Wishing on stars, hoping against all hope, dreaming impossible dreams

I sat with my daughter today as she tried to pare down the list of presents she hopes to receive for her birthday, just a little over a month away. For a nine year-old, who is still learning the value of money, and only just beginning to be aware of the needs of others before she thinks of her own wants, this was a very difficult task. When you’re nine and you’re wooed by the colors and sounds of the latest gadgets, or the status and style of the latest clothes, or even (albeit a little secretly because you’re too old for such things) by the beauty and marketing of the latest doll, it’s hard to set your own limits. You want to hope for everything. You want to have it all.

It’s a time when your hope is young but it’s wild and rampant. You don’t restrain it. You’re not afraid to wish.

As I was helping my daughter today, there was a part of me that was sad, homesick for that unrestrained hope, that time before you learn that you don’t get everything you hope for. (Though, thank God because we’re protected from some of the useless things we’ve hoped for. We can’t really know what we want until we know what we need.)

But the funny thing about hope is that the older we get, the more fragile our hoping becomes. We try to protect ourselves, to not hope too much or we’ll be disappointed. We want to save ourselves from the letdown.

And yet, we can’t help it. We may turn our eyes, but we can’t turn our hearts.

The difference for me between childlike hope and our own more fragile hope is that children can wish on a thousand stars in the sky and never run out of wishes or stars. And if they don’t get what they want, their wish is still out there somewhere, floating around in the universe, waiting, quite possibly, to come true. Our hoping is more knowing, more informed, but all the more tender because we know that if it’s to be, we play a part in making it true. And we fear we’re not up to the task.

Fear not, friends. Even our dashed hopes can lead to achieving impossible dreams.


Greener Still

My youth was green, like tender shoots

Sprayed with chartreuse,

Limed with strokes of light,

Blind but reaching

Anyway.


Innocence waned

Then turned its face,

Its knowing eyes cast

Toward cooling clay,

Its hoping, ever greener

still.


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16 thoughts on “Wishing on stars, hoping against all hope, dreaming impossible dreams

    1. Thanks, kimmar. You know it’s funny, everytime you post a comment on my LJ and it shows up in my inbox as kmarcus, I always have a brief moment of thinking, “is it from my agent or is it from kimmmar?” But she doesn’t post here, so it’s always from you and I love hearing from you! I don’t think she reads my journal so it would probably freak me out if she did post a comment.

  1. What a beautiful post!

    I think I learned this lesson early on. It’s sad to think about that sometimes. But realizing you get to help make your own dreams come true? That can also be a blessing.

  2. What a beautiful post!

    I think I learned this lesson early on. It’s sad to think about that sometimes. But realizing you get to help make your own dreams come true? That can also be a blessing.

      1. Yeah, we all go through that–every day. But there’s always that little seed, buried and hidden that pushes us along. We don’t know it’s there, but it does. 🙂

      2. Yeah, we all go through that–every day. But there’s always that little seed, buried and hidden that pushes us along. We don’t know it’s there, but it does. 🙂

  3. This is a great post. I think it expresses so well the way so many people feel.

    The saddest thing is when someone stops hoping and dreaming. It can happen when all dreams have been crushed and they don’t know what they dare dream for.

    Discovering writing helped me overcome the emotional challenges that arose when most of my favorite activities were no longer possible because of my new expat lifestyle.
    Yet did I learn? I applied to 4 MFA schools, sure I wouldn’t get accepted to where I really wanted to go. I applied, but didn’t even have a tiny hope. Yet I got accepted to Vermont and got a scholarship. I was surprised to get accepted. And a merit scholarship. Stunned. Now other schools are calling and emailing, wanting me to attend their schools. I can now accept that I am a decent writer, even though I’ve set high goals for the quality I want to write.

    I have ideas, and dreams filtering in my mind. I need to grasp these dreams, wish on the stars (that are always veiled by clouds here–but I know they are there) and work to makes these impossible dreams come true.
    Thanks for the reminder that dreams can dissipate our fears.

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