“Would you like to swing on a star,
Carry moonbeams home in a jar,
And be better off than you are?
Or would you rather be a fish?”-
from “Swingin’ on a Star” (written by Burke/VanHuesen, made popular by Frank Sinatra)
I am very much a night owl. I find it easier to work at night, easier to focus – and I am generally more open to creative thinking as it gets later. It takes my insides much longer to wake up than my outsides.
One of the things I love best about night time is the stars. They have been a muse for us people-beings as long as they’ve been perched in the heavens. G*d numbers them and knows their names. They shine like a lover’s eyes. They mark the passage of centuries and the birth of kings. And they’re dang good for wishin’.
Wishing on stars is very romantic. Well, any kind of wishing is romantic. The idea that you can send a thought straight up to the cosmos just by thinking it- the ability to be freed from the constraints of rationalism when the clock strikes 11:11- there is something beautiful and bewitching about that.
I was talking to someone once about wishing, and she said the wishes we make are kind of like little prayers. Well, what if they weren’t kind of like that, but exactly like that? What if- when you wished for the phone to ring and it be someone special, or for the sky to rain jellybeans- you were actually petitioning the Divine?
I understand that many people find wishing superstitious- and not everyone who will read this is the praying kind. And that’s okay! But everyone has wished. Every single person has hoped against hope for something that seems impossible to happen at some exact moment of his or her choosing.
Wishing connects us.
I love thinking about that- connectedness – how somewhere out there is another person thinking the same thing, wondering the same wonders, asking the same questions that I am. And I love being reminded that the world is bigger than just me and life is bigger than just this moment.
Wishing came up in conversation again last night- and I realized when I made my wish that wishes allow us to consider the impossible- to hope for the unimaginable- and with great enthusiasm. . . “Please. please, please!” we whisper. For one moment, in one tick of the clock, we have unreasonable, exuberant faith.
Children are very good at wishing- because they have that sort of faith all the time. When you are a child, nothing is impossible, whatever you are wishing for just hasn’t happened yet. Children don’t feel the need to explain, justify, or rationalize anything.
Last night, I got to thinking- there is no reason why I shouldn’t allow myself to think like that: on a clear night, when I see identical numbers on the clock face, or anytime. And that’s good news for a girl with a head full of aspirations and a hankering to own a tiny Hawaiian stringed instrument.
So clear your head, blow out some candles, synchronize your watches- and take a moment to consider the impossible.
Think like a child. Close your eyes. Make a wish.
Or would you rather be a fish?