I don’t wish per se, and I’m not sure if there is any strength in or rationale behind the act of wishing. I’m not even sure if I know what wishing actually is, but I’m kind of scared to look up its definition; I might find that it is defined exactly how I would expect it to be and that I still struggle to comprehend what it is. Perhaps worse still, I might find that it is defined exactly how I think another word is defined–I can’t imagine what that word might be, but it just seems like that’s a possibility–which would bring a need to look up that word. That might bring more fear of course, and the path ahead can look so dark and fearful at times over just the silliest little things.
It seems rational to me that, if folks are wont to wish, they would wish for things that can possibly come true, like, “I wish I had a million bucks” or “I wish my kids would listen better,” but…and I don’t even know how to finish that thought, but I think simply stating that first clause begs enough of a question.
OK, so I’ve gone and done it; I asked Siri to give me a definition of the word, and I see why it’s something of a vague concept for me to grasp; when asking Siri for a definition, I get 11, six verbs and five nouns. The first definition of a wish, the noun, is ” a desire or hope for something to happen.” The first verb entry expands it to “something that is not easily attainable…that cannot or probably will not happen.”
See, that’s where I am, if I do wish, I wish for things that can’t happen. There’s nothing wrong with my doing this, as long as I realize that my wishes are futile.
I wish that I could read Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story or Italo Calvino’s novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler…, for the first time again.
I wish that I could sit on that wide stairway in Mexico for the first time again.
I wish I could hear “Dream On”, or “Stairway to Heaven”, or “I Love it Loud” again for the first time, but with the knowledge I have now of how special each song will become for me, listening for textures of the relationships decades along.
I wish I could see my wife for the first time again, to come around that corner and to have this person–who had until an exact moment been just a faceless topic of conversation–actually have a face, and for her to have that face, just bursting with drive and possibility, with daring, as if the molecules of her knew something most other molecules didn’t.
By wishing in such manner, I’m not focusing on the actual wishes themselves or thinking of what it really would be like if the Universe was so skewed that I could relive these experiences; rather, I’m reminding myself that I did indeed live moments that are enviable.
So, I don’t do much wishing, but I’m going to make it a point to wish more. It should be easy; I know what it is now, and there is more strength in it and rationale behind it than I would have guessed.
4 Replies to “Thoughts on Wishing (It’s Good to See My Wife Has a Face)”
Wow Paul…you’re writing is amazing and this one really hits home with me as it should. Had I known 4 years ago that all I would wish for today is one more minute just a minute with my son Matthew I truly wonder how different things would have been. The saying “watch what you wish for” makes some sense but then no sense at all. Wishing is mesmerizing because some do come true! I have always been fascinated with your work from the day I met you so keep writing!
Kim, what lovely comments. Thanks so much for the feedback. You’re always in my prayers. You know where I am, if you ever want to talk.
It’s ok to wish. Like you said…as long as you KNOW that these things probably WONT happen 🙂
You get it of course; you’ve always been one of the most rational and level-headed people I know.