Friday, November 6, 2015

Packing My Suitcase for the Future

After going almost nonstop since four o'clock this morning and turning in my English essay 15 minutes before it was due, I finally had the opportunity at five o'clock this evening to sit on the hill, drink Happy Belly tea, eat some of Mom's homemade cookies that arrived in the mail today, and read heartfelt quotes from Brian Andreas' book, Trusting Soul. The book is filled with rough sketches of people and quotes about uncertainty, change, growing up, and other ideas related to trust and the future. In the introduction to his book, he writes,

The future is what you bring with you & you get to choose. I think of the stories & drawings in this book as the things I have chosen, the suitcase I've packed for the future. It's only the essentials, because I know you'll bring stuff, too. I packed the lilt of a voice, the curve of a neck in laughter, the glance between people who have wrapped up in each other in the soft night. I've put memories of my grandparents & other made-up people because it seemed like they'd be fun to have around. I've thrown in more than enough packages of love & play & chocolate because the future can always use extra of those & I sneaked in a few unexpected gifts, simply because there is no greater joy than an unexpected gift to a trusting soul. (Andreas) 

The things I try to include on my blog are what I've chosen to pack for my future––pictures and quotes and musings and questions and stories and moments that fill me with inspiration and joy. I try to avoid rambling complaints or conclusions that end with bitter emotions, because these aren't what I want to bring along with me in the future. I'd rather leave them behind.

What's even more fun than packing the suitcase is opening it up and sharing it with others, which is why I get such joy out of posting. It's a space for the collective relish of big questions and small moments.

So for you, today, I'm sharing a picture of the autumn trees on campus and one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver.


Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.
Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.
The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small, kind gesture.
Then laps the bowl clean.
Then wants to go out into the world
where she leaps lightly and for no apparent reason across the lawn,
then sits, perfectly still, in the grass.
I watch her a little while, thinking:
what more could I do with wild words?
I stand in the cold kitchen, bowing down to her.
I stand in the cold kitchen, everything wonderful around me.


What will you pack in your suitcase?