Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Hope spoils your tastes for the way it is.

It spoils you from the work that’s just what it does.”


I’m sitting talking with an earth rights guy,
and he’s doing God’s work.
And we’re talking about what’s coming down that pipe.
The near future.

This is what I said.

Here’s the thing, man, the starting point now,
it’s just too late for a lot of things.
That has to be the starting point.

You can see the inertia, right.
The incremental five-year plans.
The governments opting in and opting out in the same year.
It’s not bad enough.
That’s the meter.

Now you work your ass off in the meantime.
I’ll do the same.
But bad enough is probably what you’re gonna have to wait for now.
It’s gonna have to get worse.

That’ll be the sign.

This is what he said.

You can’t tell the kids it’s too late. It’ll kill them.
They’ll sit on the corner.
They’ll self-medicate to Oblivion.

You got to keep them engaged.
Engaged. That’s it.

Hooked. Hooked on hope.
Hope spoils your tastes for the way it is.
It spoils you from the work that’s just what it does.

Nobody hopes for the way it is,
They hope for the way it isn’t.
Yeah, hopes got that future problem.

If you want the kids to vote for you,
you can tell them it’s not too late.
You can’t do that if you respect them.

So there’s no hope? he says.
I say exactly.
There’s no hope.
None that’s worth the trouble.
There is no hope that’s worth giving up this present of ours for.

So wait, the only way to mobilise kids is to guarantee the future
or scare them silly with Doom.
There isn’t anything else.

Now hear this.
As soon as you demonstrate the capacity to carry weight
you get weighed down.
See, that’s fate.

When there’s finally no hope left.
That’s when you have to leave a scent in the air of what some people did in the time of trouble like this.
Because the people to come, they’re going to need that.
They’re going to need to know that they come from people who were worthy of coming from.

You do not hope that you will be worthy.
You get worthy.

That’s what time it is.

Stephen Jenkinson

Orphan Wisdom

Orphan Wisdom is the home of Stephen Jenkinson’s writing and teaching work. Orphan Wisdom is a teaching house for the skills of deep living and making human culture. It is a redemptive project that comes from where we come from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, working for a time we won’t see.​

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