Monday, November 19, 2007

Wish I may, wish I might

My friend Jim swears up and down that if he had a single wish, he'd wish for a soundtrack, one that plays all the time along with his everyday life. That way, he says, he would always know what was about to happen. He'd know if someone was friend or foe, love interest or miscreant, and would just have a leg up on things. Personally, I bet it would get annoying and besides, I think most modern movies are overscored; I certainly wouldn't want an overscored life. I worry I'd end up with a laugh track.

I saw a movie the other night (Flushed Away, silly fun) that had a feature I would consider instead of a soundtrack - a chorus. Admittedly, in this film the chorus was composed of slugs singing relevant pop songs which I'd rather avoid, but the whole idea of a chorus, as in a Greek chorus, has some merit. If only the voices in my head actually told me something useful. (You know the kind of voices I mean, I hope. The running commentary on my actions and those of others, not what I imagine psychotic voices are. Though who knows, maybe those are psychotic voices, just with volume control.) Anyway, if the voices in my head said useful things, uttered reminders and warnings and helpful comments that would be pretty cool. As it is, the voices hum the same refrain from 1970s TV theme songs over and over again. Or ask me if I should buy shoes that look like hers. Things like that. An occasional Greek chorus might be handy.

So what would I wish for if not a Greek chorus? I think about that a lot, probably more than is really healthy. I tell stories about it, write about it, plan for it. I can never make up my mind because wishes seem to be very tricky things. In stories wishes never turn out well. The wish-giver, be it djinni, angel or god always turns the wish somehow. The moral seems to be don't wish, but live. Act. And yes, be careful what you wish for.

This makes me very careful about what I say. I rarely utter things like, "Oh, I wish for an ice cream sundae!" or "I wish I could fly!" Even writing those examples here makes me nervous - who might read that and decide to answer in some tricky way? Please don't. Instead I might think about wishes, but I don't say them. It's too dangerous.

So instead I live. I act. I try to make the world a better place. I hope that if I ever truly do have the opportunity to make a wish I won't need to use it, that I am living big enough that I don't need anything more. Maybe that's my wish.

Because I'm not even really sure what I would wish for if I had the option. Certainly not a soundtrack.

(c) 2007 Laura Packer

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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