Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 9, 2009

The Wish Trees

I stumbled upon the “wish trees” when I was wandering through Old Town Pasadena one day last November.  They were part of a Yoko Ono “participatory art project” whereby you could write a wish on a stringed card and hang it on the crepe myrtle of your choice.  


I probably spent an hour and a half pushing through hundreds of cards already suspended on branches, before writing and hanging my own wish.  I’d love to tell you that it was for world peace, but it was a fervent prayer for an extension of the Metro Rail rapid transit system into my part of Los Angeles County.

I photographed memorable requests I read that day. The thrust of the project was good will, of course, and many pleas were thoughtful and selfless (“I wish we all wanted to do the right thing; and knew what it was, “ I wish for Carolyn to find her way”).  But the wishes also were heartbreaking, wildly comic, baldly selfish and plainly nostalgic. A few hit a little too close to home. Before I had left the house on my Pasadena errand, I had experienced one of those battles of will with my teenage son that is so familiar to any parent. In exquisite and painful timing, one of the very first hanging messages that I came across opined, “I wish people who have children can spend more time expressing love to them and less time engaging in power struggles.”  Ouch.

Some of the wishes made me want to search out the writers and wrap them in tight, comforting hugs. A card with a drawing of a cat apparently named “Eddie” hoped, “I wish he lives until I go to college.”   Another more mysterious desire: “I wish to move past what happened this summer.”


I’ll admit that my favorites were the ones that made me laugh:

— I wish for fish.
— I wish to get to third base at Homecoming.
— I wish I could have sweet skills like Chuck Norris.
— I wish for no dress codes at clubs.
— I wish the world didn’t need any more wishes and that I could fly.
— I wish my girlfriend would throw her @*!?*g cell phone in the fountain.
— I wish for prostitutes to rain down from the sky.
— I wish that Aaron had a better attitude and a billion bucks.
— I wish for people not to assume I’m married.
— I just bought this big silly hat and that is what I would have wished for.

And of course, the obvious:
“I wish Yoko Ono would read this.”



  1. A beautiful beginning…..

  2. I am reminded of how well you write. I think yours is the first blog I have ever read although, of course, I have long heard much mention of the blogs of others. I guess blogs serve as an emotional outlet as well as a creative exercise. Yours is attractively designed and interesting to read.

  3. It’s all beyond awesome

  4. It’s way beyond awesome

  5. I wish: Cassy would write another post!

    OK, it’s been only a couple days, but this was too much fun.

  6. A whole new world, thanks for allowing us in. Lovely photos to go with the words too.

  7. I wish my friend would realize that I have internet access out here in the boonies and get her procrastinating butt out to Tucson!

  8. I wish to thank Cassy for including a piece of Idaho on her new site. Just was out on Chicken Dinner Road last week!

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