"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Victoria 2011 (haiku)

Waters rising fast,

undercurrents of despair;

not the state to be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Doing without

So the new year has arrived and Mother Nature once again reminds us who's boss. I feel helpless in the face of so much misery created by the floods in Queensland. I don't know which is worse, floods or fire; lives are lost in both cases, and not only human lives, but animal lives as well. At least humans can understand what is happening, and hopefully get themselves to safety, whereas animals just panic and look for their owners to rescue them. So sad.
Seeing scenes on TV, people 'rescuing' fridges, carpets etc., the current events again reminded me how much luggage we carry around throughout our lives, and I wonder how much we really need compared to what we want or have. I confess to being somewhat of a 'material girl', I like my 'stuff'. At the same time, it ties me down. I began to think what I would really need in an emergency situation, but then it occurred to me to consider what I really can't do without. So, what would I place in the car, boat or helicopter that would take me to safety?
Given that DH would look after his own emergency kit, and we would both look after the pets, we'd need some sturdy clothes/shoes to see us through the immediate emergency. Our passports, birth certificates, insurance policies. A couple of USB sticks with photos and PhD files. Medications, mobile phone & charger, wallet. What else does one really need, when all one can take needs to fit into a rucksack?
If I could take more, perhaps some food (incl. pet food), a pillow, a quilt, a book. Which book?
Hmm, something escapist, a Sheri Tepper novel perhaps. Or poetry, Walt Whitman maybe. My iPod, my fabric stash, quilts, photo albums.
Almost everything is replaceable. So, although disaster might befall me, could I do without? Of course, one must, in such circumstances. I hope my family, friends, and I are never tested in such a way, and that Mother Nature calms down again soon, so people in Queensland can start to rebuild their lives.
In the meantime, my new year's resolution is to reduce the amount of 'stuff' in my life, and recycle more. What would you put into your backpack?