THE Bucket List

I don't believe any novelist...has too many thematic concerns; I have many interests, but only a few that are deep enough to power novels. These deep interests...include how difficult it close Pandora's box once it's open...the question of why, if there is a God, such terrible things happen...the thin line between reality and fantasy...and most of all, the terrible attraction violence sometimes has for fundamentally good people...I've also written again and again about the fundamental difference between children and adults, and about the healing power of the human imagination.
- Stephen King, On Writing

My girlfriend and I finally watched The Bucket List the other evening. We enjoyed it. Good storyline and two top-drawer actors to carry it: Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson set out to do the things they've always wanted to do before they kick the bucket. Simple enough.

I read Mr. King's words a couple of days later and thought well, scary Stephen is talking about a bucket list too. And while I can daydream about Freeman & Nicholson's, I live with Mr. King's. THE Bucket List - that list at the bottom of the bucket that holds your deep interests, the dregs you live and would die for, those things deep enough to power novels or worldviews, the listing of things that matter.

F & N's bucket list makes for great movies and can inspire you to live out your dreams. K's bucket list, if you take the time to consider it, holds the power to help you see who you are, why you do the things you do, and why you may be here in the first place. I'm inclined to believe that unless you've got a King-bucket, any Freeman-Nicholson-bucket you pick up will be full of holes. You could walk the Taj Mahal and motor along China's Great Wall and still wind up empty. It'd be a damn shame to die that way.


  1. Absolutely. Bucket list needs to be rooted in something solid.

    Very cool quote from King, BTW.

    Now, I'll have to see that movie. I thought about it when it was out, but, alas, was drawn to whatever kid movie was playing for that particular budgetary time.

  2. O my brother, that movie was much more than just ticking off a few fun things to do before you die. Along the way they confronted their lonliness, their faith, their fear of conflict, their mortality, they found a way to reconnect with family in meaningful ways, and a whole host of other themes or items off the deeper list you speak of. I suggest that would have never happened if they would have decided to just stay put and die in place. I know three guys who once upon a time took a trip to the Grand Canyon, that on the surface you could say was a bucket list kind of activity, oh but the discoveries they made there and the lasting impact on their lives. Anyway, a modest proposal for a different reading of the movie.