Monday, April 16, 2007

Travelling Light

It all started years ago, when I lived in London.

Claire and I were walking down the street when we saw a room-mate of hers walking towards the station with a rucksack on his back (Kaan, for those of you who remember). I asked Claire where he was going and she said, “He’s moving back to Turkey”. And that’s all he had … a rucksack. What did he do with all his ‘stuff’? He left it behind.

Just a rucksack to move from one country to another.

(Whenever we’ve moved house from one town to another we’ve need a fleet of pantechnicons!)

Claire and I started talking about travelling light. I told her about the Celtic saints who carried the concept of “home” in their souls. They could set out on their peregrinations (look it up on Wikipedia lol) for months or years, but be “at home” wherever they found themselves.

Later, Claire sent me a book – “The Global Soul” by Pico Iyer. In it “Iyer sets out on a journey – both physical and psychological – towards a definition of home in this world gone mobile”

Also around this time, a friend (Maddy) said I was like a person carrying around big heavy suitcases. What I needed was one of those lightweight nylon rucksacks. She was speaking metaphorically.

So I’m getting rid of a lot of stuff that I’ve been carrying around for years. I lost the most important stuff through carelessness anyway.

Some of it is physical and some of it is duty, obligation, false responsibility. Blah blah. You know what I mean.

So I’ve been thinking about what I REALLY need … what I like to have with me and around me if I want to feel at home. (I’m not including people.)

My list of essential home items:

A few books and magazines.
My pencil case with all sorts of pens, craft knife, scissors, glue and toy soldiers.
My lovely new tan leather work bag containing more pens, my journal, my homework diary and some sketch books.
Obviously my glasses.
My cameras.
My bag with my art stuff in it.
Some CDs (and something to play them on).
Chocolate buttons.


That might be about it.

In the next few weeks, I’m planning (loosely) to go to North Wales to take a look around. I’ll take all those things with me so I can stay anywhere for any length of time and feel reasonably at home.

But I might run home crying after the first day.

you found a bag! a knapsack??
Dad, one thing more serious now...
you really shouldn´t make mention of chocolate buttons on a blog which you know will be read by somebody living in a land where they consider hersheys a rare delicacy... that was just mean.
Pantechnicons and perigrinations. You're too clever for me by half, so I'll have to stop reading. Seriosuly, though, this physical and metaphorical 'lightening one's load' is turning into a blogger's obsession right now. I'd join you if I could.
Hi Claire ... Hershey's is NOT chocolate. I'll send you a red cross parcel full of choclate buttons!!!

Hi Andrea ... lol ... I just try to impress - have no idea what half these words mean!!! This de-junking / de - cluttering thing is strange, isn't it? Is it something in the air?
I'm currently in between houses and still wishing I didn't have as much 'stuff' - you don't realise how much you have until you start trying to pack it all up. I've vowed either a) never to move again or b) to throw everything away and just move - just me and my bag on the train.

Claire - it's not a knapsack... "IT'S A MANS BAG!"
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no Joey, its U-N-I-SEX! chuckle chuckle!
Dad, hmmm....yes please!!!
and the cleaning out thing - it´s spring, thats why! spring cleaning fever...its weird isn´t it...
oh well, its autumn here so I´m gonna carry accumulating junk for another 6 months.
I wa going to write a serious comment, then read those left by your girlies and giggled.

But I have decided that metaphorical baggage is best sold on ebay.
And please send Claire chocolate buttons. Please.

Hi Caroline! To my girls ... EVERYTHING is a line from Friends!!! Good to hear from you. And, yes, now I have Claire's new address, I will be sending chocolate buttons! lol
hey, you can all send buttons if you want...
Just wanted to let you know that this post inspired me to make one of my own on this very topic, and I mentioned you in it. I also mentioned a book that I really think you'd like called Journeys of Simplicity, which is full of lists like yours.
Thank you Angela ... I'll look out for that book. I love lists!!!
If you've not used it for 6 months you don't really need it! Come see us on your way north if you want refreshments.
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