My Dad loved to write about his feelings and his experiences, and eventually wrote a memoir for his family called Dust of My Feet. The title refers to what he left behind and what he took with him. I think. My sisters will have some opinions about this.
Although I don’t know what I will bring back, there are a few things I will leave behind. Most of it will be in storage at an anonymous location in Oakland, but some of it will be in new homes. In recent weeks, I have become almost compulsive about giving away some of my favorite things to the people in my life. I have wondered why this feels so important to me. I am pretty sure I am not memorializing myself (not planning on dying in the next four months ) or marking territory (not feeling that competitive) or trying to save on storage costs (nothing is that big).
At first, giving away stuff was just a part of a plan to reduce my stuff-management responsibilities. But, contrary to what I would have expected, the more sentimental I felt about what I was sharing, the better I felt about giving it away. I think I am reassuring myself that while I am gone my family and friends will take care of what remains of me here.
Here is a partial list of who got what:
- Gabe — The Faience bunny, a dark wood side table, a lamp
- Alex — Roomba (not just a little vacuum cleaner — more of a nerdy friend), dessert plates, a shoe rack
- Vic — The Mexican Rainbow Princess, musical instruments, what’s left of the Oban Scotch
- Melis — the mystical print from England (held in trust for three years in a London B&B), Lise’s water colors, the naked mermaid mug, the Mexican serving dish
- Kathy — the feet and head of Mom’s Chinese doll, and the angel coins for the top of the feet
- Hazlyn — one of my Kindles
- Kathryn Gillick — The two Monster Plants
- Catherine — Two blouses and my car
- Karen Sokal — A blue jacket and a brown sweater
- Me’Irah — two Italian b&b plates and the contents of my cupboard
- Barb Withers — two books and a houseplant
- Emily — a bottle of “Farrier” cabernet
- Shaibya — The light of the world lamp
- Charlotte — two work jackets
- Cheryl — Two beeswax candles, olive tapenade and two meyer lemons
- Laura — the photo of Dad as a five year old and the Maxine Buddha
- Jennifer — The lithograph of a Chinese dragon and a dragon plate
- Steve Tobias — Lonely Planet Southern India
The best of what I am taking with me are words of wisdom:
- Carol Brown: Don’t forget to leave some of your clothes out of storage because you will want them as soon as you get back!
- Dr. Lee the Acupuncturist: use a backpack on your travels to improve your posture
- Mags: Ride horses in every country and write a memoir called “I Don’t Do Sidesaddle”
- Vic: We want to know what you are feeling!
- Janet and Dave: Athens is not worth more than a day
- Kathy: Say yes to now!
- Laura: Don’t forget you are wearing the ruby slippers!
- Paul Cotten: You will find other Kims and bring them back
- Steve Weissman: You are not going to Yemen or Mali are you?
- Harlan Kelly: Go, do your travelling but don’t resign — take a leave of absence and come back if CleanPowerSF is going to be launched
- Gabe: I know whatever you will do will be the best thing
And a bunch of milagros from Laura joined with a key chain — a leg, two hearts, a horse, a map and a sand dollar taken from a cross Mom got in Mexico.