Somehow 2012 has rushed by at an accelerated rate ignoring even the prophesied December 21st apocalypse. 2013 approaches, and it’s time to take stock again, to look back and then think forward to the new year. Not to put too much spin on it, the time has come to face writing those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions.
Resolutions… such a grave and binding word. Supposing, I think, I could substitute ‘wishes’ for ‘resolutions.’ Would the process then be easier? Perhaps if a genie would appear before me and grant me three wishes …
No sooner said than done. Here before me stands a pretend-genie who has magically popped out of my tea cup. Arms akimbo, a somewhat alarming grin on his face, he intones, “Your three wishes for 2013 are waiting to be granted!”
Even an Imaginary genie is not to be treated lightly. I begin, “I’d like peace…” but he immediately cuts me off.
“No, foolish mortal. Your wishes are not so important that they can change the world. These three wishes are personal. Therefore think before you speak, and do not squander your wishes lightly or waste my time!”
For a figment of my imagination, he takes himself much too seriously. Besides, three wishes for myself take a lot of thinking.
Perhaps I take too long, for the genie is tapping his thumbs on my desk. “All right,” I say, “I want to stretch.” He arches a ferocious eyebrow. “Not my body,” I hasten to add, “but my mind. I need to expand my horizons. You get it?”
He doesn’t. “Recently,” I explain, “I have become much too complacent about my writing and about my art. I need to get out of my comfort zone and start learning. New horizons. New techniques. New ideas.”
“Really,” he says huffily, “this so-called wish could easily be construed into three wishes. Mortals are so wishy-washy! But I’ll let it slide. I agree that your mind needs to stretch. Next wish!”
Ignoring his rude remarks, I confess, “I need to listen more. I need to hear what other people mean with my heart as well as my mind. And I have to listen to the world around me. Gershwin heard all those city sounds and turned them into music– so I should be able to listen to the natural world around me and let it fill my work with color and song.”
For the first time, I see a softening in the Genie’s eyes. “You would listen to the little song birds,” He murmurs, “and the brave wind that makes clouds flow across the sky.” And then, to my amazement, he waxes poetic.
“For those small bird songs
And the mighty wind voices
Fill the world with joy.”
We listen for a while to the cheeping chickadees and the busy woodpecker who is hammering away at the sweet gum tree. Then I say, “For my third wish I want to really see what’s around me. I want to be aware of the way each day begins and how it folds into night. I want to absorb the colors of the barren winter branches and of the little green leaves that come first in the spring. So often I’m in a rush going somewhere, and I don’t see anything except the traffic ahead.”
The Genie sighs. “Now, that is a very difficult wish. Why couldn’t you have wished for riches or a cruise in the Carribbean? True awareness takes a lot of practice, Mortal, and patience, and hard work. You’d better get cracking!” And with that he disappears.
Really! This figment of my imagination has terrible manners. But of course, he’s right. Practice, patience and hard work—my three wishes for 2013 will have to be earned the hard way!
Many days flow back
Across this long, past year…
Now to look ahead!