On kicking the bucket…or something like that

thisandthatandtheotherthang.wordpress

thisandthatandtheotherthang.wordpress

One of the movies that I’ve seen recently which I immediately came to like is the bestselling The Bucket List. A “bucket list” is an English idiom that refers to one’s wish list of things to do before one “kicks the bucket” or as to say “dies”.

 The 2007 movie traces the journey of two terminally ill men, portrayed by Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman, who helped each other complete their bucket lists, before they pass on. The things they did included skydiving together, flying over the North Pole, visiting the Taj Mahal in India, and riding motorcycles on the Great Wall of China.

But what ultimately brought both of them the greatest joy were not the things that money could buy. They were to do with the relationships that they reconciled with people they care for.

Although it has been said that “you can’t really tell what a person is like till his coffin is nailed”; there are things we can each do that can shape the man on his dying bed.

Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout movement prepared a farewell message to his Scouts, for publication after his death. He carried it in an envelope marked “To be opened in the event of my death”. In it, he shared, “… Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”

A bucket list is most fulfilling when it is not just all about things physical or only about “I, me and mine”.

Imagine your funeral.

Who will be there?

What do others think you stood for?

What will they say when you are dead?

Have you tried making your bucket list?

If you’re planning about making one…do this…

ryaneller.com

And, while you’re into it  and until that fateful “day” comes…consider this…

“LEAVE THIS WORLD A LITTLE BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT” 😉

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My Reverse Bucket List

Warning: Pun intended   🙂

As a follow through of my recent blog about constructing my bucket list before it takes the pleasure of getting “kicked down” which of course I hope and fervently pray to not happen soon because I’m still at my life’s phase wherein I’m just beginning to see and enjoy life with all its assorted mixtures of beauty and madness. Not that I haven’t enjoyed life this past 32 years of my existence which indeed I had my fair share of its UPs and subsequently considerable taste of its DOWNs. And I suppose (with fingers crossed) that going into that place of oblivion (a much nicer metaphor for “dying”) is far too long a journey for me to reach from this point.

 For I believe (basing on my great great great ancestors of my ancestors belief) that people who have a bit longer ear proportions tend to live longer lives than those who have lesser ones. Thankfully my father inherited one! Silly as it seems though but my great great great great ancestors happened to outlived more than twice the average life expectancy we have in these present times.  I wonder what their diet is back then or from what rocket science did they base and get that kind of belief! Well, anyways they lived longer lives sans all the anti-aging products and technological innovations. However, I could also presume that maybe it was due to the reason that their adrenaline is always pumped-up during those times. You know – trying to survive the daily challenge of surviving through the hassle of World War I and World  War II, with all that running, flexing, ducking, rolling, crawling, and such other activities that require well-coordinated muscle action and intense mental focus just to dodge sprays of flying bullets or outrun shrapnel of bombardments! What a way for an exercise huh? Far more intense than all the extreme sports and fitness exercises we have nowadays, let alone the challenging routines going through it! Kidding aside, I admire and adore them all (and I mean my ancestors) 😉

Well, before you perceive I came from the bloodline of superheroes with all the aforementioned, let me go back to my bucket list. Yes, I have already made my bucket list and I’m excited to fulfil all that I’ve written on it! Some could be easily achieved in no time while the others I guess would take a lifetime. Nevertheless, as they say – nothing is impossible! You just have to mindlessly and recklessly convince yourself on that! And so, as a fall back, I also prepared my anti-bucket list or the things I DO NOT want to do before my bucket is “kicked down”.

Here is what it turned out.

Jumping off anything higher than a curb is at the top of my list. I have no idea why people want to jump off stuff before they die, unless maybe they want to die right away.

But you look at people’s bucket lists and they always include such things as sky diving, and cliff diving, and bungee jumping. To me all those activities represent is a waste of good underpants.

And as long as we’re on the subject of heights, I would also include parasailing, hang gliding, and rock climbing. Why do they call it rock climbing anyway? Looks more like rock clinging to me.

