“Starlight, star bright, the first star I see tonight. I wish I were, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight”
I was in second grade when I chanted those words like magic before bedtime. I oftentimes ended with a wish of having a bike, getting a new book, or taking a trip to the beach. When the weather was bad and my father was not home from work yet, I always wished that he arrived safely. But then my incantation transformed into a prayer. My father was not a sheer wish. He belonged to God’s power, not magical thinking.
Magic, the shortcut to a perceived natural process, the swiftness of a hand, the deception of an eye, the entertaining and beguiling appearance of what happens that should not, is also akin to an inner hope, a semblance of faith, a spark that inspires us to believe even when belief is not possible. When we are helpless, we will tend to be gullible, vulnerable, even to the extent of being silly, childlike and irrational. We will go back to that fragment of growth when reason was not yet available and belief was the only option.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (KJV, Hebrews 11:1)”. Belief is the sibling of faith. We are insufficient, imperfect, and needy. Without God and the faith He gave us as a direct line to His availability, we should have long been extinct, dissipated from a universal existence.
I wished upon a star at night because it twinkled despite the vast darkness around it. That tiny distant sparkle instilled in me the certainty of an undeniable power beyond what my eyes could see. But then, not everything I wished for happened. In fact, most of what I wished for never took place. So then I looked at the stars across the smog of my bedroom window with tears and nagging questions that shook my childhood and instilled the nuggets of reason, delivered into a segment of growth.
I can wish all that I want, not do anything, expect for everything and get nothing. Or I can wish for something, act upon it, expect for the best, and at least get something. As a child, I did not have the ability, the means or the experience to act upon my wish. I had no choice other than magical thinking. I was not aware of the disappointment risks nor the tragedy of not getting what I want. My thoughts kept me excited, but I did not have the maturity to discern that wishful thinking was all that and that alone.
So then the classic parent cliché came into force. “You have to work hard to get what you want. You have to act”, and so they say. And we all did. We went to school, found a job, got a career, earned a living, and bought a house. We purchased cars, jewelries, technology and credit cards. Now that we have asset values attributed to our net worth and titles to our name, we have not ceased from wishing. Still, we fantasize that perhaps someday we can win big in the lottery, quit working, and live happily ever after.
And then the classic question echoes. What is happiness? What is joy? I dare not to respond or even come up with conjectures lest I babble with circuitous dissertations buried in a bottomless pit of more unanswered questions. I bring you back instead to that moment when you looked out of your window, or out in your backyard and you raised your head in the middle of the night under the dark blue sky, and you saw a myriad stars sprinkled all over. And you had that urge of a fairy tale desire…when you wish upon a star.
So you go back and say, “if only I could have …then I would surely…” What and what? If only life were a dream, it would be nice never to wake up. But if our dreams were actually our life, we would probably never wish to sleep. We would share our adventures, our successful stories and bask in the glory of our achievements, ad nauseam.
And then another question knocks down another door, “So what is the meaning of life?” We wish, we grow, we work, we get, we own, we grow even older, we lose, we die, and then finally we are gone. Then what?
Ah, the wonders of life, the wanderings we do, the winding down and dwindling cycles we take…they are puzzles of our existence, the spice of our daily humdrum, and the clutch to our hectic ritual. Yet we seldom take time to discuss such boring themes. We would rather inquire about whatever happened to our crabby boss who suddenly disappeared from his office, the next door neighbor who flaunts her curves, the huge sale at Macy’s; talk about the weather, the new car, the latest technology; or debate about who would be the most probable MVP of the NBA for the next season.
I dare you. Ask the person next to you, the very first person you could talk to, right now, at this very moment. What is the meaning of life? What is happiness? Did you ever wish anything under the star? You will not even bother. But if you do, can you let me know? Can you send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.I would love to find out how your discussion went. And if by chance you are even gutsier, post it on my Facebook.
“Star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight. I wish I were, I wish I might, get millions of responses for what I write”.
So there you have it folks. After the circuitous clichés, the quotes, the contemplative meanderings of literary ploys, rhetoric and semantic, I have again exposed the core of my desires, a wish to convert my soliloquy into a meaningful dialogue, my personal essay into open letters, my reflections into a public manifesto.“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are…if your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme…like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through…when you wish upon a star as dreamers do…”
Really? I guess I cannot ask the question until I make the first step. And I just did. I will see what happens next…..