Sunday, December 26, 2010

wishful thinking

It would be wishful thinking for me to hope that all of you enjoyed a Christmas that was as magical as ours was—despite the fact that there was no snow for us this year. What delighted me beyond reason was the pleasure my (adult) children all took in seeking--or creating--and exchanging deeply meaningful and personal gifts…the effort and imagination and care that went into them. The joy they took in the spirit and act of giving. It astounds me that we still come together every year to roll and cut, and to painstakingly and artistically hand decorate dozens of cookies that are just too pretty to eat. That we are able to put aside our differences and come together as a strong and supportive family—which is, ultimately, what we all wish for.

It would be wishful thinking because it would deny the fact that Christmas is a time of intense suffering for so many. The devastating effects of war, poverty, hunger, illness, grief, depression, and abuse deepen in contrast to the bright lights and glitter, the laughter and friendship, the indulgence and extravagance that mark the holiday season.

It is wishful thinking to envision a world at peace, to imagine an end to poverty and hunger, to hope for an elusive cure, to pray for an end to suffering.

Still, we freely indulge in it. Certainly, it is wishful thinking to hope for a white Christmas in Central Pennsylvania! It is also wishful thinking when we play an active role in the myth and spirit of Santa Claus. When we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. When a writer hopes to engage a publisher, an artist hopes to interest a gallery, a composer wishes for a recording contract, an actor longs for a starring role.

Wishful thinking is an act of the imagination, the acknowledgement of fantasy, of faith, of hope. It is a meditation on possibility, the defeat of despair, the embodiment of optimism. It is childlike and enduring. It is the gateway to creativity, to our vision, to the soul.

Right now I wish I could interest an agent!

What have you been thinking wishfully about?
“Every time a child says,“I don’t believe in fairies,”
there’s a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”
--Sir James M. Barrie--
In my next post, I’ll take a look at the New Year and what makes it so special.

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