To Emily Dickinson on Hope
I have been thinking about your poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers.”
Here’s my problem: some years back after someone or another grew sick, then died, I began to think heavily on hope. We hope we will be well. We hope we will have enough food, money, time. We hope we do not miss a chance to see, hear, love someone. We hope everything will work out. We hope, but because we are uncertain we do not expect good results. We hope, therefore we prepare for the worst, as well as the best.
Hope exhausts me. Hope offers the chance the opposite might occur. If we hope the pants fit, but they don’t, what then?
I have taken to the idea that Faith is what is important. Faith is what makes things true, reliable, solid. I have faith the sun will rise. I have faith all things will work out. I believe all things work for good. It seems that if I simply hope, I am preparing myself for all contingencies, good and/or bad. I want only the good. I expect the good. I have faith it abounds.
That’s all. I suppose Faith would not fit in with your poem. Faith seems less fleeting than hope, hence it has no need for feathers.
I look forward to discussing more of your work with you, Emily. It shall be fun, eh?