"He who would travel happily must travel light."

                                          -antoine saint-exupery

In two days we're moving out.  Moving away from England -- forever.   Besides the emotional roller coaster of the bittersweetness of leaving, there is the issue of reducing all our stuff to four suitcases again.

Here's a phenomenon that amazes me every time: I find a dusty old box, tucked away somewhere.  I think, "I have no idea what's inside this box, and it's been sitting here for two years, which means I don't need whatever is in there.  I will open it to inspect, and then throw it away."  Then I open the box and gasp! I forgot about that beloved, precious item! I cannot possibly do without it!  And then I tuck it away in the corner for another couple years.

Why do I do this?  Why can't I just remain unattached to stuff that doesn't matter?  And what does matter, really?  That is the question I am now faced with ... again.

What would you take?  Do you fill your precious suitcase space with books?  Do you take your clothes?  Do you take a few big items and then pad them with all your scarves?  Do you take DVDs, or what about those binders full of bank statements and all that horrible stuff?  Scrapbooks -- or do you just scan the pages?  How much school stuff do you keep?  What about the stuff hanging on your walls?  You know what takes up a lot of space?  Shoes.  Do you leave all your shoes behind?  Do you just assign every possession a number and then draw a lottery?

Curse us for our books-as-souvenirs idea.  Curse that great pair of boots that require more space than they deserve.  Curse the airline for having such limited cargo space!  This here car is looking pretty darn luxurious right about now.

So, about that emotional roller coaster.  It's a dramatic ride composed of  delighted-despairing, nervous-excited, sorry-grateful.  My sisters decided to simplify such feelings by making combo-names: delairing, nervited, sortful.   

I am especially sortful.  It's all near the surface, too -- I feel like I could burst into tears at any given moment, whether with love and gratitude for this place, the heartbreak of leaving it, or the thrill of what is to come.  I cannot figure out what to do with myself, except part with all my stuff, finish that eternal dissertation, and make plans that seem too surreal to ever really happen.

Seriously though, what do you put in two suitcases?

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