friendship, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Dear Universe

I’d write this to Santa, but being way over the age of majority and Jewish, it would seem remarkably disingenuous to do so.  Instead, I’m sending this to the universe, because based on my calculations, it’s large enough to handle a few requests from me.

Hi Universe,

How’s it going where you are?  Hopefully well, and you’re approaching the holidays with both anticipation and delight.  I hope you get all that you ask for and realize that you already have all that you want.  I’m not a big one for lists – I’ve been blessed too many times over to look at a gifted life and seek more.

And yet.

There are some things I desperately want this year.  You see, we’ll be welcoming our first grandchild into the world in February, and while I spend a ridiculous amount of time wondering what our relationship will be like, I’m spending more time perseverating about the world she will be joining.  And there’s some work we really need to do.

–  This year I want the world to work on forgiveness.  If we’ve done something wrong – to the world or to an individual – let’s own it, apologize, forgive and learn the lesson.  I feel emotionally assaulted everyday – whether it is the horrific senselessness of murder and ill-defined parameters of justice; too many homeless for my extra coats to warm; so much vitriol and judgment and too little shared compassion and faith.  Anonymous haters spitting venom in virtual environments where pain is the currency and absence of accountability is assured.  Can we have a body politic that agrees that a good foundation is one predicated upon us not hurting each other and/or this fragile earth we are only borrowing for a short while?  Can we eliminate the ‘yeah, but…’ and replace it with ‘maybe we can’?

–  This year I want families and friends to recognize that we can be extensions of our best selves to those we love the most and reflect a better self to those who we may never see again.  I want memories to be filled with limitless possibilities that we inspire with the merest of actions, the most innocent of exchanges, a smile.

–  I don’t want any more children to be hungry, or cold, or denied the feeling of being held in love and safety.

–  I want gratitude to be as contagious as kvetching and just as colorful.

–  I want the world’s religions to remember that the shared predicate is love.  I’m no scholar, but I’m no fool either.  If there is no love as a foundation, what is there to believe?

–  This year, I want this whole growing up thing to be a little easier.  I thought I’d at least know what I don’t know instead of finding the list increasing and expanding each day…Universe, I ask that we give ourselves the gift of the better part of who we are.  Chicken soup for the world, I guess.

“It’s funny:  I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools:  the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience.  But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendship, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do.’  And mostly; against all odds, they do.”  — Annie LaMott


78 thoughts on “Dear Universe”

  1. Universe, dear, please listen to our friend Mimi. Her letter is simple and wise and stands for the hopes and wishes of many of us. Universe, dear, please use your ample clout to clear the vision and minds of those who prefer to think other thoughts than the courses charted out here by our friend Mimi, because if that other path continues, you may not have our kind around to amuse you much longer.

  2. Mimi, you are the chicken soup for my soul. You are a gift to so many. I’m so glad you’re writing again. Your words and your thoughts are magic.

    1. Ah sweetheart – would that I could perform magic…pull an M&M out of an ear, and make the world a kinder place in advance of our grand-daughter’s you..

    2. Ditto! Hope it’s okay, Andy, to insert myself here 😉 Just couldn’t control the impulse to agree. With love always.

  3. Brava!! I wish that the universe hear your requests and bring them home to you tenfold making it win-win for us all, especially the beautiful little girl making her debut in February. Wish I could hug you now. Touching. Resonating. Brilliant. Musings that should make us all stand a little taller and reach for those stars again.

  4. What a shimmering message, honey, and the very embodiment of so many thoughts and hopes, I feel. You are so right….no matter how discouraging the day-to-day onslaught can sometimes seem, the alternative is even grimmer. Would that we could collectively devote as much interest and energy to embracing one another’s strengths as we do to pointing out the weaknesses and failings and differences. Thank you for once again shining a light into the darkness. How blessed am I to be within sight of its glow…. Love you all there is….

    1. As you know from recent conversations honey, the effort to maintain those hopes, to act in the moment that is most beneficial for another, etc – gets disillusioning in the face of anger and generalized disdain. And this I guess was my own personal call to stand in my truth. And hopefully, that can dull someone else’s edges – whoever and wherever.
      As for blessed – we are in each other’s orbit all the time – how divine is that? love you..xoxo, m

  5. We can all be apart of helping that list become real Mimi. Each day our own choices and decisions towards ourselves and each other will make all the difference. Great thoughts.

