And I say to myself:
a moon will rise
from my darkness.
— MAHMOUD DARWISH
Hope is what remains in Pandora’s box after, despite Zeus warning her not to, she succumbs to her curiosity and lifts the lid.
Opening the box unleashes all the evils into the world: hate, greed, envy, war, poverty, death… But as she realizes what she’s done and slams the lid shut, hope is caught. Hope, says the myth, is left for humans to weather what has been unleashed, a bulwark against all the negative and horrible experiences they will now have to face.
There’s another interpretation of the tale, however. After all why, in a box full of only awful things, is hope there at all? This alternative idea is that hope is just as dreadful as the other evils; it remains for humans as more of a curse than a blessing. …
Where can I be / That I will not find loss?
- Miguel Hernandez
Early in lockdown, when the bookshops and libraries were shut, I ordered a small stack of used books online. Like many, I was looking for entertainment and distraction. Art can be a great escape from the serious business of life.
Yet somehow within my selection, I picked up The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion — a non-fiction account of the fragmented moments and memories that made up the year following husband John Gregory Dunne’s sudden death. …
A few weeks ago I cycled to Tower Bridge in London along canal paths and through pretty parks. It has been a funny time to get to know a new place. With tourists and many temporary residents long gone, it feels like a town rather than a world city. And yet the character is still there — perhaps even more visible when stripped back.
I’ve gotten to know the city in solitude, from the periphery, as I’ve watched mutual aid networks spring up in WhatsApp groups, peaceful protests sweep into the green, and groups of families, guitarists, acrobats, and tai-chi practitioners reclaim the use of public parks at scale. …