I managed to rise earlier this morning, determined to make some progress in this writer’s life. I woke up in the night cogitating. I don’t do well with goals and plans, at least not creatively. Goals and plans are for offices and administrators and paper-shufflers. Keeping focused is more the problem—diving into the work and shutting out diversions, including how much time it’s taking. Because that’s one of the issues: Time versus Money. The issue of Bucket Lists.
I’ve been reading a great deal about these Bucket Lists lately—the Bucket being the one you’ll kick when you leave this life, I assume. When I first heard the term I imagined a large galvanized bucket into which one threw one’s wishes and desires, scribbled on ratty bits of paper, the way we used to do on those Liberation weekends; in those days it was mostly about the bad vibes going on in our lives we wanted to chuck and eventually burn.
Over time I’ve begun to get the hang of the Bucket phenomenon, and decided it’s probably a good thing: naming all the things you want to do before you kick this battered bucket. It’s not so much your goals and plans, however wild and grandiose. Rather it’s acknowledging that Time is not infinite—at least in human terms. Sooner or later we’re all going to run out. Remember that office sign rampant in the late 60’s “PLAn ahea—“ it said in rapidly diminishing letters. Doesn’t work. In time versus money affairs, sooner or later one or the other runs out. How much of our daily cares revolve around this one point. Will I have enough?
Which might explain our fascination with murder mysteries—how will it end?
Driving across the arid southwest in the early days, roughly daubed signs painted on cliffs bellowed:”Are you Saved?” and “Thy End is Nigh!” Constant reminders. Break in the monotony of a 400-mile daze. A pertinent nudge.
Those of a “certain age” went through the Liberation period and reach our dotage with ambitions unfulfilled, bewildered by the blizzard of opportunities and littered avenues of Things the Must Be Done. But in the end, what must be done is tell our stories as best we can, tugging at the sleeves of passers-by like the Ancient Mariner. “Listen,” we say. “This is important.”