inkmusings is now permanently archived. I will leave it on the server showing a random post on the home page (refresh to see a different random post). You can follow my adventures of the writing life at my active site, garyvarner.com.

Redux: Wish List

From time to time, and as a thin guise to cover up the days between new posts, I’m going to reprint some older posts that I liked. I’ll try not to do this too often, but it may help entice the muse back more often. Originally posted June, 2004, I hope you enjoy this one called “Wish List.”

Whenever any of us face an obstacle or a detour in life, it’s good to try and find the positive in the experience. Doing so not only lifts our spirits and yields a glimmer of hope, but sometimes provides the opportunity to reflect. I’ve pondered various wake-up calls experienced, what they mean, what I should change, what I should wish for, if you will.

So here are my wishes, a brief but not necessarily complete list to live by. You may notice these can’t be bought, but only sought, and only with intent. None of these will come easily unless I accept their possibilities and let go of obstacles in my path.

  • I wish to learn more about clouds and their shapes, what they mean when they do their heavenly dance up there. Then I want to lie on green grass for hours and just stare at the them, and let my mind decide what their shapes remind me of, like I used to do as an idle youth.
  • I wish never to lose living a slower pace of life. Why do we have to be knocked down with a proverbial 2×4 to understand that life doesn’t have to be measured by how much we get done in one day, by the bulge of our bank accounts, or the number of pages in our resumes?
  • I wish never to return to the days of loud alarm clocks and panicked feet racing through showers and suits just to make a commute on time. I’ve learn to love early mornings of leisurely breakfasts and casual waking ups.
  • I wish to continue becoming better friends with the residents of my bookcases and lose myself in the pages of long-ago-bought but little-read volumes of joy and sadness, and explore the wonder found in those magic pages with all the funny little marks.
  • I wish to be available to help friends and family who’ve, without complaint, have supported me through various crisis. Nothing works as well as having those close to you close to you during hard times.
  • I wish to accept that music, nature, writing, and reading are not only enjoyable pursuits but basic requirements for my sanity. And thus I wish to make sure that my life, from now forward, includes daily doses of all of them.
  • I wish to stop thinking about and dwelling over those parasitic shoulda-dogmas of my past and stay present-minded in today. If life is about the journey and not the destination, then what benefit is there in looking backwards or wondering what’s around the corner? Here, now, is all that counts and the now is all that ever really counted.
  • I wish to repair friendships of the past, nurture those of the present, and cultivate more in the future. Next to health, the depth and breadth of friendships significantly impact one’s quality of life more than anything else.
  • And finally, I wish to accept that no journey is pleasurable if the vehicle cannot go the distance. Health is more valuable than all the gold and jewels in the world, for without it there is no journey of happiness, no pleasure in being present-minded. You can read about the wonders of the world from the comfort of an armchair, but that’s knowledge not experience. Thus, I wish to do everything I can to give my body and mind the opportunity to carry me through the wonders of my journey ahead.

If I could compare this list to those I’ve created in the past, I doubt there would be any similarity. We often wish for riches, or a better job, a nicer house, a better car. Those things are tangible objects subject to decline, disrepair, rust. I haven’t mentioned where I’d like to live eventually, or how, because right now, those things are not critical. If I don’t embrace the essence of the list above, it won’t matter where or how I live because I’ll simply be repeating mistakes of the past. The glory tends to be in the details, in that last ten percent of how we live our lives. I believe and hope, through making these wishes come true, I can bridge that final ten percent.

1 comment to Redux: Wish List

  • Ann

    Got to you through moleskinerie, and LOVED this entry. Your wishes and statements are so identical to mine that I think I could have written it (in fact, I HAVE written it — part of it just this morning in my morning pages!), though you’ve done a much more beautiful job. I also recently sorted through old journals (very few have only a page or two, but quite a few are unfinished), and my entire adult life is reduced to about a 6′ section of bookshelf. Sigh. Thanks for your lovely list.