You live for the fight when it’s all that you’ve got; or, some words (from other people) about hope

I’m a collector of words; maybe some of them will be a beacon. I hope to continue updating this.

“So you must wake up every morning knowing that no promise is unbreakable, least of all the promise of waking up at all. This is not despair. These are the preferences of the universe itself: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes–you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and knowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what is may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

“Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul; it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

“I think it is healing behavior, to look at something so broken and see the possibility and wholeness in it.” ― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

“Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera.” ― Pablo Neruda

Some books I return to when I need something to uplift and reorient me (fiction, non-fiction):

  • The Wayfarers Trilogy (especially Record of a Spaceborn Few) and To be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers
  • The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by carla bergman and Nick Montgomery
  • Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (I especially recommend the audiobook read by the author, who is a delight to listen to)
  • Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit