“Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.” – Henri Frederic Amiel
I’m a lover of The Sandman comics. It was a series of comics written by Neil Gaiman and beautifully illustrated by many different artists. I own all 12 graphic novels, and I still go back to read them now and then. In one episode Dream (the sandman) finds himself in hell battling a demon to claim something of his. The way Gaiman describes and visualises the battle, you can almost see it and feel it. It’s a battle of words made real and of realities shifting and being born and dying. The demon starts “I am a Dire Wolf Prey Stalking, lethal prowler. Dream counters ‘I am a hunter, horse-mounted wolf stabbing”. The demon counters with a horsefly, Dream a spider, the demon a snake, Dream an ox, so it goes on until the demon “I am anti-life the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, Gods, worlds… Of everything”. He thinks he has won, what else is there, what is left? There is a pause and Dream counters “I am hope”.
I loved that. Those three words spoken in that way contain so much power. In that context, they are words of all possibilities of all universes and worlds, or at least that is how I choose to see them.
The quote above reminds me of that story, and when I think about uncertainty, I see hope and possibility. I have never been good with rigid boundaries and hard control. I live in the spaces between, because for me that is where the possibilities lie. That is the realm of adventure and creativity and new possibilities.
One of my mentors would often say “Hope is not a strategy”. This too is true, and so while hope is something that calms me and helps me to see new possibilities, I have also amassed a toolbox of tools from different contexts that I find very helpful in Navigating Uncertainty, and I’m excited to be sharing some of them here with you.
“Hope is not a lottery ticket; you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency”. – Rebecca Solnit