Another thing you see on bucket lists is a yearning to ride animals. Here is a short list of animals I have no desire to ride before I die: bull, lion, tiger, and ostrich. Might as well toss your neighbors angry Labrador, too.

I also have no hankering to run with or from bulls, or swim with great white sharks. Anyone who wants to swim with a great white shark has a self-image problem. They see themselves as a hors d’oeuvre.

Other things on my reverse bucket list include:

Go back to school.

Take a polar plunge.

Shave my head.

Learn to yodel.

Milk a cow.

Stick my head in a croc’s open mouth.

And, oh, live in the past 😉

What is It that is In you, Rain?

I’m a sucker for rain. I love the sound of it. It’s the most beautiful natural sound. It never fails to catch my breath. It’s so calming that I can sit and listen for hours. And the smell – it’s something surreal. It’s hard to explain, but there’s something special in it. 

There is something romantic in the rain that I cannot explain with words – as if the endless pitter-pattering sound it makes is intimately conversing with my soul of my deepest longings and farthest memories enticing me to bring them out into the open.

Back when I was a child, I used to play in the rain a lot. And I loved it. I remember running in the rain with my friends, going circles around puddles of water then splashing them sending rivulets of mud and water soaking us dirty and wet all the more. As kids there’s nothing quite like jumping and splashing in puddles! We would lie in our stomach and scream: “I’m drowning! I’m drowning!” until some family would come running (panicky) to the rescue completely forgetting that no large body of water is available nearby, not in a hundred miles away!

I would let a friend laugh his heart out then would sadly look at him and say (within the earshot of our other friends): “Gosh, your face is all wet. Suck it up, stop crying!” Then we would all laugh all the more.

 Or, we would gather all our favorite and beloved felines, place them outdoor and watch them go insane! Or, we would look up skyward, open wide our mouths and gather raindrops into it, until we all have locked jaws and stiff necks. Only to figure out later on that we can do it painlessly lying on our backs facing the skies! Nah, stuff only kids do 😉

Then, after we all got tired and bored of our silliness, we would take a hike among the trees, silent, just listening to the sound of raindrops trickling on the canopy of leaves – it seems to make everything huge, so endless. Listening to those sounds while walking along a misty path is nothing but magical.

“The beauty and magic of childhood made even beautiful by the wonders of rain. As if the whole world stopped to watch our joy”

Most people (myself included) would say when it rains the world stops. Well, not really, but it seems that way. People flee the streets and the roads congest with slowing traffic. Of course businesses remain open and life proceeds apace, but for a moment the hustle and bustle recedes under the gray torrent of storm.

For someone like me who is being catapulted into the schemes of this rather fast-paced ultra-modern present world, this is calming. An unspoken fear of many people of this generation is the possibility that life is passing us by, exciting things happening beyond our reach. Facebook and the companies of our friends only magnify this anxiety, confronting us with an unending list of all the parties, careers and ambitions we aren’t having. Or the inner longings, desires and bliss we haven’t pursued.

So the rain, for someone like me, is reality tapping on the breaks. An intervention from on high. An indisputable edict that every busy, buzzing thing halt for a moment.

Maybe that’s why every time, especially during those gentle and soulful rains, I would sit by my window and sometimes would open it to allow the cool breeze to blow over my face. Sometimes I would listen to music, read a book or be inspired to write. It was at these moments that I feel so calm and relaxed. It would seem like the world has stopped spinning and everything else come to a freeze.

Giving me time to cope with the rest of it and of myself.

How about you?

In memory of a great friend…

The way you go around the house unnoticed, occasionally joining us when we gather around in front of the tv or having a family chit chat at the dinner table. Wherein, you just settle down someplace near us and would be satisfied enough just to be there without manifesting any whims to generate even a tiny bit of attention from us. Yes, you will just stay there – behaved, silent and still – all of the time.

Maybe you are there because you just want to hear our voices, for we know that you are extremely far from understanding every word that we say.