    1. Hi Karen – I agree most of the time, and strive to act with this in mind all of the time. Sometimes though, the overwhelming angry discourse feels like a tidal wave, the absence of individual and social accountability defies credibility – and then I guess, especially then we have to push forward to make an incremental difference – even if to one person – every day.

  6. What a wonderful heartwarming list Mimi. So many of us wish for the same … and hopefully help in bringing it about ❤
    p.s. you will be such an awesome grandmother!!

    1. Hi Val – You can only imagine how much I’m looking forward to meeting this little one and being a part of her life. And if we can be part of what brings about a kinder, more compassionate world – can we claim a better legacy?

  7. Thank you for being that voice of reason and love, dear Mimi. May our world be the place you describe here for us, our children, our children’s children and the generations to come.

    1. ALthough I don’t do awards, I can’t thank you enough for thinking of me, and for speaking so kindly about this blog. I too derive a lot of delight from reading yours. To think that you would feel so positively though – has truly made my day. Thank you so, so much..

  8. Mimi, all of these wishes are mine, too. If we could all join hands and hearts to make this possible. I loved the way you began this, too. I am always adding Jewish customs and holidays to my posts, since my first cousin Heather married her Jewish plumber! smiles! I hope for my own children’s and grandchildren’s sake this comes true, along with all the children of the world. Little ones would maybe take a toy from each other but they would not create the mess we are in. They usually want to play and run around together…
    Congratulations on your upcoming special event in February! Happy Hannukah with love and blessings sent from me to you and yours…Hugs, Robin

    1. Hi Robin! Wouldn’t it be awesome if the universe heard these wishes? Actually I think it does. It is occasionally drowned out by louder voices, but here we are you and I and others in unison and my hunch is that it makes a beautiful noise worthy of hearing.
      And there’s nothing like incorporating traditions from other religions into our holiday plans. Our house is a little like the United Nations from an observance standpoint and I like that. Blessings and hugs, m

      1. It is always good to be like the United Nations, thanks for this perspective and makes me feel so good inside. It is worth continuing to try and have our voices heard, the more the merrier, too! Hugs back again.

  9. nicely put, Mimi! Your grandchild is one lucky soul to have you in his/her corner 🙂 I agree on all counts and especially appreciate the wonder of thinking grown-ups had it all figured out. Ha–surprise, not so. It’s maybe just a sense of knowing that tomorrow could possibly go better than today and let’s do our darndest to make it so. With a little help from our friends, of course 😉

  10. You speak a lot of truth in this post. Like you, I worry about the world my grandchildren are inheriting. Why is there so much hate, intolerance and anger? Why do children suffer hunger and die from disease? Where are the answers? We can look to ourselves, yes, but we need to elect governments with the same brand of compassion, and never stop trying to promote peace, love and understanding.

  11. dear Mimi,

    I have felt so heartsick over the last several weeks, longing, oh, so longing for our world to collectively come together and see us able to rise up into a more tolerant, loving, respectful, and worthy planet. then I come here, to you, and your beautiful and wise and loving and longing heartfelt prayer and essay, and I can once again believe in HOPE. I have always believed that the Universe is on our side, that the highest callings of our humanity to be good stewards to our fellow humans, to our earth, to exercise our ability to love, to nurture, to empathize, to be fair, and just, and treasure both our own and other’s lives, will trump hatred and injustice and needless suffering. and so I align with your calling out to the universe, and with all who are hearing and responding to your voice with their own pleas – love, sweet love – both kept close to out hearts as well as never missing a chance to give it generously to others – will help heal, re-new, and repair what has been so sorely broken. thank you, Mimi, thank you. I hope you print out this post and save it for your new baby Grandchild so that when she can read it some day, she will know how blessed she is to have you for her Grandmother.

    much love to you, Mimi, and to all of us who are longing…


    1. Hi Karen,
      I wept while I read this – nodding in agreement, tears of gratitude, thoughts of appreciation. I continue to believe that our collective voice can be heard, the true intent of our hearts realized and the fundamental tenets of goodness abided. I just think our GPS is horribly off-track. Thank you for your kind thoughts about the new addition to our family – I hope SHE feels blessed by all that is around her. Is there any more that one could wish for a new baby? Much love, Mimi

  12. Imagine
    It’s easy if you try…

    Imagination is the only soil rich enough to nourish the seeds of hope that are our hearts’ desires.
    It is the Imagination Farmers that change the world.

