Do you have a bucket list? I’ve been excavating through my brother’s belongings. He passed away recently. The material remnants of a life left in a couple of duffle bags is a strangely intimate way to catch up and know someone in a way that neither of you ever intended. He lived with a minimal amount of possessions which is a weird kind of achievement given the current popular measure of success being more about material abundance. However he measured himself, it wasn’t through what he owned.
We are approaching the day when we want to lay out some intentions for 2018; quit this, lose that, take up yoga, laugh more, fly somewhere, win the lottery. Resolutions are kind of an annual bucket list in the sense that they are an attempt to define whats important and chart a course that will sail us into health, wealth and happiness, and the things that we don’t want to regret not doing.
How does YOUR bucket list reflect your values?
Looking at his 2015 list, I imagine him forming it in a local coffee shop, the slim moleskin before him, reflecting on some really big disappointments. But that day when he wrote an on point, one page manifesto of what he hoped, he was experiencing a surge of optimism and despite some terrible loss, he saw that anything was possible. Reading between the lines of “doing something environmental,” and “fall in love,” “make someone really happy,” I am proud to see the person that knew he wanted to give and contribute to a better world. He named the BMW motorbike he wanted and that he would like a piece of land and “to find a dog.” There was an odd point of wanting to find 5kg of truffles which is on par with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. What stands out to me was that despite living out of a duffel bag, and outside of the box, he wanted to craft a life of integrity. The motorbike and the dog weren’t about owning things but indicated that EXPERIENCES were more important than stuff.
There is the things you want to do and then there is the kind of life you want to live.
He wrote,“to feel the whisper of luck!” I’ve been carrying that magical and poetic statement with me ever since, wondering what it meant to him. I googled it to find if it came from a book or some guru. Couldn’t find anything. My chosen lifestyle is nomadic and unpredictable. I love it and struggle with it. Tell me how cool it is and I will tell you about how it sucks when it is raining and the dog is shedding. Look at me like I am a poorly organized vagabond and I will argue for waking up in unfamiliar places with an unknown amount of beauty and adventure ahead. That’s when I felt it. The whisper of luck, a moment of presence, gratitude and wonder standing on a precipice of time before everything that was yet to come. I had a good coffee in hand and, a full tank of gas and a hopeful looking 4-legged companion waiting patiently.
“the whisper of luck’ = gratitude and a sense of possibility. Everything is going to be ok.
I don’t want to write “preachy” blogs. I do them to practice writing and to share about stuff I think about, no deeper or wiser than anyone else. It is an outlet lest all the thinking starts to smoke, burst into flames and set off alarms. Inspiration is all around us. This one came from my brother. If you hear something you like I am so happy to think that his thoughts live on in the world as part of the collective consciousness. Consider, when you are out walking, or in a local cafe, or stealth camping, (van-dwellers), when you pick up that journal to focus your thoughts on the ever changing manifestos we hope for and write down, that it is an opportunity to “know thyself.”
“Know thyself” from the ancient Greeks…
“An unexamined life is not worth living.” Plato
It is a window to see yourself like it was a window for me to know my brother. Consider the love you want to give and know, and any mindful practice that balances your life as the mattress beneath all else. As my brother’s list allowed me to know him, so will your list of wishes tell you something about who you are.
May you all “hear the whisper of luck.”