1: to have a desire for (as something unattainable)
2: to give expression to: Bid
3 (a): to give for to; (b): to express for; (c): to request in the form of: Order; (d): to desire (a person or thing) to be as specified
4: to confer (something unwanted) on someone: Foist
Wish (v.): Old English wyscan “to wish, cherish a desire,” from Proto-Germanic wunsk- (source also of Old Norse œskja, Danish ønske, Swedish önska, Middle Dutch wonscen, Dutch wensen, Old High German wunsken, German wunschen “to wish“), from Proto-Indo-European wen- “to strive after, wish, desire” (related to: Venus). Wishing well as an enchanted water hole attested by 1819.
“To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect”
Jane Austen (1775-1817, Georgian era English author, best known for her social commentary in novels like, “Sense and Sensibility,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Emma”)
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, politician, diplomat, activist, U.N. spokeswoman, and the longest-serving First Lady throughout her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office, 1933-1945)
“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.”
George Eliot (1819-1880, pseudonym of Mary Ann or Marian Cross née Evans, English Victorian novelist who developed the method of psychological analysis characteristic of modern fiction)
“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.”
Lily Tomlin (b. 1939, renown award-winning comedienne, who continues to venture in a wide range of media, including television, theater, film, motion pictures, animation, and video)
“The only difference between a wish and a prayer is that you're at the mercy of the universe for the first, and you've got some help with the second.”
Jodi Picoult (b. 1966, author of 23 novels, 8 of which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list)
“That wish - that prayer - both men and women would have scorned me for – ‘But, Father, Thou wilt not despise!’ I said, and felt that it was true.”
Anne Bronte (1820-1849, English novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Bronte literary family; best known for writing “Agnes Grey”)
“To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing -- the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one's hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again.”
Marilynne Robinson (b. 1943, Pultizer Prize-winning novelist and essayist, best known for her novels, “Housekeeping” and “Gilead”)
“The only difference between a wish and a prayer is that you’re at the mercy of the universe for the first, and you’ve got some help with the second.”
I continue to wake up every morning deeply grateful for my life. I desire, hope, and pray for all that I have and for all that I still want. But, very rarely do I wish for things. Wishing, I have found, can come from a place of disempowerment, in not acknowledging and appreciating all that one has now.
When I was younger and living in the City I got around by either walking or taking the trains or buses. My choices depended on mapped-out routes and how fast I needed to get to a particular destination. Very rarely did I have access to a car, and if I did it was usually through a friend. But, mostly I was very grateful for my cosmopolitan life and to live as a “yuppy” (young urban professional), or as also in my case, as a “buppy” (black urban professional), in Harlem, New York City.
To my credit, back then I had the foresight to get in on the ground floor and buy a cooperative apartment in a not so great and gentrifying neighborhood. Because of that investment I am a proud homeowner of a cute little house in a good circle community in the suburbs. I refuse to lose sight on how fortunate I am to be where I am, especially considering the many sacrifices my ancestors have made for me and my descendants.
As a little girl, I remember my mother and aunt getting dressed in their finest and driving to suburban New York to look at houses they dreamed of buying one day. I also remember the stares we received. Because of my grandmothers’, mother’s and aunt’s visions, work, and audacities I live and work in a better world.
Sojourners, let us not wish our lives away, but continue to environ and work for a better world, one where we can appreciate how far they have come, where we are now, and how much more we can grow.
Faithfully Yours, Tonya