As the year slowly dies down like the last embers in my fireplace, I sit here with my loved ones and reflect not only on the past, but also on the future. And as it seems to be the trendy thing to do now, my family and I sat down and discussed our Bucket Lists, and I came up with the following 25 Thing to Do Before I Die. In no particular order, here they are:
1. Go to the West Edmonton Mall.
As a child, I remember seeing frequent advertisements for the West Edmonton Mall between my favourite cartoon shows. For me, this place is like the Canadian Disneyland, and I would love to experience it.
2. See the Rocky Mountains.
I’ve never actually seen mountains before, but I’ve seen pictures. Also, while studying a poem by T.S. Eliot, I was told by one of my profs that people who lived in valleys at the foot of the mountains often suffered from severe depression, since the mountains block out a lot of the sun. I’d like to see that, to experience that kind of power.
3, Go Whale Watching.
Several years ago, when I went to Mexico, I swam with dolphins and was surprised and disappointed by their size. I had always imagined them to be bigger. So now, I want to see the real big ocean guys: whales.
4. Go Parasailing.
I’m afraid of heights, but I’ve done a lot of things I was afraid of, and I think I’d walk away from this one in total awe of the experience.
5. Try surfing.
I’ve gone “body surfing” (kind of) on the rolling waves in Costa Rica, but I think it would be fun to try it on a board.
6. Go to London and walk down the city streets.
I am an avid reader of Victorian Fiction and would love to walk down the same streets as some of my favourite characters.
7. See old Bedlam
8. Visit Stonehenge.
I imagine that this would be a powerful experience. Also, this where is the final scene between Tess and her love takes place, after the red dripping from the ceiling….
9. Visit Ireland to feel the faeries.
I find that Ireland and Canada share many aspects of colonialism, and I relate strongly to some of the mythology of the country.
10. Read and Understand “Finnegan’s Wake” by James Joyce.
I’ve already attempted “Ulysses” and understood parts of it. But “Finnegan’s Wake” is still far beyond my comprehension. I had a well annotated edition in my Norton Anthology, and it took me half an hour to get through the first paragraph.
11. Walk under Niagra Falls.
When I was in grade 7, my class traveled by bus to Toronto. We stopped by Niagra Falls, but only looked at it from a distance and then went to a lame ass water park that wasn’t even open. I want to go back and get a close-up look of the Falls.
12. Visit Prince Edward Island.
Because of Anne of Green Gables.
13. Visit the Reading Room of the London Library.
I want to walk down the same aisles that George Eliot and Charles Dickens walked down, and sit in the same chairs that Reardon sat in in Gissing’s New Grub Street.
14. Go to B.C.
I want to see the huge redwood forests.
15. Drive and walk up/down Magnetic Hill and experience the illusion first hand. Walk a little way into the bush and find out when and where it ends.
16. Peruse the Louvre.
This is just something I’d like to experience.
17. Publish some writing.
Maybe a novel. Maybe a collection of short stories. Maybe an obituary.
18. Go to Churchill and see the polar bears.
Bears have a strong personal significance to me. They are incredibly potent symbols of spiritual teachers, and I would love to see a polar bear in its natural environment.
19. Experience a full day of darkness in the Arctic.
It’s an aspect of Canadian Experience I would like to have a part in.
20. Ride a train.
When I was a kid I hopped trains in town, but I’ve never actually been on a passenger train, even though my father, as a former employee of CN rail, has access to a VIA rail train pass to anywhere in Canada.
21. See the real Prairie.
I’ve never been further West than Winnipeg, and I’d like to see the rolling hills and complete flatness of Saskatchewan.
22. Go Sailing.
It looks fun. And I like water things.
23. See a giraffe.
24. Taste a huckleberry.
I don’t even know what a huckleberry is.
25. Learn from a Buddhist monk, a Rabbi, a Priest, and an Imam.
Preferably in one room. At the same time.