This blog contains minor SPOILERS. It references “Into the Woods”. It doesn’t reveal any major plot points, but does talk about major themes. If you haven’t seen the movie (or play) and want to see it with an unbiased eye skip this week’s blog until you have seen it.
So, with a slight SPOILER warning ahead, let us begin.
I enjoyed “Into the Woods”. I enjoy fairy tales. I always have. I have to admit that I would always read them and wonder, ‘then what?’ It didn’t make sense to me that these adventurous souls would just settle into their castle and nothing would ever happen again. Of course, I always expected happily ever after to be happy. “Into the Woods” disagreed.
It is an intriguing notion to follow up on those who had their wishes come true. Getting what you want is not always what it’s cracked up to be. Climbing the beanstalk, meeting the prince, breaking the curse: there are consequences to our actions that we don’t always contemplate when we are dreaming and wishing for what we want. Getting what we want isn’t always just about us. Sometimes it is about other people as well.
“Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is you want?”
Cinderella’s mother poses an interesting question. I don’t have a lot of wishes. I wish I could win the lottery. I wish my house was self-cleaning. I wish someone would give me an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World (or Disneyland. I’m not picky.) That’s it really. Probably not much in the over scheme of things, but my life is good. I am fairly content. Even with that there are always those things that are just out of reach. But honestly, what would happen if I got those things? How in the world would I deal with lottery money? After the first couple of hundred thousand, I would run out of things to do. If my house was always clean, I would never be able to find anything. I’m sure the Disney trip would be fine, though.
The other thing about wishes is that I honestly don’t expect them to come true. I do not believe in my heart that I will ever win the lottery. This is probably why I do not buy tickets. It is fun to think about in an abstract way, to wish and dream about, but it is not real. I know that it is not real. My house will never clean itself and if I want to go to Disney World I need to start saving money for the trip. Wishes are not goals or plans they are much less concrete. Sometimes I believe that what I wish is not truly what I want. My wants are more basic. Health, happiness, family, fun. I don’t need to meet a prince or climb a beanstalk to find what I want. I am much more boring than that and that is ok.
Wishing is fun, but I’m not sure I want them to come true. Like the characters in “Into the Woods”, I’m afraid that if my wishes came true my world would change too much and I wouldn’t recognize it any more. My life is good. I don’t need wishes to come true make it any better. I can improve my life through my own work and planning. I can make my wants come true myself.