Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Scribblings--Three Wishes

Once upon a time and right now, I've always been the kind of person to wish on a star, find a penny, pick it up, and all day long, you’ll have good luck. My eyes are peeled for fairies and wishbones; you never know when one will appear. And who hasn't searched for that magical genie's lamp, covered with the dust of the workaday world?

And yet, I am finding this a hard assignment. My thoughts on wishing are still tender, muddled by years of wanting and not getting. Being unsure about the strength of my desires, and whether I deserved them anyway.

Wishes get a bad rap. No more floating from our minds like a puff of dandelion seed--no, now wishes should come with insurance plans, signed contracts, perhaps a notary public trailing behind. I’m guilty of this too. As a child, I wished for so many things, many of them half forgotten by the time the wish was uttered. I wished because wishing is what princesses did, and fairy tales were my manuals for living. I longed to drench my world in magic--in spells and wands and fairy dust. I knew that I had a better view of the potential of my life with my head in the clouds (and I never managed to quite get it out of there, sorry, Mami) than I ever did thudding on solid ground. I made wishes simply to feel like a character in my stories--one day Aladdin, one day Beauty. What was important was that smiling inward hush right before I made my wish; the anticipation of surprising myself with whatever dream unfurled itself. What mattered was trust in the possibilities of the universe. I was perfectly content to wait for my future to catch up to my wishing--after all, my heroines and heroes often had to wait until they reached a magic age of maturity before they saw their wishes come to fruition.

I think the problem started when that age seemed to come and go. My desires became both more confused and more urgent. I lost that childish ease of knowing precisely what I wanted; that ability to feast through my imagination. The fairy tales started to feel like reproaches, and I could feel myself being expelled from the Queendom of Wishes. And I started to want some guarantees before I plunked down my hard-earned faith again. But wishes don’t work that way. And so I tried to be Adult, to repudiate the passivity of wishing at all. See, that’s just another example of why I can’t ever truly have what I want! Wishing! Bah...wishing is for people without discipline, without’s just watching your life drift away of a cotton candy cloud of ennui. I flung challenges back onto the universe, "Make THIS happen!" It never occurred to me that I was throwing a rather childish tantrum. I thought I was putting childish things behind me; giving myself over to the Important, the Tangible.

But I still wished, of course, in those secret recesses of my heart where I was still nine years old. Now my wishes were tinged with regrets, tinged with hopelessness. Encapsulated in sighs. How could I make a strong, powerful wish when I couldn’t control my own emotions, couldn’t grip my own longings?

First I needed that space to give myself over to dreaming, to wishing. This blog is a wish, a quiet whisper of "this is what I want...this is the way my life should be. This is how I feel. This is what it means to be unashamed." And then my sighs become a breath, and I tell my stories, try to feel my desires, even as I squirm with the effort and the embarrassment of it all. Even as I hear myriad voices tell me that wishing is useless; that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. That I should spend the time being productive, hard nosed, practical.

But trust is a fragile thing, so is belief, and neither are always practical. For me, wishing is an affirmation of the wild eccentric unpredictability of life. It doesn’t mean I need to drowse my life away without action; instead it helps me focus my intention and action. Wishing is the way I know myself. And so I make my wishes, not like detailed business plans that are meaningful only when granted EXACTLY, but rather like messages in a bottle. I have no idea where they’ll end up, but I have faith that they’ll lead me somewhere unexpected. And that Somewhere Unexpected is exactly what I longed for, after all.

Oh, and my three wishes?

That we all (world leaders included) have the courage to follow right, to do good, even when other choices are easier or quicker or promise an economic benefit in the short term.

A passionate, joyful, artful life full of community, for the people I love, and for myself.

That Madam sleeps through the night soon. I’m tired!


More Sunday Scribbling wishes found here.



Blogger Laini said...

I'm a big believer in wishing, too. It's funny to me to read in some responses a negative connotation to wishing, like it's less than dreaming and hoping. I guess I can see that, but wishing is a magical practice, a way of keeping hope limber. Good luck with the sleeping through the night soon! I can only imagine!

1:07 AM, May 22, 2006  
Anonymous tinker said...

I enjoyed reading your post so much. Though wishes may seem childish to some when we enter adulthood, I have to say I never wished harder or more often, than as an adult, once I had children of my own! But my wishes were often for someone else's benefit, then.
I hope your "sleeping through the night" wish will come true soon!

3:25 AM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I've always wished on stars; the "find a penny pick it up" sentiment; all sorts of superstition and magic. But in the end, of course the wishes come true when we work to create the reality we want - I'm not saying there isn't a little helping hand of magic along the way, because I believe the universe conspires and a chain of events occurs when things are meant to be. It's like Wayne Dyer said in his book, "You'll see it when you believe it." And for that believe, it takes a powerful dose of dreaming, wishing and a little magic thrown in for good measure. Thank you for your lovely post!

6:40 AM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

"And so I make my wishes, not like detailed business plans that are meaningful only when granted EXACTLY, but rather like messages in a bottle. I have no idea where they’ll end up, but I have faith that they’ll lead me somewhere unexpected. And that Somewhere Unexpected is exactly what I longed for, after all." These sentences are brilliant - as is the whole post - but these resonate so strongly within me. Beautiful thoughts on the whole journey of wishing - and wonderful three wishes to culminate the journey.

12:12 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Tammy said...

This was a powerful post for me. I never thought of my blog as a reflection of my wishes. It's very true and encouraging. My you sleep well and dream of wishes to come true.

12:34 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger liz elayne said...

this feels so brave and strong and true to me. i am so glad to read your words have expressed so much in this post. i wish we could sit down to tea and talk about it some more. i have so many thoughts whirling around in my head after reading your words.
thank you for this post...

1:51 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger earnest and game said...

I very much liked this sentence: My eyes are peeled for fairies and wishbones; you never know when one will appear. And love wish number 2. Your fellow scribbler, HKJ

1:54 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger deirdre said...

It's amazing how often we lose a basic faith in wishing and think we have to be practical, productive, wage earning with our desires. You've made me think about allowing myself to wish - truly dream and wish.

3:35 PM, May 22, 2006  
Anonymous Pygmalion's Wife said...

Typing one-handed myself--update your blogroll, dear (click me and I think you'll "recognize" me). Cheers!

4:21 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger fern_leaf said...

awww...great post! I love the wish about community..that's exactly what I would wish for too.

5:03 PM, May 22, 2006  
Anonymous beansprout said...

Twinkle! Twinkle! What still matters is the "trust in the possibilities of the universe." And you are so right that trust is very fragile. Know that I am with you on this struggle. Glad to hear that your blog is a wish. Thanks so much for this post. Wonderful, as always! Be well.

5:28 PM, May 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post. Wishes are great. I do think we often stop from making our wishes a reality because we know that the genie always comes with a bill, sometimes more than we want to pay. I actually find that comforting. I'm suspicious of free things!

6:19 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger boliyou said...

I love your post. Keep wishing!

7:51 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Letha Sandison said...

I love the idea of sending wishes out like messages in bottles! Trusting life to carry them where they, and you, need to go. Beautiful!

I hope all is going well. How is madame sleeping these days?


10:28 AM, May 23, 2006  
Blogger Cee said...

What a lovely post on wishes. Inspiring - I want to re-write my own three wishes now!

6:27 PM, May 23, 2006  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i've read through this twice and i'm not sure what i want to say about it. it really speaks to me but i haven't quite processed all of it. very powerful piece!

10:00 PM, May 23, 2006  

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