Saturday, June 24, 2006

To Do List

[Quote of the post] "They're more like guidelines, anyway." Elizabeth Seal, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
[Song of the post] HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

There are so many things to do in this world. So many things, but so little time. There's skydiving, stargazing, bungee-jumping, fox-flying, spleunking, mountain-climbing...

It just seems that there isn't enough time to do everything in this world. Like stand-up comedy, brain surgery, climbing the Eiffel Tower. The first quarter of our lives are taken up by things like homework, while we could be doing things like 14th Century politics, astrophysics, comic-book art, applicational geometry...

...Spanish, oil-drilling, wind-surfing, human psychology. What are some of the things you've dreamed of doing? Rocket science, strolling down a moonlit Waikiki beach, managing a multinational corporation, shaking hands with a gorilla. Do you think you'll ever sit at the dining table at the White House? Or bounce among the craters on the moon?

What do you want to be when you grow up? A general practitioner, a lawyer, an opthamologist, an actor, a teacher, an anime artist? How many veterinarians do you know? Ever tried your hand at carbon dating? Even when you choose your career, do you know how many things you'll be missing out on? If you become a dietician, you'll probably never sample escargo. A mercenary will probably never know what it's like to sit in a country house and just relax. Is a novelist ever going to understand the beauty of colours?

What's all this about, you may ask. Well, I've just been thinking. Again. Why can't I do everything in this world? Why can't I experience everything there is to experience? What's it like to ride on the back of a dolphin; how do you pick a lock with a hairpin; how's it like to be stranded in the middle of the desert; what does the Statue of Liberty look like?

I don't know how to explain this. Talking with my friends today, I feel like I'm not doing enough, I'm not knowing enough of all that there is to know. What is Chinese pop; what's it like to get married; how does abalone taste like? What's it like to be in financial crisis; how do you do a split; what's "I love you" in Japanese? It's like I'm always the most out-of-place and then everybody's talking about something that I know absolutely NOTHING about and I feel so uncomfortable and then everybody thinks I'm quiet when in actual fact I don't know what to say.

IF I become an author, IF I become a scriptwriter, how am I to write if I don't experience? How do you program a computer; what's it like to get struck by lightning; how would you feel if you accidentally killed someone? You can only read, you can only imagine, but what about doing, about experiencing, about feeling? What's it like being teleported; how do you feel when you're giving a speech; what does zero-gravity feel like?

And it's not just good things. What is it like to go to war; what is it like to betray a friend; what is it like to lie and cheat? How would you feel on a pirate ship; how do you hack past firewalls; how is it when you take over the world? What's it like to have cancer; what's it like to speak a different language; what's it like to be colour-blind?

And then, after all the big things, after all the prowling with tigers and the crop circles and the Taj Mahal, how about all the small things. The brush of a girl's kiss; the hug of a good friend; the laugh of a family member. The smile of the old lady across the street, the hello from your next-door neighbour, the surprise visit from an overseas friend. The taste of hot cocoa, the feel of raindrops on your face, the shattering of glass. What's it like to stroke a cat; what's it like to own a PS2, what's it like to walk a dog.

So many things to do; when am I gonna do them all?

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