    The unforgiving storms of chaos that are hatred, intolerance, bigotry, and hopelessness, are the day to day battles every farmer faces.

    We are those farmers Mim…only those who can imagine like us, dream like us, hope like us, and still love in the face of chaos like us…can protect and nurture those seeds to blossom on the tree of change.

    That you write when you feel reason is leaving you; left with little but feelings of longing, is testament to your dedication to farming for our better world…

    ,,,for the riders of those chaotic storms are at their strongest when feeding on our longing…yet too, they are at their weakest when we plant another seed rather than let them flood our fields and destroy our hopes.

    Thank you my sweet friend for planting another seed of hope, in love, and sharing it with the rest of us farmers. We would all do well to stand with you and plant our own right along with you.

    All my love and wishes for a blessed year ahead. Where you stand as you hold your granddaughter for the first (and every) time will prove to be the most fertile ground you’ve known since the births of your own sons…and will send your imagination soaring.

    Imagine…it’s easy if you try.


    1. Wow Rhon – please please never stop writing…This comment is so magnificent, the analogy so spot on, the rhythm so soothing.. Indeed, we are the farmers, a metaphor I will think about a lot today. Perhaps the plot is quite small, but I will tend it with dedication and hope and heat. And maybe, one day a sprout. That grows and spreads..Imagine. xoxo

  13. We all have our wonderful wish lists for the world but sometimes I think about whether I would want to live in a perfect world overflowing with love, which contained neither hunger nor poverty.What kind of people would they be without pain, suffering or conflict to etch them with character?

    1. I think there’s a massive difference between living in perfection (which is impossible for humanity in my view) and living in a world without children suffering, senseless violence and hatred. While I can see that there must be a corollary to love and kindness that allows it to shine at its brightest, I don’t think hunger, pain and suffering are the answer.

  14. So many good thoughts having read and warmly absorbed your request/message, Mimi. An imminent grandchild with whom to fawn; clarity of recognition about what is right and less so in our world; belief in the Universe and; an introduction to Anne Lamott, whom I had not previously been privileged to ‘know.’

    I sense we are cut of similar cloth, a fine cloth. We (and many others) seek what humanity needs and deserves and you expressed your (and our) wishes so genuinely. I never give up on the existence of hope and the power it yields. I believe the greater of we want exactly what you have invited the Universe to bestow. And it will be because it has to be.

    At our core, mankind is a compassionate lot, even with all of the fabricated differences. I’m placing an open-ended order with the Universe for that homemade chicken soup, with matzoh balls. It always heals!

    1. Hi Eric – I’m SO sorry I missed this comment, for it is beautiful and heartfelt and I must admit to nodding throughout ‘yes, yes, yes’…May it be that voices of compassion raise up in volume and number – and would that there be enough matzo balls to go round!
      It is very flattering to suggest that we are cut from a similar cloth – for I see your goodness and generosity in every blog you post, every comment you provide. Thank you..for everything.

  15. Very fun post to read…and the heartfelt seriousness was perfect. Also like the take on the music (no one can do it as well as Lennon, but I enjoyed this collaboration).

  16. Hi Mims…the caboose finally arrived. And perfect timing, really, as to read and take in your beautiful letter to the Universe is perfect for this moment. I believe the Universe listens to us, that she pays attention. I especially appreciate, and certain she did as well, that you checked in to see how she is doing, I doubt many of us do. I especially love this…..

    I want memories to be filled with limitless possibilities that we inspire with the merest of actions, the most innocent of exchanges, a smile.

    The least likely to be noticed can sometimes make the most significant impact in unexpected ways. You are a shining soul and I am certain the Universe is nodding with a twinkle in her eye as she reads and re-reads what you have penned for all of us.


  17. I am convinced we are twins–but you are the deeper of the two of us–I want all the things you want but I am not smart enough to ask for them–enjoyed this tremendously–made me reflect and think–and that is not a bad thing Mimi

    1. Oh don’t sell yourself short – you are reflective and thoughtful – and kick-butt smart, so I’m not buying any of it! 😉 Perhaps if we can all send that energy out into the universe something surprises will happen – after all, stranger things have occurred…hugs, m

  18. I’ve been doing a lot of catching up lately and I finally caught up to the Karma Truck. In all the beautiful lines in your letter to the universe, I’m going to borrow this one (if its alright) “instead of yeah, but….can we say, yeah, maybe”?. Thank you.

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