Hope is a dangerous thing my friend, it can kill a man…

Watching tonight’s debate had me trying to pin down what’s been troubling me the few last months (I know — what isn’t shocking in 2020).

Everyone I know has had a hard year; fortunately my family has been spared from any COVID-19 related issues. But we are certainly dealing with the same daily stresses as everyone else from at home virtual-school hybrid, the world tearing itself apart, out of control fires, killer bees, etc..

For me, it’s been all “ok”; my own stress has been from a new heart condition that started with an unexpected heart attack in Aug of 2019, followed by a second heart surgery to help with atrial fibrillation in November. So a lot of my concern lies with keeping myself safe now that I have a “higher risk” condition of heart disease through this madness.

But lately, I’ve been sensing something bigger is missing from most everyone I talk to — and that is hope.

Thinking back, my first profound understanding of the concept of ‘hope’ was when I was 17, back in 1989, and it surprisingly came from a comic book. Even to this day (as I approach 50 next year), I remember a feelingwhen I read it.

Issue 4, of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” was entitled “A Hope in Hell”.

The story goes like this; Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, has to reclaim several lost artifacts after having spent a long time in prison on Earth. After tracking down his pouch of dreamsand, his ruby amulet, the next item to get back was his helmet. It’s being held by the demon Choronzon in hell; so he travels there and enters a battle of wits to get it back:

CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.

MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.

CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.

MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.

CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding… planet-cremating.Choronzon: I am anti-life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds … of everything.
And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

Morpheus: “I am Hope.

Mic drop. Helmet reclaimed.

So in 2020 — maybe it’s really as simple as that — everyone needs a simple dose of hope these days.

There aren’t any easy answers for this; I just know that every day I’m trying to remind myself to have hope. To embrace what I have and not to focus on the bad things that can happen.

My only wish to you, dear reader, is that each one of us can find hope in something.

Frankly — It’s the only way we’re going to get through all this. Together.

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Jamie Larson