Drabble 193 – Utinam

A photo of someone laying in a field with their hands outstretched. Only their hands and arms are visible.

I would like to say that I don’t place a whole lot of stock in wishing, but I’d be lying. I make a lot of wishes—not phrased as such, not necessarily on stray eyelashes or falling stars or birthday candles, but frequently enough that when I sat down to write this I thought, “I don’t really make a lot of wishes,” and then immediately laughed at myself. Maybe my definition of “wish” is more flexible than blowing the seeds off of dandelions, but I think that many of the things I do are sort of wishes in disguise.

What’s important to me about all this accidental wishing is that it doesn’t stop there. I’ve wished for a lot of things throughout my life and gotten very few of them. But sometimes putting words to a desire is exactly what I need to define the action I’ll have to take to get there. I don’t mean “manifesting” as in magical thinking, I mean if I say I want to someday have a house where I can keep bees, I ask myself why I can’t do that now (a homeowner’s association, lack of experience, unwillingness to make the financial investment), and how I can start to rectify that (eventually moving, taking a class, saving money). The wish is “keep bees,” but it won’t happen if I don’t start addressing the steps to get there.

Maybe that’s just goal setting, no magical name necessary. Maybe the affirmations I practice on the suggestion of my therapist are just wishes for a better self. But there is value in making them, because expressing something as a desire or as an existing truth help me figure out how to make them real.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

UTINAM

(n.) from Latin utinam, for “if only”

A fervent wish.

Wishing is simple. You can wish without trying; you can wish in a sentence, a sigh, a blink. Wishing requires no action, just a question or a request posed with the hope of a response. 

Which is precisely why Alexandria doesn’t wish. Oh, she might idly hope that something comes to pass, but the feeling that follows is one of rage. Why wish when you could act? She pins these idle wishes to cards. She plans. And when each one is accomplished, whether with her fists or her words or one of her other many talents, she sets it aflame.

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