Hope: The Rosetta Stone of every story.

by Todd Foley

When I read a depressing story or watch a movie with a tragic ending, I usually feel as though I’ve been kicked in the gut. It feels hopeless. Ironically, this seemingly hopeless situation points me toward hope – hope that what is broken will one day be reconciled.

Which brings me to this quote:

In conversations over the years with other writers and artists, about what we’re actually supposed to be doing, I’ve been struck by how often, deep down, the talk becomes a quest for the same mysterious thing. Underneath the particular image in question, the particular short story or musical composition, we’re looking for a source of hope. When a conversation about each other’s work doesn’t pivot on professional jargon or drift toward the logistics of career management, when it’s instead deferential and accommodating, we’re sometimes able to locate a kind of Rosetta stone, a key to living well with the vexing and intractable nature of human life. If any wisdom emerges in these conversations, it offers sudden clarification. It’s the Grail shimmer. You feel it, and you can’t wait to get to work.” – BARRY LOPEZ

Can hopeless situations still point toward hope?
How can seemingly tragic endings be viewed as redemptive?

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