Twice a year, a dogwood blooms across from Giacometti’s “Monumental Head” in the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden — first with the white flowers of spring, then with thousands of white tags tied with white string.
Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree for Washington, D.C.” was installed in 2007 and has reaped thousands of wishes every summer since.
This year’s “Wish Tree” season began July 3 and ends Monday. So many wishes have been tied to the branches that Hirshhorn staffers have removed them several times a week. (In the winter, visitors are asked to whisper their wishes to the tree).
The tags are shipped to the artist, who places them in her “Imagine Peace Tower” in Reykjavik, Iceland, where more than 1 million wishes from various wish trees globally have been collected.
What’s on the D.C. tree? A survey one late-summer Friday found very little political content and surprisingly little of the peace and love sensibility that Ono and her late husband, John Lennon, professed. Rather, there were a lot of hopes for specific families, dreamy yearnings for romantic love, various wiseguy assertions and kids wanting toys. Among the wishes were:
“I wish that my family stays safe, healthy & happy.”
“I wish for social justice.”
“Everlasting success and an abundance of animals and happiness.”
“I wish to finally learn how to love myself flaws in all.”
“I wish to get married.”
“I wish that love may grow.”
“A place in the world.”
“I wish I could see my friends again.”
“I wish for a world where everyone feels loved and accepted.”
“I hope I win the lottery.”
“I wish more people would love and care for the earth.”
“I wish for Fish.”
“My wish is that Cara has found peace.”
“My wish is laughter.”
“I wish the homeless had more food.”
“My 1st 3some.”
“I want to meet Kanye & Tom Brady.”
“A good job.”
“I wish the Leafs won a couple of games.”
“I wanna go to space.”
“Smoke weed every day.”
“I wish I can meet my saviors.”
“I wish to fly.”
“I wish for Legos on my next B-day.”
“I want to be a Princess.”
“I wish to be famse artist.”
Catlin is a freelance writer.
Wish Tree for Washington D.C. Through Sept. 7 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 700 Independence Ave. SW. 202-633-4674. hirshhorn.si.edu.