Is there an expiration date on wishes? For instance, if I wish on a star tonight, at what point do I write off the wish as not coming true? One week? One month? A couple of years? And, if by chance, that wish does come true albeit five years down the road, do I believe that it was simply delayed wish grantification and that the two events (the wish and the fulfillment) are entirely connected?
I mean, if you believe in wishes at all.
I've always made wishes, but I certainly kicked up the sheer amount of magical thinking once diagnosed with infertility. The end of a cycle (especially the end of a pregnancy) is so exceptionally painful emotionally that wishes are stand-ins for begging off the torture. I wasn't just wishing for a child. I was wishing for the hellaciousness of cycling to end.
That wish, of course, came true. It took two years and a bunch of treatments to come true, but it came true nonetheless. Was it the wish and if so, which one (I made the same wish so many times, but on a multitude of objects such as first stars, train tracks, and 12:34 on a clock)? If it wasn't the wish, would I have the twins today even if I had never sent those thoughts into the universe?
A few weeks ago, we were at the National Mall and we swung by Yoko Ono's wish tree. As luck would have it, the box was out of paper therefore, I only got to view others' wishes. There were earnest requests for dogs, pleas for marriage, and a wish for a cure for Alzheimer's so a grandmother could know her granddaughter. It is powerful to be standing in front of this tangible reminder of so many hearts laid bare.
My aunt once told me (I will add that this should be taken with a grain of salt because she also informed me in the same conversation that 95% of the English language actually comes from Hebrew and that doesn't sound quite right) that the word for luck in Hebrew--mazel--is actually an acronym. Hebrew does not have vowels, therefore, if you write this word in Hebrew, it is composed from three letters: mem, zayin, and lamed. The mem stands for the word "makom" or place. The zayin stands for the word "z'man" or time. The lamed stands for the word "la'asot" or to do. Therefore, luck is about being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
Pretty cool even if it's wrong.
I like this vision of luck--that some of it is chance (place and time) and some of it is active (doing), therefore, it's a balance. And because it's a balance, when we wish, we need to keep doing. The wish may come true in the right place and time--that stuff we can't control--but we need to actively keep trying to fulfill our dreams if we want them to actually happen.
Or, we need others to help fulfill our dreams. I believe in some cases we make our own luck, simply by not only being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing, but because someone else took that ember and fanned it a bit to pass the fire to the next person in line to help. On that note, completely unrelated to infertility, I give you this wish I saw on the tree as well as a link to her art which I found through a quick google search. I hope her wish comes true.
How crazy wonderful would it be if an art dealer was reading this right now and fell in love with Anna Bieniak's art and she became a famous artist simply by making the wish and having someone else pass the ember until it reached someone who could fulfill it?
I can only hope that someone else, wishing for a child, has others who step in once they hear her wish and try to help her make that wish come true. There are small ways we can help one another, pass along information, make connections. I think blogging is simply a larger and wider net of wish making, especially since the words don't disappear into the ether. We hear each other's wishes and sometimes even grant them.
I may do this often (wishes are such a recurring theme in my life), but bringing the spirit of Yoko Ono's tree to you: please leave your wish in the comment box of this post.