The sun has barely started to rise over the horizon. Behind the blocks of past tenement buildings of the 1800s not even the first glow of light from an early riser has lit a patch on the horizon, it’s 4am. That magic hour; the hour of many a fable and myth. The hour at which life is at a standstill.
But, my reason for being awake is less romantic. I couldn’t sleep. Still drugged by the sleeping pills I had taken only a few hours earlier a realised I was dreaming about work. I had gone to sleep thinking about work and work clearly hadn’t left my mind when the lights shut out.
One security light, like a lighthouse two streets away calls attention to itself. The early chirp of an eager few birds waking, unlike me, without coffee, join me. I doubt my awareness of them is reciprocated.
But, at this time no awareness is reciprocated except the sleeping couple, alone in their dreams. Somehow I hope, they are aware of the other in their slumber. Lying in bed next to the other there is the hope, maybe, the delusion, that they are aware of each other’s thoughts as they lay side by side, permeating sleep and bringing comfort to dreams.
But, life so often proves hope to be a liar. Yet we continue with our hopes. Like the sun rising, hope brings a new light on an otherwise battered day. Who hasn’t been challenged by the day, come home and hoped for the next one?
Soon glimmers of hope will switch on, first with the sidelight and then the bedroom light before coffee, breakfast and hope will become the energy that wakens the world with a new plan for the day. New strategies of hope for a myriad ambitions in a city of juxtaposition, irony and contradiction.
But, as much as we may be stymied in our hopes age teaches us to be patient it. Age teaches us that hope is more than a dream in one day; hope, we learn, carries more weight than delusion. It is the beginnings of a plan; the start of something fresh. There is a pragmatism to dreaming that is often lost in the dichotomies of romantic and pragmatic differences.
We need dreams to realise lives, the two are a part of the same enterprise. Hope is that which puts wind in our sail, rough as the sea may be, it is the island we’ve set sail for.
So far so ambiguous. I am sitting in a kitchen with someone else’s pins in the walls. I have next to me a Kindle, a newspaper, a book and a notebook with prospective (albeit yet to be organised) content of a report. The fridge is half empty except for snacks that require the least effort to prepare and all this is the beginning of a possible future.
They are the start of the hopes of a new life. The beginnings of an ambition for a new place in a new city. The life around me may be unfinished, unpolished and uncertain. But, with each new activity comes the possibility of a new adventure, a new discovery and a new conquest.
We start somewhere, we hope that with the efforts we make, day in and day out a little more polish will find its way onto the patina of life; that the cracks will be filled and we will live closer to the dreams that sparked those hope we began with.