prayer28 – BUCKET LIST

what is the list of things
you want to do
before you kick the bucket
meaning before you die?
in the movie
our two stage-4 cancer half-heroes
morgan freeman and jack nicholson
decided to skydive, car race,
womanize (trIed to, at least),
go atop the pyramid
for a majestic sunset,
get a tattoo, visit old family,
go to a wild african trek,
get a hot bath in an elegant manor
what is your bucket list?
what would you do before you die?
in the movie, a great deal of time
was spent on mundane sensual thrills
except for family relationship perhaps
and their new-found friendship
their bucket list lacked spirituality
strengthen your soul
as your body ages and recedes
kick the bucket not with a bang
but with quiet gentleness
go for enduring spiritual concerns
renew old songs, old movies,
old friends, old places,
meditation, prayer, forgiveness
humility, giving, sharing
do not seek joy for yourself
but for others which becomes your joy
give hope to the desperate
kick the bucket with a smile
It was a freezing January morning. A man sat at a subway station in Washington DC, opened his the violin case, and started playing Bach. His music echoed loud and clear, amplified by the cavernous station. In the winter rush hour, thousands of people passed by on their way to work, mostly ignoring him, or giving a fleeting glance. The shuffle of their feet drowned the music, and when the train left, it would re-emerge.
A middle aged man slowed his pace, stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to his appointment. Soon, the violinist received his first dollar tip. A woman threw the money into his open violin case without stopping. Someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, looked at his watch and started to walk again. He was late for work.
A 3 year old boy stopped in front of him. His mother pulled him along, but he resisted, intently looking at the face of the violinist. Finally the mother shoved him hard and the child was forced to move along. Several other children did the same. Their parents, without exception, dragged them away by force.
In the 45 minutes the musician played six Bach masterpieces, only 6 people stopped and lingered. About 20 gave money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played some of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his subway gig, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.00 each.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the subway was organized by the Washington Post as part of a ‘social experiment’ about perception, taste and priorities of people. Some possible questions from the experiment include –
In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, can we perceive beauty? Are we capable of stopping for a moment to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Do we give value to something only because others do? Do we buy a $100 ticket because many are fighting for them and we do not want to miss out on the ‘goodies’? Why do we ignore beauty when it is staring us in the face, only because it is not ‘packaged’ into our mood and our circumstance?
Are our sensitivities and priorities controlled so much by time, social circumstance, and band-wagon pressures? Can we possibly change our lives by changing our perspectives and priorities?
If the Washington Post announced the time and place of Bell’s subway gig, would the above story be very different?
Finally, why do children create joy out of things adults are too busy to bother with? The poem below explains.
perspective is power
a foot soldier sees the trees
he has a ground view
a general sees the forests
he has a helicopter view
a president sees the horizon
he has a geographic view
an astronaut sees the earth
he has a planetary view
a child sees the unseen
he has a cosmic view
in life there is nothing
in death there is something
rambo, the movie
%d bloggers like this: