Tag Archives: Literature

Finding Books in the Cemetery

Shooting infrared in old cemeteries is a passion of mine. The carver’s art , the names and the stories keep me curious. I’ve come across many symbols and decorations, but when I came across this monument with books on shelves, it made me wonder. I’m a reader. I thought about the family. Were they readers? Were they trying to show their level of education? Maybe they were teachers? I saw them as kindred spirits.I ‘m a mystery freak who can’t get enough of them.The more intricate the puzzle, the more I savor the mystery. Often , you’ll find me with my nose in a book or ebook. I used to worry that I wasn’t spending my time reading the classics or current book club fads. While I’m sure there are wonderful books I’ve missed, I’ve read and enjoyed so many. Obviously I can’t take books with me, and accepting the idea that life is finite, should I be compiling a list of books that I can’t miss? A bucket list doesn’t feel like the right term. One of my ideas of heaven would include a never-ending supply of Earl Grey tea, a comfortable chair to curl up with my dog,  near a big window  that overlooks an English garden ,and a collection of unread mysteries to encourage me to rest between my travels.Hell would be most like the old episode of The Twilight Zone in which a bank clerk spends his lunchtime in the vault reading. One day, after a nuclear (?) disaster, he finds himself the lone survivor. He wanders the streets and finds the library . Realizing he has all the time in the world to enjoy the books is a gift. As he heads up the steps, he trips and his glasses tumble from his nose and break. I saw the episode once when I was a teen and it has stayed with me.Definitely frightening! I guess I can compile a Don’t Wait to Read This!  list. Which books would you include?

Bucket Lists and “Buried Lives”

“I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.” Marilyn Monroe

For some, being on time is natural. Their internal clocks regulate sleep cycles and get them to meetings on schedule. Not just measuring but valuing time is the purpose of bucket lists and “Buried Lives”.

Last night I read a book (from the library) titled What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?. 

The book details the list written by four nineteen year-olds who formed a group called The Buried Life.They wanted more from their own lives and made a list of 100 achievements, the more outrageous the better. Over the past six years, they’ve accomplished most of them, but more importantly, they’ve helped many others to identify and meet goals.

This book, as well as all variations of bucket lists, always make me feel inadequate. I feel like I can’t dream big enough or decide on things that I desperately lack.

It’s not that making a wish list is so difficult, mine would include safaris, traveling to Antarctica, having tea with some of my favorite authors ( if they could be reincarnated) , and  publishing a mystery. All of these would add a dimension to my life.

But from a middle age plus perspective, I’m not sure it would add real value.

For four nineteen-year olds, kissing stars and streaking through stadiums – these are their proof that they are not walking through their lives.Bucket lists are written to make sure that opportunities are not missed.

My problem is that I find it nearly impossible to list what will be of value to me when I find myself out of time. It seems that my choices should be “bigger.” Having impact on others, creating something of lasting value, and a sense of self-realization would be my goals.

To that end, my relationships, teaching kids, developing and sharing creativity and its expression, art, and taking time to savor the small things are my ” list.”

One of the pieces sent to the Buried Life said it best:

” I want to apologize to three people I feel I hurt most in life, say thank you to three people who helped me most in life, and reconnect with three people I thought I would never see again.” ( What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, 2012, Artisan at Workman Publishing.)

So the question is:

Do you have a bucket list ? What would be on yours?

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