I love old suitcases.
Not because of any travel romance, but because they are containers. They hold things. Suitcases are sturdy, compact, colorful. They are resilient, protecting and portable. They have a handle to make them easy to carry around.
I have used suitcases to store art supplies and old journals. I’ve used them as end tables in my living room. I’ve even created art pieces in small travel cases that tell a single chapter of a bigger story.
Growing up, my family played the What’s In Your Suitcase game on the long drives between Long Island and Philadelphia where my mother’s family lived.
Each person would begin: “I’m going on a trip and in my suitcase I’m going to pack” and we’d take turns naming objects and items, real and imagined, that we would put in the suitcase. The only rule was that the item had to begin with the next letter of the alphabet. It was a fun game, full of silliness and laughing, and it also exercised our memorization skills.
I’ve played the game as an adult, too, passing the time around a campfire or on a road trip, packing things like apples, blueberry biscuits, a cotton candy colored cashmere sweater.
Then I saw this proclamation by Katrina Mayer:
Katrina’s words got me thinking about suitcases in a different way. I envisioned suitcases filled with what we lug around with us from one home to another. What old stories we hold on to, what beautiful dreams we’ve hidden in the corners of the elasticized side pockets.
And then I wondered what my suitcase could REALLY hold that would support me, inspire me, comfort me on my own journey that is my life.
I loved Katrina’s words so much that I borrowed the ones that spoke to me and then added my own:
I am on a journey. With my work, my art, my questions. I travel with a suitcase full of outrageous blessings, inspiring gifts and a radiant life force.
I am on a quest for love, connection and deeply shared joy.
I am a teacher, a writer, a conduit of love.
Then I imagined what physical form those words might take, what objects could I pack in a real suitcase that would represent my outrageous blessings, my inspired gifts, my radiant life force. What tangible totems might support me, inspire me and give me the courage to keep moving forward on this path of love and connection and joy?
And then I gathered them. A heart shaped stone found on a desert hike with friends. A pink rubber cow from the state fair. A three inch laughing Buddha. A sharpened pencil. My favorite Rumi quote.
I tucked these touchstones with my new proclamation in a purple silk bag no bigger than my palm and put the bag in the glove compartment of my RV. It travels with me like a compass and I feel guided, directed, blessed.
What do you carry in your suitcase?
What might you really want to gather to guide you on your journey?
I’d love to hear your discoveries. Share them by clicking the Comments below.