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Hopes and fears and all the years meet within your eyes

I wonder at times about the relationship of hope and fear. They dance together, brilliant partners each--one dressed in a shimmering white and one clad in a stately dark, and each with a firm grip on the other. As they pirouette and turn and find...

I wonder at times about the relationship of hope and fear.

They dance together, brilliant partners each-one dressed in a shimmering white and one clad in a stately dark, and each with a firm grip on the other. As they pirouette and turn and find step in time, they become a blur upon the dancefloor. As the dance builds speed, the distinctions between them grow harder to define, until at last they lose shape entirely, and become a swirl of polarities.

Black intersects with white. White interjects to black. They pull and push and writhe in tandem and the dance grows into a frenzy of passion. They are entangled-they are one and they are all and the room and the floor and the light and the shadow are they as well.

So this is the essence of that symbol you've seen, likely tattooed on somebody's anatomy or placed as a sticker on a notebook-the yin and the yang. A pair of twisted polarities, black and white coiled like lovers. It is the most profound symbol ever drawn. It is at once a model of the universe, a map of the human heart and a statement upon the human condition.

For within the white side, there lies a heart of darkness-within the dark lies a glimpse of light. Fear dwells in hope, and hope swells, pregnant with terror. They define each other, they meet in glory.

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It is through balance that we find peace, and perhaps that is the great trouble that we have. For how many of us have found ourselves driven mad with anxieties? How much suffering have people caused, drunk on hope for a better tomorrow? These aspects should temper one another, but we struggle to find that equilibrium.

So it is Christmas time. Do you remember that song, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"? There's a lyric there that always struck me. "Yet in thy dark streets shineth/the everlasting Light/the hopes and fears of all the years/are met in thee tonight."

These words refer to the birth of a child-perhaps a child of incredible cosmic significance-but a child all the same. That is what it means to make life. Every infant is a meeting of hopes and fears, a testament to our willingness to believe in the future, uncertain though it may be. We all wish the world of our children, and we all fear the worst may befall them.

I have such hopes for us. I have such hopes for myself. Dare I dream of a better tomorrow? Dare I desire that which has always eluded me? Chasing a white rabbit, I risk taking a terrible fall, and yet I cannot help myself in the pursuit, though the terror is ever great.

Love now. Wait not a second longer. Hope, regardless of the suffering it may bring. Live, though it may seem futile. Celebrate what you have now, and pray for that which you hope to have tomorrow.

Winter is the dwindling of the world, the slow decay and the long sleep, and it is in this cold and bitter time that all hope seems to fade, like Christmas lights swallowed up in a snowstorm. Yet under the blankets of snow lurk still green grass. The promise of spring-the hope of tomorrow-slumbers 'neath the fretful frost.

The moon strikes the snow. It glimmers like diamonds. It shines like the eyes of dancers in embrace, lovers in full bloom, staring into one another and seeing all the universe staring back.

Opinion by Iain Woessner
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