When my snailshell came via the amazon I laughed, wondering how all I needed would cram down into 46 liters. But four pairs of shorts became two, one sleeping bag became none, and so on. It's worked--and when I've needed new or replacements they have stores here. All good.
I also brought a hat.
While I had sense enough to not get sentimental about most of what I brought, I didn't do the same with my hat. And that sucks because I lost it the other day. After months of watching it like a hawk, pinning it between my head and hand when even a light breeze worked up, I just left it somewhere--I think when I was changing at the hot springs following my sunrise trek up Mt. Batur.
It was just a ballcap, promoting my Nashville Predators. But my brother gave me that hat more than a decade ago. It'd been through a lot--the bill fabric was shredded, it was stained many times over, there was a perspiration smell that wouldn't go away. Still, it was irreplaceable.
And now it can never be.
When I started writing decades ago I hated writing settings. I found them boring. I was more interested in dialogue, action, characters and their relationships--setting was a waste of time. Who cared about forests except Robert Fucking Frost?
Perhaps my contempt for world-building proceeded from my contempt from my own world, thinking as I'd thought in my youth that I was better than my country upbringing.
But I learned. To write a relationship you need to set it's time and a place. The relationships in Pride and Prejudice are different than those in The Hunger Games, by necessity. Just as I learned, as I've traveled to places exotic and shiny, met people who are kind and true and good--strangers and little birdies who fed and sheltered me and replaced that which I've lost and left behind--that where I come from also has a lot of good. I can't divorce myself from it. It's in my bones.
Life is choices--and you have to choose a place to be, according to Drs Pauli and Hill:
Which means that some things or people--even those I care about deeply--must sometimes be left behind as I take the return trip down the road less traveled. It sucks immeasurably as noted earlier. But the memories and joy can be carried.
And more than one hat can hold happy sentiment.