More so, we are aware that you could also sense every bit of whatever we feel during certain periods in our own respective lives. For you become active and playful when you see us happy and you just stay in your “own little spaces” (not willing to bother) whenever one of us is mad or when we all have “issues” between ourselves or with anybody else, however, you also know how to share comfort when someone is sad. Oh, how you’d always have known your place!

I remember how your little head with your soft brown eyes shyly look up at us as if asking permission if you could join in every time you come near us. You do that all the time. Though you already know that you have long been a member of the family, and that you are not just second rate from those “special ones” that preceded you. In your own right , you have become special to us.

And, among the many other things that mystifies me about you is that you are one of the gentlest souls that I have known, extremely contrary to the nature of your being. As I’ve never seen you ran the full speed you’re capable of, become dominant and bragging in every game you play with your  sister and only friend, Yellow, though you’re just the same age and as pretty. I’ve never, even just once, seen you become aggressive even when you’ve been hurt and “aggrieved”, nor “destroyed” things that aren’t yours when all of your friends are destroying everything that aren’t theirs! You just don’t do and act what you’re supposed to do and act. And for that you have our eternal respect and admiration!

Thank you for the time you shared with us, especially with Yellow, though only for a brief moment. You made her happy.

You didn’t had the chance to hear us say that we love you. Yet we are confident that you had felt  and enjoyed the expression of our love for you.

Nonetheless, we whisper our love for you to the wind and beg it to tell the whole world. As we can only bade you good night but not goodbye – for you will eternally remain alive in our hearts!

Good night gentle soul.

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EPILOGUE: In memory of a dear friend and a great dog – Pinky.

On drinking coffee

Disclaimer: The following was told with a dash of hyperbole, a pinch of humor and a bit too much of grammatical misconstruction. Pun intended 😉 However, the context of the ideas expressed therein remains.

Lately, I’ve discovered this new kind of liking, less of an addiction or an obsession, I should say. It’s not an extra-ordinary or unusual sort of thing; in fact I do it every single day as if it’s an imperative part and parcel of me and my being. A constant routine which I’ve been doing since (I can’t even remember when) while totally not giving much care or thought about it until recently. Simply put – it goes naturally as my tooth brushing, bathing, shaving, wearing cologne, eating, breathing, along with the endless list of activities a normal person normally does in a day and apparently for the rest of his life.

It’s my newly-discovered love for coffee. Or, is it most likely my “rediscovered” love for it? And, any coffee, in that instance, would serve both my sense of taste and smell well and good. No matter if it’s freshly brewed or those “instant” types, whether black or white, hot or cold, with or without creamer and sugar, I would wholeheartedly take a sip and savor its aroma and taste.

I, undoubtedly enjoy my every cup of coffee these past several days.

What puzzles me though is that I’m one of those sorts of persons who are not easily drawn or taken into liking anything (or anyone) lest, first, giving it even just a moment of “consideration” or, in my definition, to subject that something (or someone) into the intellectual scrutiny of the all too limited workings of my cerebral cortex (courtesy of the person who inspired me the use of these words in lieu of “brain” 😉 And, to be frank, I’m also not a believer of those “spur of the moment” things despite, admittedly, the countless moments which I acted in pursuit of such. In fact, I am a bit of a methodical type of person, yet short of the OC type, which leaves me categorically somewhere in between. Often times I just tend to look for answers to some (only the important ones) of the things which concern me – the things that amaze, bother or puzzle me. Well, of course, every sane person does that! Do you?

One day, in order to find an answer to that rather mind boggling yet totally nonsense liking in drinking coffee, I went to a place wherein I know I could think better and be like “one with myself”. So I ended up on one of this famous coffee shop around the area which happens to be full and crowded during the time (living to its reputation, of course), as it could also undeniably be perceived that it was really my intention to be in that place, well, to tell you, it’s not (though understandably no one will believe me either).

And so I took the most solitary abode available thereat – at a table just around the far-side corner.

