Bucket List; Or, an Oldie but a Goodie

Due to being on an impromptu writing retreat/getaway, I didn’t have time to come up with a blog post for Wednesday. So, here’s a post I wrote on January 14, 2015:

I’ve been watching the television show Bones and, last night, I watched an episode about a man killed while fulfilling his bucket list. For those who might not know, a bucket list is a list of things to do before Death swings his scythe. It occurred to me that I don’t have one So, I whipped up ten things to do.

On it are the usual places I want to see before I die (Rome, England, etc) but I also included a couple of activities.

Attend Burning Man

Bucket List Burning Man

This is actually the last item on my bucket list but I’ll probably do it first.

Every year, artists and survivor aficionados gather in Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City. This collection of wildly decorated tents and vehicles exists on the playa for about eight days in late August/early September. Commercialism comes to a grinding halt as people share their art and celebrate the ten principles of Burning Man:

  • Radical inclusion
  • Gifting
  • Decommodification
  • Radical self-reliance
  • Radical self-expression
  • Communal effort
  • Civic responsibility
  • Participation
  • Immediacy

And the high point of it all is when a giant sculpture of a man is set on fire. It is a celebration of life, art, and humanity. The next day, everything is packed up and carted away, leaving the playa just as it was found. I want to go so badly and be a part of something so big and vibrant. For those interested, here’s an article from a Burning Man first-timer.

Attend a Renaissance Festival & See a Jousting Match

This seems like a pretty simple bucket list item, right? Thousands of such festivals are done every year, after all.

Anyway, I’m a fantasy author, so is this one really surprising? I mean who wouldn’t want to watch this:

Bucket List Jousting 1

Or this!

Bucket List Jousting 2

Or this…

Bucket List Knight

I mean, come on. Do I really need to explain this one?

Walk the Way of St. James

This might be my most ambitious item on the bucket list.

In medieval Europe, one of the favorite pilgrimage sites was the Cathedral of St. James of Compostela in northwestern Spain, which is home to the Botafumeiro (a GIANT censer swung from the ceiling). The collection of routes to get there is called the Way of St. James or El Camino de Santiago (or just El Camino). Depending on where you start, this is a beautiful trek through plains, hills, and mountains. Not everyone does it because they are religious. Walking El Camino for many is about self-discovery and adventure. If you stay in hostels rather than hotels, you’re bound to meet interesting people.

As an overweight and out of shape American, it would take some time to train for El Camino. But I think it would be very worth it, just so I can see something like this:

Bucket List The Way of St. James
Photo by Michael Krier

What about you, dear reader? What’s on your bucket list? We don’t have much time on this planet. Should we really waste it with routine and safety?

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