Archive for February 13th, 2023

Wishin’ and Hopin’

GC Myers- Secret Garden

Secret Garden— At the Principle Gallery

“Of course, there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”

–Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, 1911

…until you make them happen.

A lot of us wish and hope for better things and a change from those parts of our lives that disappoint us. But until we act on those wishes and hopes, nothing usually happens.

Things stay the way they are.

Of course, wishing and hoping can be viewed as the primary stages of making a plan of action or setting a course and goal for the future. And that’s important.

Action without a goal can be as fruitless as wishing and hoping without action.

But the two– the wish and the action– put together can produce a sort of Magic, much as Colin the bedridden boy discovered in The Secret Garden. It’s a Magic that is within our grasp once we realize this fact.

I am going to give a really basic example. Many years ago, when I was in the early stages of my art life, I wished and hoped for a solo exhibit. I had only been showing my work publicly for a very short time, less than two years, so I didn’t have a reputation or name to pave the way. It would have been easy to shrug it off and do nothing, but I decided to act on my wish. I had been working on my Exiles series, work that was very personal. I put together a proposal for show of these paintings and introduced myself to the director of the Gmeiner Art Center in Wellsboro, PA, about an hour from my home. She was impressed by the work and the presentation and gave me a solo show that winter featuring the Exiles paintings.

One thing that struck me about this was when a couple of other artists approached me at a local gallery opening around the time the show at the Gmeiner ran. Both were established artists who had been working much longer than I and had actual bodies of work. They seemed kind of envious that I was having this show and asked how I got this show.

My answer was simple.

I asked for it.

I could see on their faces that this was a revelation, that this simple action was something they had never thought to do.

You can’t wait for your hopes and wishes to come to you. Sometimes, you have to take the step towards them, to put things in motion and to make Magic happen.

Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t ever get the connection between wishes and actions. And that’s a shame.

Make something happen today. Make some Magic.

Of course, if you read this blog regularly, you probably know that this is all just a setup for playing a song. I thought that today’s words and image would match up nicely with a hit song, Wishin’ and Hopin’, from Burt Bacharach, who died this past week. This is the 1964 hit version from Dusty Springfield. Though it seems a little dated and she seems a little needy in this song about getting a guy, the premise that it takes action to achieve wishes and hopes is correct : You won’t get him/ Thinkin’ and a-prayin’, wishin’ and a-hopin’

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