This is a fun writing exercise, a little like my Friday Freewrites only the prompt is 3 words, the directions are simply to write something with the three words in it. Go to Three Word Wednesday to play along! *Disclaimer: I’m treating this as a freewrite, so you’ll find below a minimally edited piece written spontaneously to include the following three words:
This week: Devastate. Gossamer. Plummet.
Who knew that hope is a thing we find at the bottom? The word hope carries a lofty connotation; it is something held high, something to aspire to.
I always pictured hope as a shimmering beacon atop a slippery slope, to be scrabbled up toward, fighting for handholds and footholds. Or I imagined hope as a welcome yellow porch light casting cheerful rays far into the shadows of an otherwise inky night.
But nothing is what I thought it was. Not the bad-news phone calls, which as it turns out come when they shoudn’t, not ominously at 3 am but rather on a benign Saturday morning while dunking breakfast dishes in sudsy water. Certainly not the news itself, which should devastate me but doesn’t. Not the doctors, who are supposed to have useful answers and explanations but whose limited wisdom, it becomes abundantly clear early on, isn’t going to do us one goddamn bit of good.
No, none of it is anything like I expected. It’ll take me years to integrate this trauma into a new version of reality. Reality, it seems, is a web of gossamer threads, each one so fine it could sever in the slightest breeze, but together so strong they form a thick fabric in which we’re all willingly ensnared. It takes a lot to thrust us from reality, so we talk about it like it’s something immutable, permanent, but reality is actually constantly in flux, changing as we construct and deconstruct it to fit our circumstances.
Anyway, something happened, as you’ve likely gathered, and it changed everything. It cut me right out of that sturdy web of reality and sent me into freefall, plummeting down, down, to land in deep water. I held my breath and let myself sink to the murky bottom, tried not to think about the cold. There I began searching, grasping at vague shapes, picking up, examining, discarding. Then – there is was! Hope! Not a shining beacon at all but rather a humble stone, worn smooth by time with a weighty heft, just right to slip into my pocket. Hope, plucked from that bottom-place, that place I would never have gone by choice, that place that showed me how to be truly alive.