A Wish

Tonight, I have a wish. Not a dream, not a desire, not a hope. Just a wish. Or I would like to believe it is that ephemeral, that inconstant, that nebulous. Just a wish that floats from my soul and up and up and up. I watch its ascension, note its changing color, and whisper a prayer as it passes. If only I could be this dispassionate, this disconnected, this wise and let this wish go. I cannot.

In all things, I have to tell the truth. Or my haughty self-righteousness would like to believe so. I know that the truth tortures me. Makes me hurt deep inside. Makes a wilderness of the barrenness of my life. The truth leans in and seeks an opening no matter its content and the havoc it may wreak once it has been purged from me. Or at least I would like to believe my life has that much consequence. It is easy to make mountains when the only life you have known has been valleys and shadows. A tiny hill of dirt looks large in the concave hollows of life.

Oh my, the dramatic leans to the poetic tonight.

I do not do this well--life. I do not thrive here. I feel misplaced, out of sorts, unrhythmic here. Is that just misery speaking? The energy and passion of my youth did not ever find their outlet and they turned inward and smoldered and burned my innards with their heat and fire. I feel burned. But it does not inspire me to action, only listlessness and torpor. Inaction. The bane of my existence. To do nothing, to feel nothing, to be nothing.

Tonight, I saw beauty. I see it many times a day but I saw it in a woman about my own age with much more accomplishment under her belt: professional accolades, personal bliss--a husband, children--and the beauty. She still has beauty where I have felt middle aged since childhood and elderly for the past age. And then from me came that wish: for beauty. I have wished for it a thousand times before and will wish for it again likely to my last breath. I have fought for it, starved for it, sweated and bled for it. (Oh the drama!)

There is more than just this beauty, this physical beauty: more than shining hair, bright eyes, joyful radiance. There is the beauty of sun-dappled mountains on an autumn day, of children laughing in the long grass on a summer day, a varicolored sunset by the ocean, the warm glow of Christmas lights on a snow-covered home on a dark December night. My beauties often run to the idyllic as do my hopes and dreams. There are all of these beauties and many, many, many more. I must start the litany of them when that wish for physical beauty rises from my soul. They are my allies against that wish. My gratitudes and my prayer; they are my bulwark, my bastion in the storm that wish can descend upon my soul. For though I call it a wish it has more often been a clawing, pleading desperation. A thing that has ripped up the planted hopes and faith in my heart. My litany of other beauties stems that tide. Or softens it. For though, I want to be dispassionate, disconnected, and wise, I am not.

It is a wish that still splinters my heart.


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