Before July 2nd the three most important things in my life were my family, my career/students, and my books/blog/literary Twitter community. But when my husband was killed my family was shattered. Not just me and my daughter, but my beloved sister, brother-in-law, and twin nephews and my parents are all grieving. And the close friends whom we consider family share our sorrow.
The depression that has enveloped me leaves me with little to no concentration for teaching or reading.
And so I keep thinking, “Well now what?”
The introduction I wrote for a review on J.L. Carr’s book A Month in the Country also keeps running through my mind:
Hope is a thing with feathers, according to Emily Dickinson.
And Max Porter.
Hope floats, according to the film title.
Pope writes in his “An Essay on Man” that “Hope springs eternal.”
Pink, in her collaboration with Khalid “Hurts 2B Human,” sings that “hope flows away.”
In Aeschylus’s play, Prometheus says he gave to humans the gift of blind hope.
J.L. Carr’s character in his novella, a victim of shell shock and abandoned by his wife, muses:
“This is what I need, I thought—a new start and, afterwards, maybe I won’t be a casualty anymore. Well, we live by hope.”
And hope is the one thing, quite ambiguously, left in Pandora’s box of evils. Is hope also considered an evil? And, if so, should we be glad that it was held in the box? Or is hope a good thing, left behind in the box and now separated from evil?
Alan and I spoke about the myth of Pandora’s Box usually about once a year, in the autumn, when we would give an adapted version of it to our respective first year Latin students.
I wonder what he would say to me about it now.
I identify most with Aeschylus’s offering of blind hope.