For a month now I’ve been listening to the shipping forecast and watching the shipping charts. I’ve been following the journey of one ship in particular. It has a German name, is flying a Japanese flag, is being piloted by a Greek company, and its last port was on the east coast of the US. Somewhere in that ship, in a large wooded crate, are the rest of my belongings.
In 1989 my then partner and I left the home we’d been living in for 8 years. It was the longest I’d ever lived in one place and leaving it set off a wave of panic attacks. I need solid ground under me and there is nothing solid about leaving the comfort of the familiar. Maybe in some larger plan there was sense to the following years because since then I’ve moved on a near yearly basis, sometimes twice a year. Rarely did I migrate in the same direction, or in the same country, or continent.
On each of these moves I shed more of my belongings, sometimes with regret. When my walkabouts reached global proportions what was left of my things went into storage. It’s been more than a dozen years since I’ve seen them and since then they’ve seen the inside of two storage facilities, a friend’s barn, and a friend’s cellar. I miss these things. Yes, I know they are “just” things – but what remains of them is more than memories. They are part of what I lost some time ago – the comfort of the familiar.
Chart courtesy of www.sailwx.info