Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah.
The second week of November, 2016
Wet and chilly front moving in – rain – snow dusting the high peaks.
Last week I wrote about the utilitarian aspect of a five-gallon bucket.
In the past week I’ve been extending “bucket thoughts” in my mind,
and what follows is a short-hand accounting – something I call collecting “cepts” – as in “concepts” – pieces of an unfinished puzzle to assemble into a finished essay or story. I was pulling on a string of ideas to see what was tied to the end.
So here’s my process, and at the end, I found a magnificent beginning.
BUCKET – Part Two
1. Bucket – a cylindrical open container – metal or plastic – with a handle – used to hold and carry stuff.
2. Kick the bucket – slang term meaning “to die” – origin unclear.
3. Bucket list – things you want to do before you die.
4. The Bucket List – the movie – source of the idea. A 2007 film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman – two old men with terminal cancer decide to leave the hospital and come to terms with who they are and what they want to do before they die.
5. Bucket Lust – Bucket Lust Weekend – Bucket Lust Fairy – you can imagine . . ..
6. Recycling – re-using material for the same purpose. Example – empty bottles turned back into more glass bottles by an industrial process – or waste paper being re-manufactured into cardboard packaging.
7. Up-cycling – re-configuring an ordinary object into some new use. Example – turning an empty 5-gallon bucket into a swing for a child. One may also up-cycle one’s idea – taking the obvious and extending and improving the use.
8. Re-scaling – making a bucket list not in terms of a life-time, but for a day, a week, a month. (I do that. On my list for this week was to see life first-hand as much as possible and not through a pane of glass or a screen.)
9. Retroactive bucket list – making a list of all the exceptional things you’ve already done or accomplished – (I did that – and was pleased and impressed.)
10. Dying – something I started doing the day I was born.
12. Internal bucketing – list of what I want to feel before it’s too late to feel.
13. Shortest bucket list: ice, beer.
14. Two fine conversations:
A friend is very old – his wife is very ill – they agreed to a pact to go out of this life together when they didn’t want to live anymore. They live on, though. I asked him why – if he still had something on his bucket list.
And he said there was only one thing – he and his wife repeated it every night:
“Just one more day, ok?”
I had this conversation with a woman this week when I asked about her list:
“Just one. I want to be able to talk to my husband openly and honestly about sex – especially about what I need and want.”
“How long have you been married?”
“Fifteen years – 2 children – and I still love him.”
“How long has this been on your bucket list?”
“Since the first night we had sex.”
(He’s going to read this. He’ll know who it’s about. He’ll be surprised.
But he’ll talk. Loving his wife as long as he lives is on his bucket list.)
15. The web has links to astonishing bucket lists: 1,000 Things You Can Do Before You Die – 1,000 places go, 1,000 pieces of art to see, and so forth.
There are books and support groups and travel agencies – all to provoke your imagination, your ambition, your sense of adventure, your need for stimulation. And I looked through all this until my brain hurt.
16. And then I ran across Candy Chang. A young woman who up-cycled the bucket list idea into a powerful movement focused on sharing reflections about mortality. I watched her speak about what she’d done and why in a Ted Talk, and realized I could not write anything more meaningful than what she had actually brought about.
17. So I’ll stop here – and ask you to go to this link – because you, like I, need something to up-cycle our feelings about the human race as we move into the election on Tuesday. candy chang ted talk
Bless you, Candy Chang, bless you.