Hope is a thing with feathers
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune – without the words,
And never stops at all
It’s been nearly two months since Rafael and I broke up (in early June), twice the amount of time we dated, but not much has changed inside the chambers of mi corazón. Rafael is still there, smudges of his smile remaining in my mind as I close the door to other men. I placed all bets on him, and found myself burned by the inevitable and unsustainable flame of our brief, bright month together.
I do, however, have a date tonight. My first since the breakup. I’m not expecting much, but because this man and I had a good time dancing together last week, I gave him my number and thought – ok, let’s try this.
Regrettably, I am currently uninterested in other men, unless they can offer me friendship. Mercifully enough, this has happened; I’ve strengthened many of my male friendships, as well as my female friendships. And I’m at a very strong point, held buoyant by the love of others, by my own renewed interest in life. I’ve been writing, dancing, rock climbing, gym-going and planning my first solo road trip. Life is good, arguably even better than it could be with Rafael in it. So it is with some tired resignation that I note how empty it feels without him shadowing my doorstep or filling my bed.
But it is in these ambiguous moments that I always return to hope. I believe it is the source of (my) happiness. Hope prompts me to get out the door and go on a date, even if that date doesn’t mature into a relationship. Hope tells me that I will find love, just as I’ve found it before. That said, hope is also my dagger; I am still hopeful, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Rafael will write me, call me, or knock on my door. But it is that toss of a coin, that destructive yet encouraging hope that allows me not only to survive, but to thrive. Without hope, there is only ennui. So I need that hope, even if it burns me sometimes.
There’s a song by Mika called “Happy Ending” (a song he recently dedicated to the victims and families of the Oslo bombings), in which he sings about the end of a relationship. “This is the way you left me,” he sings,
I’m not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No happy ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it’s forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.
Depressing lyrics, perhaps, but to me this video is about hope. There’s a closing chorus (enacted by flying hands in the video), chanting “little bit of love” (2:35). Suddenly, Mika smiles, the violins resume, and I too begin to smile. Yes, this is may not be a happy ending, but it’s also a beginning.