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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-08-26 07:24
Subject: [personal|cancer] My bucket list
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, child, family, friends, health, movies, personal, stories, travel, writing
In light of my recent, widely read post titled "Special dying person wisdom" [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], a friend asked about my bucket list. The funny thing is, I don't really have one.

In the course of my life I have walked on the Great Wall of China, climbed down into an ancient Greek tomb, seen a lion cub nursery with the sun rising over the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, sat with baby seals, and done a thousand other fascinating things. (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.) I've visited about forty countries on five continents. I've set foot in all fifty U.S. states. I've eaten fabulous meals, loved glorious women, written books and stories that stirred at least a few people, spent long nights talking with close friends, and just of late, edged ever closer to the face of death while still drawing breath.

The things I still wish I could do? i.e., my bucket list? A few personal experiences I don't care to detail here. Some small things I likely won't be able to do: see all three movies of The Hobbit. Some large things I likely won't be able to do: watch [info]the_child graduate from high school, see what she does with her life. Visit some places I know I'll never get to now: Antarctica, South America, the Middle East, India. A few places I might yet get to: the United Kingdom, for example. And some things I'll never do, even if I live to be a hundred: go into outer space, voyage to the bottom of the sea.

So, yeah. Not so much with the bucket list, simply because I've been filling my bucket all my life. If anything, my bucket list is to keep on living. I've been lucky and beyond lucky. Even now, not-so-slowly dying, most days I still remember my luck and privilege, and am grateful for them.

I have seen the world, after all, and it is us.

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Swan Tower
User: swan_tower
Date: 2013-08-26 16:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Amen -- a word for which I don't think there really is a wholly secular synonym. ("Word" comes the closest, but falls short, at least for me.)
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Debbie N.
User: wild_irises
Date: 2013-08-26 16:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As so often, thanks for this!
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russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2013-08-26 17:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:zen
> (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.)

Ha, by odd coincidence I was just reading about that scene today (and how he improvised it instead of it being scripted. Which probably says something metaphorically about pre-planned bucket lists...)

"Bucket lists" always seemed too much like a focus on a checklist of things to mark off, instead of being about the continuity of our experience, a bit like people who are always photographing things instead of directly experiencing them, but maybe that's just me.

(Plus the expression "bucket list" just sounds silly to me.) :)
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-08-26 19:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
you have lived your life, and you will continue to do so until otherwise..

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Jenny Rae Rappaport
User: eiriene
Date: 2013-08-27 06:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This paragraph is pure brilliance and reminds me so much of what Patrick Rothfuss' character, Kvothe, might say.

"In the course of my life I have walked on the Great Wall of China, climbed down into an ancient Greek tomb, seen a lion cub nursery with the sun rising over the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, sat with baby seals, and done a thousand other fascinating things. (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.) I've visited about forty countries on five continents. I've set foot in all fifty U.S. states. I've eaten fabulous meals, loved glorious women, written books and stories that stirred at least a few people, spent long nights talking with close friends, and just of late, edged ever closer to the face of death while still drawing breath."
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