Aladdin’s Cave

Trust 30 Prompt: Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.  Author:  Colin Wright


I’m coming off of a pretty long stint of Not A Fucking Word, and so when I saw all this stuff about Trust 30, I was excited to dip my toe back in with some baby steps and canned prompts.  Even though I’m a dollar short and more than 15 days late, I went to the website and signed up without a second thought.  It wasn’t until after I’d confirmed my participation, that I read the first prompt.  I immediately began developing a mental bucket list, and continued that way for about ten minutes before I realized that I’d been staring blankly out of my window in a reverie of pipedreams, as my cursor flashed on a blank and mocking screen.

A list scrolled, like the opening of Star Wars.  Visit India and Spain.  Learn to throw a pot.  Ride a bullet train.  Stand on the Four Corners.  Get lots more tattoos.  Cultivate a real garden.  Go to “just-one-more” Paul Van Dyk show (mental note to write a memory about that) and dance all night.  Hike the 46 Adirondack peaks…..Blah.Blah.Blah.  I could write thousands of words on all the things I want to do and see and be.  My inner life, were I to lay it bare before you, would resemble a third-world market bazaar; foreign and thrilling, sensual and repulsive.  Beaded handicrafts glint under woven tapestries while toothless and sun-browned faces shout the day’s deals on freshly filleted pigeon and eel; where urchins dash between bodies, picking pockets.  I am constantly wandering the stalls, searching out little treasures, sampling the wares.  Darting between vendors and digging through woven straw bins.

The variety is astonishing.  There are no patterns.  My fancy is struck by whim.

I am, simply, a collector.  A collector of moments, of memories, of notches in bedposts.

I’m a sucker for road trips and hay rides and leaps of faith.

I am a cynical romantic (or a romantical cynic, depending on the day), convinced that the purgatory of everyday disappointment is somewhere adding up, that I am paying off in boredom and ennui the debt to my future happiness.  There can’t, (of course!), be joy or peaceful contentment without their equal opposites for comparison, so with each sad let down, I am dysfunctionally thrilled to see my Suffer-O-Meter spike–and I get “that-much” closer to an unfocused, unknown ideal.  Every moment, or collection of moments is the payment for another.  The Universe as an accountant.  Penance.  It’s the time your friends went to that AMAZING show, but you had taken an extra shift at the bar which pays for that tiny moment with the snow tickling down through the streetlights when you smiled and felt Okay.

Each experience has the opportunity to dazzle.  At any given moment, I could be transported…transfixed–rooted to a minute to which all future changes can be traced.  I scan the world for opportunities to feel that…each new thing a shiny yellow taxi, paid for by a mysterious doorman.  Destination and resulting feeling? Unknown.   So I jumped off that bridge, ran that race, kissed that boy.  I took that detour, ate those mushrooms, tried out for cheerleading.  Just once, a blind date, and twice, rather bad car crashes.    It’s the reason I say yes to the odd, the convoluted, the regional/local.  Hiding, LURKING somewhere amongst that mass of DOING potential, lies the corner I’ll turn, the switch I’ll switch, where I look back after a few more steps and realize:  “I’m Happy.  THIS is it.  I’m finally HERE.”

The universe keeps us honest, tempers those impish delights with If-Onlys and Almosts and Not-So-Fasts.  It throws in zingers to stun and stagger–cosmic checks and balances.  I believe in the miracles and so I endure the abrasions.  They’re merit badges.  Receipts for dues paid.  Scar tissue.

And so, to answer the prompt:

I realized not so very long ago that all of these things, in themselves are unimportant.  Alone, they are just small stories.  Vignettes.  Some rather boring and banal, others mini-epics.    But in the context of my life?  Of my psychology?  Together, summed, they are IT.  There isn’t ONE particular thing that I wish to do before I die, there are SCADS.   And in trying to narrow the field to one goal, I’ve learned that there isn’t one.  The goal is roughly the total of my efforts.  Did I do enough?  Did I not slack off?  Did I revel in delight and share my whimsy?  At the final accounting, when I pull out my North Face and remove my filled journals, I want there to be enough of them to nod certainly over.  So I’ll say Yes.  And I’ll go.  And do.  And say.  And see.  I’ll reach out, and try out.  I will actively participate.  What will I do?  As much as I can pack in.


2 thoughts on “Aladdin’s Cave

  1. I love that there are so many posts here for me to read tonight. And for this one to start it all? It’s just right. Because I love that you refused to limit yourself and write about just one thing. I really do believe you’ll wind up doing more bucket-list items than most people I know ever would.

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