On Hope

Alma Ortman
2 min readApr 18, 2020
Photo by Alma Ortman

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope
these days, and how Pema said
hopelessness is the path to freedom,
and accepting the groundlessness
that is forever below our feet
is what
shakes us

And I’ve been thinking about a woman
whose dad is dying as I touch this paper,
surrounded by frightened strangers
in a hurting hospital,
and whose funeral she’ll attend by herself
and put out a broadcast for everyone’s
pieces of screen.
And she’s one of many of our friends
and our future selves,
and he’s one of many of our fathers
and our mothers
and our ancestors
reminding us of that
shaky ground.

And I’m thinking about how a heart
can break in so many different ways
It can crumble
or collapse.
It can explode like the loudness in your head
during the silent parts of night.
It can burst into sharp glass
that cuts up your knees for weeks,
or ripple into smoke
or pure
It can be flattened by a foot
on a staircase
or thrown into a wall by a fist.
It can fight back
and crash
with the unfairness of it all.

It can fold into itself like a child
who is now an adult
and cries for

And it can soar to places high and rich
where it gets a taste of transcendence,
and fall just as fast
down to the bottom,
down to the center of the earth,
to the center of itself,
where it looks into the eyes
of loss and grace,
where love and fear
and truth
get clear,
where it stands up to hold it’s own elbows,
and exhales a gentle heat
that warms up a power
that is old
and shines like gold sun
and sends those elbows
up and out! — blazing
with love and tenderness
for the vitality
that it is a part of,
and for the spaces
like this
that hold
And here it cracks open
what’s dark
and finds ground
for hope.


© 2020 Alma Ortman. All Rights Reserved.



Alma Ortman

Mindful poet & lifelong learner. Musings on belonging, authentic connection, joy, spirit, body, nature, inner work, vulnerability, self-love, fierce compassion