I found myself coming up short a couple of weeks ago when friends were rattling off their lists.
My friend, Donna, really impressed me. It was as though she had thought about her list for a long time. Donna wants to: visit New Zealand, photograph polar bears and write a song.
Terrific, don’t you think? The perfect combination of escapade and creativity.
When the conversation came to me, I fumbled, and said something about wanting to bring back saddle shoes and eat more cinnamon raisin toast.
JEEZ! My Bucket List sounds more like a side-bar in the AARP magazine.
I gotta get going.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking BIG and have come up with a few Bucket possibilities.
Number One: I would like to attend a White House reception.
I came close to this wish in 2003. Back then, I received an engraved invitation from Laura Bush requesting my presence at a symposium on “Poetry and the American Voice.” The invitation came during protests over the run-up to the Iraq War. When several former poet laureates such as Rita Dove and Stanley Kunitz declined invitations in protest and other invited guests planned to read antiwar poems, Laura cancelled the whole shebang. I received a hilarious message from the White House Social Office on my home phone “disinviting” me. I could kick myself for not keeping that message. It was a beaut!
Number Two. I’d like one of my books to be made into a movie. Mercury 13 has been optioned twice by Hollywood, but like most optioned books, it never was made into a film. At least not yet. One reader once described the motion picture potential of Mercury 13 as “A League of Their Own with booster rockets.” I like that.
Cross your fingers because my new book, Curveball, is currently making the rounds in Tinseltown.
Whoopi? Queen Latifah? Are you listening? I would love to spin around a movie back lot in a fancy golf cart. And I’d also like one of those movie boards that gets clapped after every take. I don’t ask for much.
Number Three. I’d like to take a Polar Plunge. I’m an Aquarius. I love water. One of my favorite things to do is stroll around a boat dock and pretend I own a yacht. I also admire the mania of people who run into ocean water on New Year’s Day and then come out wild-eyed and blue. To me, that looks like fun.
So, since I’m still waiting to hear from Michelle & Barack and Whoopi and Queen Latifah, I’ve decided to start my Bucket List with the Plunge.
At 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Morning, I will join hundreds of other crazies and plunge into Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. I figure it’s a win-win situation. I will cross off an item on my Bucket List and will help raise money for the Weezie Library for Children—part of the island’s wonderful public library, the Nantucket Atheneum.
It’s the Ninth Annual Cold Turkey Plunge on Nantucket and I’ve got to start work on my costume. Plungers often deck themselves out in all sorts of get-ups from hand-painted inner tubes to water-proof Pilgrim hats. I’ve appointed my four-year old godsons, Jackson and Henry, to head-up my wardrobe committee. If you have ideas, for the committee–please post them here.
And say–if you’d like to support my Bucket List and/or the Weezie Library for Children, you can pledge a buck or two to the Nantucket Antheneum.
Here’s how. Scroll down to Sponsor a Swimmer On Line.
I figure Bucket Lists give you something to strive for. They shake you out of routine more than saddle shoes and cinnamon raisin toast. Every once in a while, a person just needs a shock to the system, right?
It might as well be Nantucket Sound at 51.1 degrees.