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Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope –
not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower;
nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;
nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness, which creak on shrill on angry hinges
(people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through);
nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is gonna be all right.”
But a different, sometimes lonely place, the place of truth-telling,
about your own soul first of all and its condition,
the place of resistance and defiance,
the piece of ground from which you see the world
 both as it is and as it could be,
as it will be;
the place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
 but joy in the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
telling people what we are seeing,
asking people what they see.

–Victoria Safford, reformatted from essay The Small Work in the Great Work,
   
in The Impossible Will Take A Little While, edited by Paul Loeb

 


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