Wishing Tree

There are two Yoko Ono Wishing Trees that I know of:
One at the Guggenheim in Venice.
One at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Both were surprises and both filled me with hope for all those people standing there, writing wishes on paper slips, hanging them like Christmas ornaments, not at all shy…and then leaving them behind them; a wake of hope for others to witness. I loved that in both cases, people were fingering through the hung wishes, smiling fondly. What permission it was to be given that opportunity to witness and to wish. A cousin of an “embarrassment of riches.” The non-embarrassment of wishes.

I had a free day in New York the other day, and I spent a lot of it at MOMA. Here is the Yoko Ono wishing tree.

Both times I wrote about getting a book

published. The first was a wish.

The second one was thanks.

I think a lot of people miss that Ms. Ono has arranged to collect the wishes and hold them for safe keeping in a box on display, upstairs in the museum’s galleries. Something cast in ephemera and some sort of deliberate whimsy, that lands in a box called Art for all to see. Maybe that is the definition of the term.


Filed under A Place For Writers To Share, My book: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness, My Posts

22 Responses to Wishing Tree

  1. Patty Viers

    This is beautiful – I love that it’s a thank you note for a wish that came true. Gratitude is such a powerful and overwhelming force!

    • lauramunson

      Thanks Patty. I agree. Gratitude is “such a powerful and overwhelming force.” I don’t think we value that enough, as if it’s hard work, when really…it’s so full of bounty. yrs. Laura

  2. What a lovely idea! I’ve even been to the Guggenheim and never realized…

    It makes me want to set up my own version at my daughter’s middle school. I’m thinking those girls could have some mighty powerful wishes. Thanks for this!

    • lauramunson

      Kario– isn’t it a lovely idea though? I think that it would be a GREAT thing at a middle school. A great thing anywhere, really. Let me know how it goes! yrs. Laura

  3. Very beautiful, thank you for sharing. I love your honoring of the gift. It helps me focus on my own gratitude as I too fall down the rabbit hole of publishing – sometimes it feels like a house of mirrors, but there is a lot to be grateful for!

    • lauramunson

      “The rabbit hold of publishing”…well said, Lena. Feels that way, even when you’ve had a book published. You just never know, but there is ALWAYS room for hope and thanks, especially thanks for a good writing day. I wish you many many of those. yrs. Laura

  4. I love MOMA and you took some nice pixs of the wishing tree. Your first wish came true! I have the same wish ; I hope I follow in your wish footsteps!

    • lauramunson

      Keep wishing, Gail. But we both know that the real power is in the creating. I love that we can create a wish along the way, don’t you? Thanks for saying hi. I hope your wish comes true! yrs. Laura (your last name is my son’s first name…)

  5. Thanks for sharing the story and the photos. A lovely idea to give thanks for a wish come true. I am so glad you enjoyed your trip and got oodles of love from old and new friends.

    • lauramunson

      Thanks, Susan. Am still in the oodles stage. Two more Chicago events and then home. Hope you’re having a great writing day! yrs. Laura

  6. Thanks for this great post Laura. I like reading about the connection between the desire of the soul, the hard work of writing toward a goal and the pleasure of visual art that you can touch, interact with and view.

  7. What a wonderful idea – to provide a place for people to make their wishes something they can share. I’m glad you got a chance to offer thanks.

  8. Sort of reminds me of a children’s book called The Giving Tree. Different premise, I guess, but it came to mind when I read your post, Laura. Although, giving and wishing are sort of on the same page! If the wish comes true, must be a giving tree, as well, right?! Well, that was fun! Thanks for sharing this. –Daisy @ SunnyRoomStudio (doesn’t everyone need a sunny room to escape to now and then?!)

  9. Michelle O'Neil

    What a beautiful idea. I am thinking maybe the kids and I will hang some wishes on the tree in our back yard!

  10. laradunning

    I love that post, great story!

  11. well it is nearing for us to buy some christmas ornaments for the coming christmas’”.

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