As I get older, I find myself being more sensitive to those “things to do before you die” lists. You know, places to see, things to do, people to meet, fatal diseases to accidentally cure while microwaving frozen dinners...
Lady Suzanne and I enjoyed an entertaining movie about just that (to-do lists, not microwavable dinners): The Bucket List.
The movie is the creation of NYU film school graduate Justin Zackham. A while back he wrote a list of things he wanted to accomplish and set about crossing items off the list. It inspired him to write The Bucket List, a “tragicomic” buddy flick starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, two old men who learn they’ve only got two months to live. They make a bucket list, a collection of things they’d like to accomplish before—you guessed it—kicking the bucket.
The movie was extremely painful to watch at times as it hit a little too close to home (my father just passed away from cancer a few months ago). But, it was also painful for another reason. At one point, sitting on top of one of the pyramids, Morgan Freeman's character tells the story of a man dying and going to heaven. At the gates to heaven, the man is asked to answer to two questions; if he answers “yes” to both he may enter.
Question 1) Did you find joy in your life?
Question 2) Did you bring joy to others?
I wonder how I'll answer those questions? Knowing that the deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation, it's time to create my “bucket list.” I'll start it with just two main items: Create Joy for myself and create Joy for others. Of course, after that, the exciting “to-dos” are limitless!
American Poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) wrote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
Hopefully, today I can cross one thing off my list. You see, a long time ago, one of the items on my “bucket list” was: “Create a secret society or club that works to improve myself and creates a little joy for others.”
With Sir Hook's invaluable help and your blessing, I hope the creation of the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit, and Ale qualifies.
Now I'm off to microwave breakfast and hopefully cross off...
Sir Bowie of Greenbriar