Existential Daynotes: Hardcore Hope Navigation

A piece of Paper Mario branded paper with the words "Hardcore Hope Navigation" written in the middle.

("Day notes" is a misnomer in some ways. You don’t have to write notes every day, but the act of writing for the day can be useful in itself. A temporary space to pause, to gather thoughts and weave them into something new. There doesn’t need to be rhythm of cadence to this, other than the rhythms of your own practice.)

Going through an old notebook yesterday, I found a slip of paper that I’d written the following words on in capital letters: "HARDCORE HOPE NAVIGATION."

They had rung out at me at the time, enough to give them their own space. And after a busy month leading to another busy, and somewhat uncertain month, Hope is something fully, delicately on the radar currently.

A lot of people seem to be are having rough times at the moment. There’s a faintly British legacy psyche of putting up with it I think, but a lot of it seems more existential than just getting through a bad patch. Omnishambles is turning into Permashambles. Demographically, we have yet to acknowledge the true cost of a retired population. Democratically, individuals are becoming more powerful than nations. Economically, global capitalism is running out of road in a lot of places. Systemically, there is a big question mark over the state of our combined health – of people, places, and the planet.

Like a lot of people, I’m caught up in the effects of all that too. I worry about how best to apply myself, but have trouble committing to a single direction when everything is so interconnected. I feel caught between the experience I’ve accrued, and the challenge of new innovation as well as new problems that we face – and in my mind, new solutions (oh hello AI) do nothing to fix either the existing issues, or embed critical thinking about new ones that they create, or amplify.

I feel pretty trapped, to be honest. I want to tread a path of simplicity and natural acceptance, but the more we rely on consumerist, middle class identities combined with increasing costs and systemic risks, the more we’re going to panic as a society, and the more we’re going to fragment and fight.

So this is where Hardcore Hope Navigation comes in, and why I’m finding it hard to position my own self right now. There are ways through this, but it’ll take a lot of collective willpower to see things differently. Some amazing people are already working in this space, but the forces against them are inexplicably massive. Maybe I should just write about it more? Maybe there’s scope to open up and Do The Weaving more than I currently do.

Open questions seem like a good place to end a day note.