of love reminded me of the power of tangible gifts and written words of love and support. This is just not the same as texts and messages, though those can certainly be uplifting too.

There is such creative delight in putting words to real paper, wrapping, fussing, addressing and placing a stamp on an envelope, giving. There is such joy and love to be found in the effort.

This week, I finally wrote a letter thanking this particular friend for her gesture. I was at the swimming pool sitting on the deck while my kids swam and I had the time to find the right words. I will maybe tuck in a few beautiful goodies in the envelope for her, too, and send back some love across the miles, old school.


gorgeous lettering from a thank you note we recently received from a friend


Last post it was cardboard boxes. This time it’s been lego – oh lego, you beautiful and inspired forever toy-


and speaking of old school,  George has had his nose in this lately rather than his ipod which has also felt like a parenting win.


I also got to tell the kids about how Rubic’s Cubes came out when I was in elementary school and how everyone had one. Go 80s!

I am not naive.

I know that these times of carefree play for my kids are numbered. They are not little anymore.

So, I more intently savour the sweetness of these unstructured hours and days of summer before jobs and peer influences pull at them harder…

But      today,   we play.


7 thoughts on “On What is Hope?, Letters & Love Old-School, and Lego

  1. When you talk about each of us just lighting up our own corner, I cannot help but think if we all did that–the entire world would light up. So the abandon hope bit does not resonate with me. Can’t do it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, That was exactly the picture in my head Kay too- the whole world lighting up. Truthfully, I can’t abandon hope either. 🙂 But it did feel like a bit of a shift for me to let go of the idea of bearing the heavy and impossible weight of saving the world and rather focus on lighting up my corner of it.


  2. jadecypress says:

    Hello Karen! Your writing, as it often is, is very timely. I spent the last two days teaching at Olds College. I had great subjects to teach, great students, a great environment to teach in, and I was in a very, very good mood as a result. I came home and flipped open my computer to find that the Paskapoo slopes just west of Calgary- a wild and untouched place of great importance to a lot of people- has been given the green light for “development”. Despite significant objections from citizens and concerns about its historical and cultural significance to First Nations people, the old boys club that is our city council has decided that “progress” is the way to go. I was completely and utterly deflated. Angry, annoyed, and not even altogether surprised. My job dried right up. Then I read your blog post. Wow! The time and the juxtaposition of this really threw me. Am I in fact, too invested in “saving the world?” Am I too concerned about things that are entirely beyond the scope of my control? It gave me pause for thinking about such things. I am VERY upset that this important, wild, and accessible part of my city is now going to be just another strip mall full of tim hortons and banks and traffic and probably another big box store. I am disgusted. Should I just give up caring? Your blog made me consider the implications of how would life be if I did exactly that? Would I be better off? The world cannot be saved…I have been sitting here pondering this for the last 15 minutes. So why am I trying so hard to save it? You have given my mind ample fodder, as you so often do, for considering what I do and the ways in which I go about doing it. Thank you for the gift of your writing. -L. PS- Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but one of these days, I am going to put together such a parcel for you and mail it to you… Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 22:43:13 +0000I hav To:


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