GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - With Baggage

It’s how I like to arrive – with the baggage I set off with. I’ve been parted from my baggage twice in my life – once in Holland (and then the airline managed to find it and have it arrive at my lodgings before I got there), and most recently on my trip to the U.S. There I was, standing at carousel 6 (or was it 16, or was it 8? – It’s all a bit of a blur now. I had just flown 14 hours) at San Francisco airport. Fellow passengers dragged, hauled, pulled their baggage from the circling, ever-circling rubber conveyer. One by one, they left, and I stood, and I stood. The final few cases remained. Lonely, looking like they’d been here before. No-one wanted to claim them. Nothing about them remotely resembled my pair of black canvas cases, so there hadn’t been any accidental mix-up. I was sure. Within 15 minutes, there were just two of us. An equally tired, equally despairing-looking man. Did you transfer at JFK? I asked. Mmm. From Italy. I nodded, knowingly. Apparently, my 2-hour transfer time hadn’t been long enough for my cases to make it from my first flight to my second, either.

Had I followed conventional wisdom and packed a few essentials in my hand-baggage? If you consider books, pens and notebooks to be essential, yes. Did I have toothpaste? Underwear? Deodorant? Spare T-shirt? – No, no, no, no, (in that order). I did have my money (hurrah), credit-card (hurrah). You remember the despair? It lifted very quickly. A sense of acceptance, a Que sera, sera attitude arrived in its place, and I found a calm quietness in me as I went to check in with the lost luggage people. We’ll send your luggage on to your hotel when it arrives. I noticed that WHEN. It was so comforting. There was no IF in it. They said WHEN. Ok, I thought, I’ll trust that.

Hotel check-in. I told them my baggage would be arriving later. The sceptical glance from the hotel clerk said it all. How naïve is that? They provided toothbrush and toothpaste. My room was comfortable. I read. I wrote my ten gratitudes. I prepared to sleep. That was easy. It just involved taking off my clothes. Well, it was a warm room. I didn’t actually need pyjamas, did I? My thoughts before I went off to sleep ran thus:

Maybe it’s meant to be. You wanted this journey to be an adventure, yet you packed two big suitcases like it was any other holiday. Maybe you’re not meant to be traveling trammeled with all that stuff. Maybe you can let it all go. Maybe it’s just what you need – to be travelling light and unburdened with possessions. If it wasn’t for my collection of SoulCollage cards tucked into one of those cases, I would have been ready to just let it all go at that stage, and then I remembered that I have scans of all my cards on my computer at home, so they could be reconstructed easily enough. Ok. That thought allowed me to accept the baggage is gone, gone, gone, and that is a good thing. I fell asleep with a plan to buy a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a couple of t-shirts, and a pair of sandals to travel with.

The 4 a.m. call jolted me out of such a deep sleep. I’d been travelling for oh… my brain was too tired to calculate, but something like a full day. The call? “This is the front desk. Your luggage has been delivered. …Two pieces. …Yes. You can wait ‘til morning to collect it. Sleep well.”

That’s what I find so often in life. It’s not so important to actually let go of the baggage as it is to be willing to let it go. Even though I travelled on with all my “stuff”, it didn’t burden me, and it didn’t matter if I lost any of it again. Now, I hope the next time I travel, I’ll pack lighter, and I will really not worry about whether I arrive with or without my baggage.

---------------------------------

Find more Sunday Scribblings HERE

18 Comments:

At 15/7/06 10:27 pm, Blogger Susannah said...

i loved this - i'd like to think i'd be as calm as you were, take it in my stride, but then i was already thinking of the things i'd have had in my case that i wouldn't have wanted to lose... oooh, i think i need to do a bit of letting go too :-) thanks for this reminder x

 
At 15/7/06 10:55 pm, Blogger deirdre said...

I'm sure there's a lesson here for me. I'm never so calm about letting go of anything. Ever. Thanks for this reminder.

 
At 15/7/06 11:05 pm, Anonymous alyndabear said...

Great writing;

I always did wonder about those sad, lonely pieces of luggage that seem to always be left last on the carousel. Whatever happened to their owners? That could make for another free-write...

Very glad it was returned to you, though!

-Aly

 
At 16/7/06 12:23 am, Blogger Becca said...

What a marvelous lesson, extremely well written- sometimes being willing to let go is all it takes to move on to higher ground!

 
At 16/7/06 12:37 am, Anonymous yak attack said...

How nice to just be able to let it all go. What a great attitude! What a great reminder! Thanks!

 
At 16/7/06 2:05 am, Blogger Star said...

How wonderful that you were able to just roll with it. I'm sure the lesson in letting go has been useful in other areas of your life since your San Francisco experience.

Great post!

 
At 16/7/06 1:31 pm, Blogger Pacian said...

It seems like bliss to me, to simple lose things that you have but don't need. Sadly, in everyday life you only tend to notice the things that you lose and do need.

 
At 16/7/06 2:40 pm, Blogger Living Part Deux said...

This was like a breath of fresh air. What an emotional journey you made, along with your considerable geographical journey. I hope the rest of the trip was wonderful - with or without baggage!

 
At 16/7/06 5:07 pm, Blogger Gemma said...

Love your post!
Love Ireland too!
:-)

 
At 17/7/06 1:16 am, Blogger Tammy said...

I pack too many clothes, but nothing I can't replace. You were extremely lucky, but learned so much about yourself. Brava!

I think Ireland is magical, even though I've never been :)

 
At 17/7/06 1:42 am, Blogger January said...

Patience is a virtue, they say.

Who knew that losing your luggage that would one day turn into a life lesson! Great post for Sunday Scribblings.

The unclaimed luggage makes me think of that line from the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby" -- "All the lonely people, where do they all come from?" The same is true for lost bags :)

 
At 17/7/06 1:51 am, Blogger lisrobbe said...

"That’s what I find so often in life. It’s not so important to actually let go of the baggage as it is to be willing to let it go"

what a great line! and how true. This whole post was well done and incrediblely entertaining.

 
At 17/7/06 3:33 am, Blogger Sioux said...

Very good writing. Good lesson!

 
At 17/7/06 5:52 am, Blogger Wenda said...

Willingness, quite the golden key, isn't it? Thanks for sharing this inspiring piece. I realized tonight while considering the topic of baggage that I have let all my old suitcases go, so I guess I will have to travel lighter in the future.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment.

 
At 17/7/06 11:47 am, Anonymous tinker said...

I'm still working on travelling lighter - but your post (and your comment) helped ease the load - thank you :)

 
At 17/7/06 4:46 pm, Blogger Laini said...

What a good attitude you had! And it all turned out well, phew. Knock on wood, I've never had this happen yet.

PS - thank you so much for sending me your poetry book! It is delightful! I linked to you on a recent post. Many thanks, Imelda!

 
At 19/7/06 12:23 am, Blogger Ceebie said...

I am pretty certain that even if losing my luggage meant an excuse to buy more clothes, I wouldn't have handled this situation with the calm you did...But there is something so liberating in being able to let go of earthly possessions. I'm sure that realization must have felt amazing!

 
At 23/7/06 4:00 am, Blogger avocadoinparadise said...

That's a nice travel story. Not so good start to a trip though. Hope the rest of the voyage went well?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home