Friday, June 24, 2005


As an inveterate traveler in my younger days, I early became accustomed to minimal possessions: nothing large, heavy, fragile or valuable. In keeping with this baggage state of mind, my luggage has always been strong, simple, dependable and unsightly: a duffelbag. That's why in all my travels my luggage has ever been stolen, nor has anything ever been stolen from it. There it comes sliding down the luggage ramp: flattened, tattered, stained, wonderfully unappealing.

As well, by the time I'd reached my teenage years my family had moved house a dozen times, greatly lessening any early love I might have had regarding heavy furniture, monolithic appliances, carpets, lamps, artwork and other unwieldy acquisitions. The resulting minimalist trait was very useful to me as a long-term duffelbagger, but when I had to stop traveling (my daughter was born) we settled down and began to acquire the familially essential things, at which point I realized that my former attitude had an unexpected side to it. Give me a duffelbagful of possessions and I'm fine with organizing that. Give me more than that and my organizing mind turns off; I have better things to do. Gypsy ways are hard to change.

Since in my formative experience excess itemage was always temporary (and, in residence, largely the property of others), I now can't take comprehensive interest in anything beyond that minimum, since I somehow feel that it doesn't really pertain to me (even though I might have bought it). Though I'm now possessed by too much more than a duffelbagful of whatever it may be, beyond that quantity I still tend to just stash the whatever anywhere and not look at it again for years or more, maybe ever. I only use what I use, after all. On my upcoming trip to the States, I'll take one duffelbag and live it up in the old style.

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