If Resolutions were only Wishes….

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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!

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About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

21 responses »

  1. Maureen, I LOVE the quilt! Very, very precious!
    I like the ‘difficult’ wish, the ‘awareness’ wish. Age, I believe, helps making us more aware…
    Happy New Year,
    Hanny

  2. Maureen,
    I’d love to see you lead a classroom full of students in writing resolutions. This was so much fun to read. The Genie’s personality was so honest, believable, and annoying. I chuckled when he said,”Your wishes are not so important that they can change the world.” You may need to bring him back for a 2013 manuscript.

  3. Dear Maureen, I am always amazed by the breadth and depth of your mindful commentaries. Since your musings, the Genie, and all of the resolutions (I mean all definitions of this word) you came to are part and parcel of your current as well as emerging self; I say more power to you in your creative endeavors. That quilt is especially amazing!!! Love and Hugs, Fran

    • Thanks so much, Fran! The quilt (wall hanging) is in Nepal… someone sent it there. It’s one of my old, ‘traditional’ ones made from bits of kimono silk. Let’s hope the New Year is full of health and bright adventures….

  4. Who is the someone who sent it to Nepal? You? And to whom? It is great of you to share a thing of beauty. I don’t make New Year Resolutions once a year- it seems I make weekly ones which are sometimes fulfilled and sometimes not. Enjoy your creative writing!

    • The quiltlet us an old one… someone bought it to send to a friend in Nepal. I hope she enjoyed it!! I used old kimono pieces for the ‘arms’ of the star…. so it was quite an international effort all around!

  5. I have read your work for almost one year, thanks to Susie T in stl who forwards it to me. This my favorite musing so far. Such a substantial sentiment so creatively written! I think you put the rest of us to shame in the mind-stretching wish! It seems you always stretch to come up with new art and new words on a regular basis.

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