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Wish Making

Crystal Bridges Art Museum, 2012

I just celebrated my birthday. I woke especially early on the day, to a bright cool morning, one of those that I think of as magical. And Miles wanted to go out, so my early waking became an early Up Time, too. Perfect. I stood out on the balcony while Miles putzed around in the yard. I was thinking about what I want in my next year, my life. Many things. I have many things with which I want to fill my days, my life. In my mind, standing there, stretching luxuriously, in that cool, pre-dawn air, I began making a list.

I want to see a fox again. More than one and often. I haven’t seen one in awhile. I want foxes to live close at hand. I want to go to New York again . . . to have at least another good year with both of my dogs . . . to see that gorgeous Caribbean water again, soon. I want a really good piece of cake.

I continued my list the next morning.

Curiosity Here I Am


To bring forth magic and passion in my painting and my writing

To deepen my friendships


Adventure . . . travel . . . gentle daring

To be kind

To manifest innocent mischief



Magic & passion in everything I do and touch

To savor everything


Joie de vivre

To be like a hot air balloon–full, airborne, colorful, adventurous, rising, floating.

I did not see a fox on my birthday or the next day. I am okay with that. I have seen them around here and I will again. Many of these other things on my list, however, are up to me. And isn’t that the best kind of wish to have, anyway–a wish that I, myself, can make happen? These are the sorts of things that put me in the driver’s seat, so to speak, of this shiny red moon-roofed, zippy, road-hugging, responsive yet thrilling car we call Life.

What’s on your list?

“If you are a dreamer come in

If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar

A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer

If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire

For we have some flax golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in!”

― Shel Silverstein

“We often confuse what we wish for with what is.” ― Neil Gaiman, MirrorMask

“Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth.”― Francesca Lia Block

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. And if you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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