Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thoughts on a Wishbone

Everyone wants more than they have, hence the superstition of wishing we have in our culture. Wishing wells, Genies in lanterns, seeing a shooting star... you name it. There are probably hundreds of random events which prompt us to "make a wish" for something more. Not surprising, there are also tales in our culture of people who "got what they wished for" which has led to the cliche "be careful what you wish for." 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to participate in wish-making and extracted the wishbone from a slow-cooked chicken. For a couple days, I moved the bone around the kitchen with indecision of my non-existent wish. I found it remarkably difficult to wish for anything, because everything I want comes with an unfamiliar set of responsibilities. How am I to know if I can rise to a challenge being totally unaware of what that challenge might entail? Or maybe the difficulty was in the fact that I have no trivial wishes. All things nominal, such as ice cream or attending a concert or eating a cookie are all things I can and will do when I choose, and no wishing is necessary. Similarly, all my basic needs are met so no need for wishes there either.

When I finally decided what I really wanted to wish for, I was ready. I enlisted Ryan to help me break the tiny bone, and he said to me, "I don't need to do that, I already have everything I want." Great. All that thought put into my wish and the only person who could possibly be affected by it already is wishing for nothing more. To hell with it, I figured. I silently made my wish to myself, closed my eyes, and pulled on the bone. When I opened them, the larger piece was between my fingers. If our culture's mythology is correct, my wish should come true.

I have no idea if there are time-frames involved with wishbone wishes like there are with, say, birthday cake candle wishes. The wish I chose wasn't one of grave change requiring some unlikely act of God, but something that I'm hopeful will happen over the natural course of my life. I may have to wait years to find out if this wish comes true, but if wishes and luck are in any way connected, that will not be the case. Naturally, there will be consequences if this wish comes true. But, if the right choices are made along the way, it will serve to strengthen rather than hinder... and outcome I can only wish for.