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A Hope In Hell

[ This is another in a sequence of wolf-work posts and I have no idea how much sense it will make if you aren’t familiar with the rest of the tag. Be warned. Or read the tag. ]

I’ve been learning an awful lot about the techniques of the devil’s sorcerors.

It’s a lot to take in, and a lot to handle.

I mean, the actual sorcerors have an easy thing to understand: their desire to mound up riches in hell to protect themselves from a spiritual famine is comprehensible, if twisted entirely around a rather particular sort of wound.

(But I cannot help but tie it to the colonist’s self-inflicted soul wound, the displacement and genericization that is intrinsic to assimilation to whiteness, which is from nowhere, and has no traditions of its own, just an intrinsic vampirism that drains substance away from the rich and colorful and mounds it up in dead heaps.)

But after a week of complicated and exhausted despair, I saw someone (I think a rabbi; Jewish philosophies and theologies are quite robust about doing the fucking work) say that hope isn’t an emotion, it’s a discipline, a commitment, an obligation.

And I’ve realized something: to the Hounds of God, hope is the key to Hell.

And that’s why the sorcerors work so hard to take it away, to destroy any belief that the world can be changed, that anything can do better. If hope itself can be thieved, then no stolen property can be recovered. Nobody will venture out to fight, or sneak, or trick the system, so it will get to stash whatever it likes, and as always it will do that at the price of lives and livelihoods.

In the depths of despair, I recognized that hope is a spiritual discipline, and I said “I don’t see right now what it will move, but I will go and do the thing that I can do.” And so I went into the city on Saturday, and I do the things that I can.

Hope is the key to Hell.

Armed with hope, the Hounds of God can venture in and take back what has been stolen.

Without hope, there is no venturing forth on even the tiniest quest, let alone rescuing an entire child cast into Hell.

But here’s the thing that I keep thinking about: that a sorceror trying to steal hope is doomed to failure. Life is easier to take away than hope, because hope has the potential to emerge from a life – any life – at any time. The possibility of changing something for the better exists as long as change is possible, as long as will is possible.

I think about hope, and Pandora’s box, and I think about the moment the sun came back as the eclipse passed and how I realized I had not – quite – been breathing while it was absent.

The key to Hell is hope.

Storm the gates.

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