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Incantation

A River of Stones: Day 26

“If wishes were horses, we’d all take a ride.”

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If I had a quarter for every time I have heard this phrase in my lifetime, spoken by my father when I was a child….or spoken to myself inside my head as an adult…..I would have some serious money.  [ NOTE: I adjusted for inflation, because as a child, the adage was, “If I had a nickel for every time I …..”]

And this phrase stuck. I was not a fanciful, dreaming child. Daydreaming and magical thinking were silly and wasted time. That was the message I heard. “What are you doing just sitting there? If you can’t find something to DO, I’ll find something for ya!” Play, even as a child, was active. We had to be doing something: build a fort, play tag, go to recreation, climb a tree, ride bikes. Idle time was for reading. But I don’t remember just daydreaming. Even when we would lie on our backs in the summer grass and watch the clouds roll over south Florida, it was a competition for who could “SEE” the best thing in the bulbous white mounds tumbling across the sky.

I learned that if I had a dream, I kept it to myself. All my musings stayed private. I didn’t write a diary. I didn’t draw in a sketch pad…nothing that was ever saved. I never spoke aloud my imaginary distractions. I kept them tightly bound, like school books wrapped with a strap. Long into adulthood, I made feeble attempts to keep a journal, to set onto paper my thoughts and ideas, my dreams and fears. After a few days, I abandoned the efforts, lacking fidelity to the notion my dreams should ever exist outside my head. Dreams were just that… DREAMS…wishes….and wishes weren’t real. Wishing doesn’t make it so. There is no fairy Godmother. There is no Tinker Bell. This ain’t Disney World. Dreams won’t fill your belly or put gas in the car. There is no handsome prince or benevolent king. No one is coming to save the day or whisk you off to a castle in a kingdom far, far away.

You MAKE your reality with sheer elbow grease. And be real….elbow grease won’t build a castle or a yacht or a reclusive island getaway. Be practical, stick close to home…venturing too far “out there” risks a pretty big fall…..and since there is no magic safety net…expect to go SPLAT!

Except…..I did dream. I still dream. And now I know that there is magic. The magic lies in saying it aloud. Speaking out loud is the incantation. Actually and literally putting ideas tangibly on paper or typing onto a keyboard the stories I have had privately entertained inside my head casts the spell. The magic lies in the act of declaring. And like the Queen says, “Make it so!” Magic isn’t mumbled. Diction and precision is required. Mumble a spell and you end up with a splinch……magic is very precise and very specific. You have to know what you want.

And so I open the door and end up with a novel. I pull out the drawer and design a house. I lift the lid and build a very unique kind of medical practice. Setting the dreams loose into the world makes them real. The membrane between dreaming and reality is faith…faith that the dream can make it through to the other side. But before you can have faith, you have to know what you’re wishing for…..

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