things i think about at 5am

i wrap my dreams in a protective layer of cynicism
and place them in the dark to keep them safe…

I woke up this morning with this line running through my head, picturing eggs being wrapped in spider-web like threads, and hidden in a corner away from tramping feet and the harsh glare of daylight.

This was a christmas of unexpected, quite unbelievable miracles – some were big, life changing discoveries for people around me, others seem in comparison quite tiny but were nonetheless just as miraculous – a text from a someone whose silence for months had been deafening; a tiny, tiny step towards restoring friendship.

The thing that held these miracles in common is that no-one involved believed they could ever happen, but they chose to live as though they might.

i will let myself have hope, but only if i can survive without its fulfilment

My favourite poem last year was Padraig O’Tuama’s ‘Facts of Life’, which he told at Greenbelt. It ends with these lines:

… that you must accept change
or die
but you will die any way
so you might as well live.
and you might as well love.
you might as well love.
you might as well love.

I’ve been wondering, since being in the prison and being told i had too much hope [!!], about the role of a community in hope. i have some friends holding hope for a situation i’m on the edges of – nothing big or dramatic, just some sadness that could do with some resolution. i mock them for being too idealistic, because those of us involved know full well that this situation is too complex and difficult to turn out happy ever after… but i have to admit that something has changed in me because of this community of friends who take responsibility for believing that it might one day be different. They don’t tell me that one day everything will be alright, but because they believe it might, they insistently push those of us involved to always choose the path of love. And them doing so has meant i am choosing another way of being in this situation to what i would ever have chosen before.

I think that’s what having a community of hopers around me does. It makes me live with love, even though i know that won’t make things alright. I’m not stupid; i’ll keep wrapping my dreams in cynicism and putting them in the dark for safe keeping. I’m just counting it as something of a miracle that i have the dreams to begin with. And i’m so grateful for those who hold them for me in their hope.


  1. Larry Marshall

    Each New Day offers us ways to appreciate the world and the wonderful people in it. Happiness is all around us and Love is the key.

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