For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Audacity Of Hope

I emerge blinking from the snug, warm cocoon of the house. It's New Year's Day. Nothing in 2009 seems very much different from 2008. It's another cold, grey morning, typical of so much of the Midlands weather we've been having these last few weeks.

The village seems dead. Hangovers are being nursed. Families are indoors, in their own private heaven-or-hells, trying to figure out ways of patching up last night's alcohol-fuelled quarrels. Or perhaps they're just working out ways of erasing the wine stains all over the carpet? Who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Unsurprisingly the world is still in a state of economic meltdown. A fire in a Bangkok nightclub has killed more than 60 people. The carnage in Gaza continues. Firefighters, nurses, doctors and the police are all at work. For them this is just another day, a day not a lot different from the rest, another normal day of accident and disfigurement, of illness and injury, of crime and destruction.

But, hey, let's not be too downhearted! The glass can be half full as well as half empty, you know. What's extraordinary about the human spirit is that - against all the odds - it can rarely be dejected for long. Restless curiosity, resistance, optimism, delight, happiness even - all these things bubble up unstoppably in the end - despite the heavy rocks life tries to place over the source-spring.

I've had a bad time of late, a time fraught with weakness, hesitation, conflict, betrayal, distrust, guilt - all the human frailties and difficulties. I'm sure it's much the same for many of us. Today is the start of a New Year. I hope it may also be the start of a New Life.

And I've got a lot of hope in this man...

10 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

Sorry to hear you've been having a bad time. Need more walking?

I have come up with my resolution but I can't tell...it's highly unlikely I'll manage to even get near it...

And family homes are often heaven AND hell aren't they...sometimes in the same minute...

Good things for 2009.

Dominic Rivron said...

Once more round the sun, dear friends...

As for Obama, It'll be interesting. The first big test will be how he deals with The Middle East.

Happy New Year!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hey, I made it up too! And tottered out to take a not-very-good morning shot for the blog…then back inside for a morning shot for myself—coffee, strong, and plenty of it.

But there's now a fire in the grate, the sun is shining, it is in the teens out but no wind, the dogs are happy…and a whole brand new year stretches ahead.

That's all anyone with a pocketful of optimism ever needs!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Much love sent your way solitary walker - may 2009 be all you want it to be and more.

Anonymous said...

Feeling I needed to search out for some new blogs to inspire me and get me back on the path for 2009 I found your wonderful blog. I typed in a search of blogs with my all-time favourite authors, Thoreau, Hesse and Kundera as key words. I never imagined that I could have made the list more eclectic with some of my favourite poets, artists and philosophers and found your blog!
I'm looking forward to reading more!
Happy New Year

Bella
Australia

am said...

Happy New Year wishes on a cold, grey, winter day in the Pacific Northwest. I suspect the weather here matches yours.

Take good care of yourself during this time when you're helping your father.

I have hope, too, and I thought of Mavis Staples' song this morning before sunrise:

". . . These are trying times that we’re living in
Have a little faith I say
Have a little faith, my friend . . ."

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for all these comments. I appreciate them.

Would be nice to see some warm sun, Dominic!

Welcome, Bella. I like all those writers but have only read one of Kundera's - 'The Unbearable Lightness Of Being', which I enjoyed very much. It was one of those novels I couldn't put down and read straight off. Could you recommend another of his?

jay said...

I've had a few rocks dropped over my source spring myself just lately. Here's hoping that 2009 will be better for both of us.

Anonymous said...

I am looking at the books of Kundera I have and finding I cannot suggest one (of course, Unbearable Lightness of Being would have been the one to suggest first). Its funny but I realise that I read Kundera's novel very differently from other authors - I read his books when I want to engage in deep thoughts and philosophical possibilities of existence...aha, perhaps "Immortality"...here is a quote you may like with reference to walking too !!
*"Before roads and paths disappeared from the landscape, they had disappeared from the human soul: man stopped wanting to walk, to walk on his own feet and to enjoy it. What's more, he no longer saw his own life as a road, but as a route: a line that led from one point to another, from the rank of captain to the rank of general, from the role of wife to the role of widow. Time became a mere obstacle to life, an obstacle that had to be overcome by ever greater speed"..."Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A route is the truimphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time".* Milan Kundera "Immortality"

No doubt now, I recommend this one!

Bella

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Bella. I'll try it.