Saturday, May 22, 2010

and we'll collect the moments one by one

I am a  list-maker. Big time. This you may know, from certain previous posts that either included or were comprised of LISTS. (To wit, number 14 on my list of favorite things.)

I've been this way my whole life. When I was still in school, I'd often make a "Reminders/To-Do" list before bed, often starting with items like "Wake up at 6:30. Make coffee. Take shower while coffee brews." and so on. Sometimes I still do this (often ending with "Breathe," as my lists can get quite stressy). Maybe it's my over-scheduled American upbringing, but it gives me a weird sense of security to have an outline for my day, or even just part of it. (It's even more reassuring when I feel free to scrap it at a moment's notice. Because I don't always follow my lists.)

A couple years ago, when I was still in my Naperville apartment, I unearthed a list I'd made when I was probably about thirteen. In the decade since I'd written it (in green rollerball ink), I'd managed to do all but two of the 20+ "before-I-die" items. After a brief moment of satisfaction - Wow! Go me! - I immediately called some friends to go out for a karaoke evening and crossed number 16 off the list. Now if only I could get around to carving my own intials into a tree with a heart around them. We'll see.

I dunno, I just got to thinking about all this because lately I find myself tossing around lots of life goals and dreams in my head. At the beginning of this year, I started a "To Do in This Decade" list (on an index card, shoved in the front cover of the book I was reading, where it remains at my parents' house in Chicago), and today I was thinking about some of those musings, along with a few bigger fantasies I have for myself. And I started building this:


-Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
-Visit India (and Turkey) (and Greece) (and Morocco) (and Bhutan) (and Japan) (and Ethiopia) (and...I could go on forever)
-Take book arts/printmaking classes -- get a degree in this?
-Write and publish a (children's?) book
-Spend some time living in a yurt in the middle of nowhere (in other words, be a pligrim at Tinker Creek, find my own Walden, go into the wild, etc.)
-Buy some toy dinosaurs
-Make party hats for said dinosaurs
-Run in a race
-Do storytelling (like a real, paid storyteller)
-Buy a pair of classic black Laboutins
-Go birdwatching (any and everywhere...but I'd love to do the warbler migration again)
-Participate in an art show (not at a school)
-Sell stuff on Etsy
-Learn to take photographs
-Restore my old Underwood typewriter
-Tend a garden
-Own some chickens
-Learn to play the hammered dulcimer

Evidently my dreams are a mish-mosh of dorkdom, grandeur, art, and oddity. And also Mushaboom.

If you happen to see a pattern, do share. Because I am no one thing (indeed, I contain multitudes), and I can't figure myself out. (Add to that the notion of destroying "the self" and I am extra confused. Thanks a lot, enlightened ones.)

Maybe "I'm just digging around in the garbage, trying to find something that matters."

I really don't know.

Guess I'll live the questions, then, one item at a time. Rilke and my thirteen-year-old self would be so proud.