So, I thought it might be an interesting thought experiment to explore what sprung to mind in my own skull. I find it interesting that so few of my choices revolved around things having little to do with virtue per se. Rather than that pointing to a bad direction, I found it indicative of moving in directions in my personal life that speak to a life being well lived. These are "frosting." I am fairly content with the current state of my life and the seeming future direction thereof.
A few words on do-ability: my experience has been that the experiment mutates rapidly. So much of my biography has shifted in ways I never would have imagined. I consider nothing on this list outside of the realm of possibility and, as is so often true in life, may offer a few of those much needed fences in further life choices.
But, enough. On with the list.
1. Visit India- I have a deep love for India and its people. I think it is a beautiful culture. I also have friends I should very much like to see. This was an easy #1 choice for me.
2. Attend the Bayreuth Festival- The Mecca for Wagnerites. Wagner himself supervised the design and construction of the theater. To see a Ring Cycle at Bayreuth would be near to one of the peak experiences possible for me on this planet.
3. Tour the Vatican- As an art lover, a theology and church history student, and an aesthete, I would love to tour the Vatican. I know Laurie would too.
4. See one of my plays produced- Strictly speaking, this has already happened, but not in a profit making environment and only with a one-man show. I would love to have the play I am currently writing be produced by a professional theater company.
5. Finish the Harvard Classics Library- which will happen if I simply live long enough to make it through. I am working on it. I would hazard a guess that I still have years in front of me to go, but if Augustine didn't stall the project, nothing shall.
7. Also would like to visit Athens- Having already trod the streets where Shakespeare, Wilde, and countless others had trod, I can only imagine the hallowed feeling of the truly ancient beneath one's feet.
8. Master Greek and Latin- I don't know about mastering, but this is another project that I am working on. I am currently at a very stumbly level of Latin. Laurie and I plan on learning Greek together one of these days. She has some experience in that classic language. I have none. One of these days we will take it up.
9. Create a mixed drink- Wouldn't it be fun to have a signature drink? Or having a dessert or sandwich named after one's self? Maybe it's gauche to think so, but I think it would be a hoot!
10. Have a poem of mine in the Norton Anthology- Yes, I'll admit vestigial and highly unlikely wishes to join the immortals of literature.
11. Name a star or asteroid after Laurie- While there is no permanence in this universe, I have plans to buy a high-powered telescope when Ezekiel gets a little older to take out into the wild and look out at the wonder of the macro. I would love to be able to find Laurie Mathers in the heavens. In case you haven't guess by now, I am a silly and romantic marshmallow of a man.
12. Have a rose garden- We should always have roses.
13. Own an Irish Wolfhound- Such majestic canines! I am drawn to their temperament as well as their stunning presence.
14. Reconcile with everyone- Life is short. The Living are just the Dead on vacation. People should live gently and be quick to forgive.
15. Die before Dementia- Ending on a characteristically dark note, my vocation has taught me the horror of Dementia/Alzheimer's. It is an awful disease and I should like to go without experiencing it firsthand. I encourage everyone to get informed about it and, where they can, search and see if there is some place in the world where they can improve life for another.