What do you take with you?

What do you take with you, if you have to make your life fit into a steamer trunk? A bindle? What you can carry in two hands?

What do you take with you when you have months and days to consider? What do you take with you when you have only hours, or seconds?

What do you take with you when you know you are returning? What do you take with you when you think you will never see this home again? 

What do you take with you when the other end will be familiar? What do you take with you when the other end is unimaginably different?

What do you take with you when you know you can buy whatever you need at the other end? What do you take with you when you have no portable wealth?

What do you take with you when you are taking little children? What do you take with you when you have life-altering illnesses?


I think about this often. About the similarities and differences between being a traveler and an immigrant. Between fleeing a fire and fleeing a marriage. Living out of a suitcase, a car, a backpack, a boat. About identities we carry with us in our minds, and those we prove with certified documents. About home as talismans and home as a palate. Home as a palette, too. And on a pallet.