I am on the road at the moment, taking a trip for work and writing this post on my phone. So, please forgive the occasional spelling mistake. I am in the coastal city of Samcheok, in Korea, across from their actual wish gate.
Jack had passed the Wish Gate earlier in the day. It was the sappy sort of tourist trap he usually avoided. Couples were lined up, waiting their turn to go stand under the arch, make a wish, and ring the bell. A photographer was making a killing selling portraits to the masses of young lovers. Jack stayed on the bus and got off instead at the beach.
Now, however, as he walked back to his hotel from the beach late at night, the gate had taken on a whole new aspect. He walked over to it, now standing alone and empty, abandoned by the lovers and profiteers. A sign to the left instructed him to step up, make a wish, and ring the bell. “What’s your biggest wish?” the sign inquired.
But Jack didn’t have a wish, not a big one, at least. He thought of the people who had been there during the day: those who wanted love and those who wanted money. He did not have much of either, but somehow to Jack they both seemed trite. Money flowed in and out; as permanent as the sea-soaked sands on the beach. Love–at least the infatuated, ephemeral kind the couples he had seen represented to him–was no comfort to him either. What else was there in life to dream of: fame, power, happiness?
The moon rose above the ocean and broke through the clouds right in the middle of the Wish Gate. To Jack, it had never looked so achingly beautiful. He suddenly had an urge to go there. Not the actual moon–that was more dead and barren than life on Earth–but the thing that the moon and all the unknown longing in his heart represented. He longed for that one Real Thing amid all the emptiness of life, as lovely and seemingly unattainable as the moon in its field of infinite nothing.
Jack stepped under the arch. “I wish to find a wish,” he said, and rang the bell.