Finding "Hope"

As the title to this article, "Finding Hope" has a very blunt and somewhat obvious double-meaning. In a few sentences, I'm going to ask you to re-think that title, and I hope you get a chuckle, as I do. Because what it means is not necessarily what you think it means. Not in this case.
"Hope" is (being many other things of course) a new song by Rush -- specifically a solo tune by guitarist Alex "Lerxst" Lifeson -- on their latest album and tour, Snakes and Arrows. It's just over two minutes long, (uh... the song, not the tour), and is played entirely solo by Mr. Lifeson, on a single acoustic 12-string guitar. An awed hush falls over the entranced crowd of thousands when Lifeson plays this full-sounding, very moving tune. It lives up to its name.

Now is when I want you to re-think the very cliched term "finding hope". This exact phrase is nowhere in the song -- after all, it's an instrumental. Nor is it found anywhere else on the album, although the simple concept of seeking and finding hope certainly weaves its way through the entire recorded work. My chuckle is because the last few days, particularly after having seen the song performed live and very close up to Mr. Lifeson several times, the song has been in my head when I wake up, almost without fail -- like when I did just now, from a nap. Hey, it's perfectly common; we all go through "song phases", and "Hope" makes for a great such kind of reverse-lullaby. It's the song you'd wake up to every day if you could. (Until you got sick of it by association, of course. And if you never get sick of -- ugh -- waking up, even to a song as good as "Hope", well, congratulations, you've just found the new Prozac :).

Mr. Lerxst Lifeson, "Hope"Mr. Lerxst Lifeson Performing "Hope"
in June, 2007
So for the last few days, as the summer starts its quietly palpable waning, I return to the humdrum aspects of my life -- but only after a truly stellar vacation that involved getting to see Mr. Lifeson and his bandmates' very best work up close and in person on several occasions -- I am haunted (in a good way, I forget the word for that) by this very uplifting song. Heh, 'Uplifting' could be considered another bad pun -- Since the song's always in my head whenever I'm "getting up".

And that's it. The simplicity of the humor in this divine, repeated experience. Waking up with "Hope" in my head... literally. And if I'm lucky, in the truer sense as well. It's like a welcome alarm clock if there were such a thing; the warm feeling you get as you're being gently roused from sleep by the very pretty girl lying next to you in your bed, and you realize that you love her.

So here I am, finding "Hope" in my head whenever I wake up. Considering the pitfalls I currently tend to see around me despite the wonderful experiences and accomplishments I've been having, it's comforting to know that some part of my subconscious is subtly conspiring to (drumroll for the big sappy pun again)... find "Hope" for me each time I boot-strap myself.

Jeremy Isaac