Forty one posts into my bench obsession, I have not picked one in an airport. Until now.
Seems like the right time. I’m in Atlanta, passing through an airport on steroids. This trip starts a dizzying string of corporate events in the coming month. A visual of roller bags seems appropriate.
Even if the bench itself was uninviting.
Watching people collect their luggage at the carousel makes me glad that I’ve learned how to pack expertly. Of course, I had to learn the hard way – four times in two years, airlines lost my checked bag.
Here is my carry on. Inside this small suitcase are 80 markers, 13 bottles of marker refill fluid, 16 wax blocks, four days of clothes, toiletries, a pair of shoes and a large camera. Unfortunately, there is also one ruined shirt from a leak of orange marker fluid. One of the risks of packing tightly, I guess.
The lesson I’ve learned is: life is easier when traveling lightly.
That’s a lesson Alison and I are applying to our house. We are in the midst of lightening the load of flotsam and jetsam that the years have washed into our home. (Note the deft deflection of blame: time’s fault.) Closets are being ruthlessly raked. Bookshelves are thinned. We’ve turned a cold, realistic eye even toward the catch-all drawers and the baking pan cabinet. Watch out, dish-towels – we’re coming for you!
It feels good to get trimmer.
But today, when I started going through folders from my career, it got trickier. Hidden among the easily trashed papers is art that I don’t know what to do with. Line drawings, sketches, undeveloped ideas – like these little pigs I drew for an animation I once created for my site.
Do I keep things like this, chuck them, give them away? Like a favorite book, old drawings like this remain because of the way they wrap a memory around themselves like a comforter. Not enough, mind you, to make me want to revisit them. But just enough to keep them cluttering up my life.
There is a place for keeping something for the pleasure it brings. But there’s pleasure in letting go of stuff.
And wisdom in giving oneself a smaller suitcase in life.
Not to mention putting liquids in zip-lock bags.