A Hope Once Offered by Michael Carson

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Michael Carson

A Hope Once Offered


45.72 x 45.72 cm | 18 x 18 in

Charcoal on white paper

  • Honorable Mention / Drawing

This work is available for purchase, for inquiries please write to kara.ross@artrenewal.org

The final horror unleashed from Pandora's Box is both a feeling of possibility, which cures us of the burden of reality's factual failings, and a curse that dampens our appreciation for what is true.  In other words, to hope for a better future is implicitly and simultaneously to perform a negation of the present.  Hope can only exist in contrast to a flawed or dismal present state of affairs, whether real or imagined.  Hope, therefore, is also necessarily a disdain for what is currently the case.

One might conjecture that hope acts as a guiding light in the darkness, a source of emotional succor and motivational direction.  But this is not real light, it is only imagined or, at best, hypothesized.  It is equally likely to be an angler’s lure tempting us toward danger or simply a mirage leading to nothing at all.  It cannot be real in any sense, for it exists solely in the mind.

A hope, once offered, will lodge itself into the consciousness like a splinter, impossible to forget, impossible to escape.  The dark contrast it draws and the shadow it casts across our present is just as illusory as the hope itself.  It pulls at us with hypnotic desire, which lies at the root of suffering, and yet without it, all despair would be infinite, and there would be no escape at all from the facts of our now.  And so, we live in a sort of limbo, caught between an unrealized future and an unwanted present.

In a lighter tone, this drawing also contains a bad pun for any horologists out there.