what we carry

What I packed for my writing retreat.

There must be some psychological diagnosis/profile for she who carries too much (both literally & figuratively), especially since I can no longer claim, with any credibility, given the swath of time, that I once traveled through Europe for entire seasons with a single backpack; or that as a girl I was so happy-go-lucky as to disregard all details like the dock from which my scout troop was departing for the camping trip to the island across the Hudson. (It wasn’t the South Dock.)

Is this older, weighed-down self a result of accumulation? Fear? PTSD? Particularity? Self-care? Self-neglect?

Or a casualty of my life’s passion–history, culture, family, memoir?

I’ve met people whose counters are completely clear and I’ve encountered entire homes absent of clutter.

I love when my own spaces are similarly simplified, but I’m compelled to place something down on those empty surfaces as if to say…


I am here?

I was here?

We were here?

We mattered?

Life is messy.


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