A World of Darkness

A Four Letter Word Called Hope

Michael Ken


photograph by author

What is this slippery thing called Hope, this blessing of faith in the fairness of life, this curse that dashes our dreams against the jagged rocks of reality, the realization that there is not just darkness in this world, but that evil oftentimes prevails?

Hope is defined as, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.”

As a child, I was full of hope and had faith in my dreams. I was told I could do anything I set my mind to, and that the world, although overwhelmingly large, had a fair plan for me. And I believed.

I believed good people received the blessings that those of poorer character did not, a sort of structured faith that every act of goodness would be returned to me, the universe’s policy of fairness written on stone tablets.

I believed thinking good thoughts would alter my environment, placing the power of positivity within my grasp, creating a safe place, guarding me against pain and despair.

I believed in Hope, that maintaining an earnest and authentic feeling of optimism along my path would connect me with the right people, at the right times, and in the right places. I held on to synchronicity and knew that there were no coincidences, no ordinary moments, no lack of magic or miracles within my grasp as long as…as long as I maintained Hope.

And then life, ever fickle, happens, and she happens the way she wants; not always the way we want her to.

Beating my drum, doing good in the world, my heart remained strong, but the world did not seem to notice. Until one day, my unshakable faith in hope started to fade.

Daily I found myself in the thick of it, working on the streets, coming to know many people who exuded a faith in hope well beyond my capacity, witnessing that good deeds were seldom met with reward.

They all had hope, an intense “feeling that what is wanted could be had and…



Michael Ken

My journal about life in the woods. Visit intothewoods.blog to see my complete journal, photographs, and articles.