If only wishes were fishes…or even horseshoes

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of wishes. Wishes are desires and hopes we will to happen. We relate our wishes and open them to  something, someone else- someone whom we know not but believe has the power to grant them. We like to believe in the illusion that someday, somewhere, somebody will accidentally set off in motion a chain of events that will fulfill our wish, if we just desire it so. Wishes are the hand inside the glove of hope. We hope because we wish, we desire.

Even when wishes aren’t supernaturally or serendipitously granted, just the act of wishing brings us that much closer to our heart’s desires.  Wishing brings to attention our previously unexpressed or unacknowledged hopes and dreams.

Wishes have been a part of cultures all around the world. From breaking a wishbone to wishing on a shooting star and eyelash to blowing out a candle and splashing a penny in the wish-well. There’s the wishing tree and wishing kites; there’s Santa Claus and first dandelion and dandelion; not speaking till you’ve crossed a bridge and picking up a penny; the more realistic, Beggar’s Soup and the more recent, teeth for a wish. There are countless customs and countless views on wishes- the fascination/obsession with the notion of wishing is not universal.

Dum spiro spero

“While I breathe, I hope”

I, particularly, am most familiar with the art of wishing on eyelashes. I have a long history of plucking mine and stealing others'(imagine that- a new kind of theft!). I would try to tear mine out until one of my friends’ told me that deliberately trying to gain wishes is a no-no. It never works. Also, stealing wishes is just plain wrong. Not like it has stopped me- I still do it! Sadly, you can have only one wish on an eyelash in a lifetime, according to my then-third-grade-wish-expert and I believe I wasted that lone magic eyelash on a fateful day in third grade when I lost my eraser(it was terrifying, being as how it was the fourth eraser in as many days and my mom had made it clear she wouldn’t supply me with another one unless this one lasted for a week. And I was giving a test!). I guess since I’ve used up my share so I’m gonna do my damnedest to ensure no one does. It’s for your betterment, folks; you’ll probably use on useless, trivial things.

It’s heartrending that we’ve imposed so many rules and restrictions on wishing as well. It’s seems that the self-confining nature of our collective consciousness has managed to get a rein on our individual sub-consciousness. We have to follow steps; we have a bloody manual to guide us through the process of wishing. It seems rational, though, if we want our wishes to be magically fulfilled. It brings an old adage to mind:

“If wishes were wishes, we’d all be throwing nets.”

But the truest kind of wish is hope itself. Hope brings wishes to reality. Is it not the glove that protects us when our hand dive into a fire to weld that piece of glass into a masterpiece? Wishes granted through magic or genies or even a horseshoes are frugal; they are not the product of our sweat and blood, hence they are not bound to us in any way. After all, in the end, you can really only count on your blood.

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”


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