Flame of Hope Flame of Hope

Hope can be the smallest flicker of light in a life disrupted by abuse and violence. I have learned that the light can be easily snuffed out. I have learned that a kind word, compassion, the support of caring people, a hug from a friend, the joy of a loving partner can fan that flicker of light into a flame, the flame of hope. Healing from the aftermath of violence and abuse from a "trusted" family member and intimate partners is a process of moving from the darkness into the light. I have learned that letting your light shine means taking risks and that healing is fraught with challenges and sometimes, danger. I have learned that love is the end result of that process. The "knowing" of joy, being blessed with fitting into my own skin and knowing my heart is where the journey is leading me. The move towards a peaceful life means a continued lighting of the candles of hope with everyone I come into contact with. Without hope there can be no love, without love there can be no peace. Without the light there will be darkness. Working towards peace is a life-long commitment. Let the light of hope illuminate our path towards love and peace in our homes, communities and our world. Let us walk together holding our candles high and with the culmination of those flames may they turn into blazing torches leading us from the darkness into the light.

"Allow yourself to be a torch, and allow the flame of your torch to be transmitted to other torches. Practicing like that, you can help peace and joy grow in the entire world."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace and Love

Doreen A. Nicholas
April 29th, 2008

Artist's Note: The creative process of making Doreen's portrait came easily when I consulted with her over the phone. She struck me as a positive, peaceful and giving person; a giver of light. Like all of these wonderful individuals in the Bravery portrait project, Doreen chooses to use her past in a positive way by igniting the candles of others.