Once settled, I took a moment to focus my attention on the task at hand (which is hard because of the “hustle and bustle” going on in the place), and after some time, I became accustomed to the ambiance and I am immediately up to the task. Eager to start, I sat there, took a deep breath and began to rack my brains out, putting on my most “intensely-submerged into deep thinking” face (virtually ignoring all the worried/alarmed expressions in the faces of those people occupying the tables near me) then probing and seeking into nothingness for the would-be answers to that somewhat absurd dilemma, while, of course, holding a cup of steaming coffee in both hands to further fuel my deep desire in seeking the truth.

Then suddenly it dawned on me! I was awakened from my caffeine-induced trance by a pair of hands gently cupping my face (or did I felt a slap?) while hearing the word “Hey!” and a pair of two big, brown eyes blazing fires of hell just six inches in front of me! As the person (realizing that I’ am with a company of another person coming into the place) continued saying “You’re not listening to what I’m saying!”

Only then did I realize (as if I was struck by a bolt of lightning leaving me bedazzled – and wide-eyed shocked!) the true reason for my recent liking in drinking coffee. I felt the numbness in my face slowly creep down to the rest of my body! The circumstance cited clearly disclosed to my all too limited mind that it was not the coffee nor the aroma or taste of it that puts me into a state of joy or deep satisfaction which, in turn, I relate to my liking [of drinking coffee]. It is drinking every cup of steaming-hot, aromatic, smooth and creamy coffee with THAT PERSON who slaps my face and throws fireballs of words at me at one instance and softly cups my face and whispers soothing words into my ear during another that makes the difference.

Metaphorically speaking, even a cup of stale coffee tastes a million times better if it’s taken or shared with the ones you love than a cup of coffee worth a million bucks (if there’d be) which is shared with no one else.

I am now also learning to “like”: eating, watching tv, taking vacations, and all other fun and likewise boring assortments of activities and stuff. Yet, of course, still atop them all – coffee! 😉

The joys in simple things…

Live life. Love life.

IRONIES OF TRUTH

fate ventured

destiny has forbidden

endless melancholic nostalgia

ceased the burning amber days.

 

“lub” “dub” it shouts

echoing in the hallow darkness within;

follows the gushing forth of life

into this world of trickery.

 

it was hidden but evident

it was unseen but obvious

it grows only to die

it was choked by the laughers of the lonesome.

 

God gave it

He knows why;

God took it

He only knows why.

 

Why?

I know but does not understand

That, to be crushed by a megalith

or  be lost in a labyrinth

is good sometimes

Ignite your passion

I am always fascinated by stories of various people of their journeys into different places. Places where they longed to go to and where they knew that the fulfillment of their deepest yearnings will be satisfied once they’ve been there and enjoyed each and every bumps and turns they have had along the way.

Some of the people I know (most of them my friends while others are close acquaintances) are born adventurous in the real sense of the word. Apparently most of them are also nature-lovers. They go places and do things that did not only bring smiles of joy to their faces but are also enriching to their inmost beings. Doing such activities radiates from them that ethereal feeling of deep satisfaction and is felt by the people around them, I being one.

I guess it makes real sense, though, that they’re all nature-lovers to begin with. It explains a lot about their take on every journey; the elation they experienced being one with nature in each of their “adventures”. However, I saw something else which fittingly describes the “well from which such joy and satisfaction springs” so to speak – it’s passion.

Passion is the one thing that I unconsciously disregard and instantly discard once it makes its presence felt. And it is for many reasons that I often neglect its bidding. First, is that I do not have the TIME to indulge with it. Second, I particularly do not know the “HOW” to it. Third, I really do not  know how to “SUSTAIN” it through and through.

And the much bigger question is that: If I can muster the courage to pursue it, will I have enough strength of will to enrich it, or better, make it bloom into something worthwhile and beautiful?

Let me be clear that the “WHAT” of it has always been obviously apparent to me ever since. I know for certain what my passion is. The thing that is predominantly and persistently pushing its way out from deep inside, screaming to be heard and yearning to be satisfied by me. Unlike my friends, writing has always been my passion. Since I’ve learned how to read and got fascinated by books early on in life, I had this dream of writing my own book and somehow have a book published in my name. However, I have to admit that I have no formal training on writing, even a simple article in that regard is hard for me to construe, let alone to start with. Yet another funny thing is that, recently, I’ve looked into several dictionaries to find the definition of the word PASSION, which nearly all of them focused on romance, except The Urban Dictionary which gives:

 “Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.”

