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  • Writer's pictureJoy Juliet

High Hopes


I had high hopes for this summer. The last few years have been a slog and I decided that my time to relax and have fun was finally here.


Then, in July, I lost two family members too soon. The rest of the summer went by in a blur of rushed cross-country trips and trying to stay above water with all the other things I had to do. Grief and shock have a way of making the days and weeks bleed together until your whole life seems a little bit out of focus.


Yet as I look back at my photos, I’m reminded of how many beautiful moments there were, even in a difficult summer. And I’m struck by how many of the pictures I took in the weeks after the loss contain rainbows and orbs that I hadn’t seen in the moment.


Life is strange but death is the oldest unsolved mystery. Sometimes I imagine being at a party where no one knows how they got there, when they’re leaving, or where they’re going next. People disappear at random and no one can say for sure when or if we’ll see them again. Would I be able to set aside my fear for long enough to enjoy the food, make new friends, sing along to a favorite song? Would I see any point in putting fresh flowers on the table or offering to clear the plates? Or would I be consumed with trying to figure out what was going on?


Isn’t that a little bit what it’s like to be alive in this uncertain world? We do our best to have some fun, to be helpful, to notice the beauty in front of us. And all the while we’re asking unanswerable questions, searching for clues, trying to find something to help us understand what this whole thing is all about.

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