Sunday, April 28, 2013

Branches, Budapest


On packing suitcases




I am anxious, I am staring at the two suitcases I have; a small one for carry-on and a bigger one, then I also have a backpack for my computer and then I see the heap of books and things that needs to fit in there. Too much. 

The luggage rules of the airline say 23 kilograms for the luggage and max 10 kilograms for carry-on luggage. The problem isn’t just fitting in all the material things I have managed to accumulate in the past two years, because more heavy than the objects I wish to carry home is the thought of fitting in a life lived.   Because these two years were not just an episodic trip with souvenirs of strange things, places and sounds, but an experience of great change, connections and emotions.  How do one fit such an important moment of self-realisation and personal growth into a suitcase? How would one carry it back, how would one reconcile with both the past as well the unknown waiting at home? 

Looking at my heap of accumulated things, it isn't just the thought that I might not come back that overwhelms me, but the realisation that it is the closing of a chapter, and while new wonderful things might await me,I am a little sad to say goodbye to what has been an incredible time of my life.As I am filing through old papers, notes, maps, as I am folding up and throwing away, I take account of the things I've seen, of who I've loved and all of the great stories there is to tell. Oh dear,I need some tea, the packing is making me reflective and a little melancholic.