Voila! It fits my circumstance perfectly well! Metaphorically speaking, if you will – having no experience and background greater than that of a child who is required by a teacher to write (for his homework) a simple article describing his family, I am venturing into something that I know would assuredly sap all my strength! I would be focusing my energy a million times over than that of a seasoned and experienced writer. Be that as it may, I am excited and now ready to pursue my passion.

I know the HOW to it would just come by so long as I am certain of the WHAT and the WHEN. Wish myself luck, though.

Live life

“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”  Eve Ensler

Nothing compares to a cup of steaming coffee, taken at the break of dawn while seated in a washed-out log near a calm-flowing brook (that connects to  a river a few hundred yards downhill), amidst the wilderness and too far out of the hustle and bustle of civilization. Where only the soft gushing of wind rattling the lush, dew-filled leaves of nearby trees, the melodic chirping of birds in symphonic blending with the buzzing of insects and the soft ripple of crystal-clear waters. The wind carries the infused aroma of grass, earth and wild herbs and the mists of fresh mossy-smelled fluvial water gently caressing your face, slowly awakening your senses as you sipped your cup of coffee, mesmerized, as rays of light slither through the canopy of trees as the sun slowly takes its peak far in the horizon.

What a great way to start a day as you look forward to an exciting array of adventures and activities you could freely arrange (without pressure) while alone in the wilderness. You could swim for a couple of hours or so or rearrange loose rocks to build a “man-made bathtub” wherein you could take a dip under the heat of the sun. And maybe, if you will, also want fish for lunch and perhaps with a salad of fresh herbs and berries later on for dinner.

If truth be told, every one of us, no exemptions, sometimes needs time to be alone. Even babies need time on their own, too, so they can gradually start to understand that they’re independent from us.

There is a difference between being comfortable alone and being lonely.  Solitude allows time to reflect, to center ourselves and to recharge.

Living alone, though it may not be the state you ultimately desire for yourself, affords an unparalleled opportunity to know yourself, to be yourself, and to develop yourself as a unique and interesting individual. – Phyllis Hobe

Grab every opportunity to be alone which seldom comes in the fast-paced ultra-modern world we presently live in. We all need time to detach ourselves from the complex conundrum brought about by the varied and significant areas of our personal lives. Within which, every quarter of a second counts, and that a slight mismanagement or neglect of our all too precious time could quickly send our tightly-balanced lives spiraling dangerously out of control in just a blink of an eye lest we offer focused attention.

However, you can also chose to take a risk and make it your intention to be alone. Have a quality time with yourself. Go to places you’ve never been. Do the things you wanted to do (since you’re a child). Be the person you want to be. Follow your gut. Fall in love (and risk to be hurt) or love as you’ve never loved before. Forgive yourself and your past. Re-live and revive your faith. Move out of your established comfort zones. For all its worth, we won’t know what life would unfold unless we take the first step of our journey towards it.

Let us – Live life.

EUREKA! HERE IT IS!

Eureka! Eureka!

I found it! Atlas, I found it!

She ran with tears brimming in her eyes

longing to tell everybody about it.

 

But where is everybody?

Who is willing to share her gain?

No one noticed; no one heard.

Everyone is gone…

 

Where are the eyes that once comforted her?

the ears that listened to her?

the hands that caressed?

and the shoulders that sympathized?

They are nowhere to be found!

 

The world turned gray as she continues to run

and as the day meet the dusk.

The world seemed so empty and reluctant.

Where have all the people gone?

 

She ran holding it tightly in her both hands,

it saps all her strength, but she’s oblivious to it.

She held fast unto it, as she run and kept on shouting,

“I won’t let it go. Eureka! Atlas, I found it!”