Monday, January 3, 2011

What To Bring?

"A man is what he thinks about all day long." - Ralph Waldo Emerson\

“In the ensuing silence, I have time to contemplate the word cute— how dismissive it is, how it’s the equivalent of calling someone little, how it makes a person into a baby, how the word is a neon sign burning through the dark reading, “Feel Bad About Yourself.”” - Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Not sure whose chapter this is. I find it to be very, very true. I know when most people call my clothes or my hair or whatever cute, they mean it as a compliment, but it bothers me nonetheless.

In English, we're reading a book called Night, which is the memoir of a Holocaust survivor. It's very good, and very sad. But that goes without saying. Yes, for those who know her, this is the book Beth mentioned awhile back.

We were talking about how when many Jewish families, upon being told that they could only bring a small bag of possessions, grabbed the photo albums, and why we thought that was.
Then my teacher asked us what we would bring, which I found to be a much more interesting question.
I don't have very many purely sentimental belongings, and none that mean enough to me to make hanging on to them a priority when being deported. A hand-made wooden magic wand is a loving gift from my dad, but it is not useful when Nazis are after you with whips and guns, or the other weapons that their modern-day equivalents would have.
The vast majority of the things that mean the most to me are either things I've written (most of which are stored on Google's servers, and if Google shuts down then we're all completely screwed anyway) or books that I own, which are heavy, repetitive after many re-readings sitting in a concentration camp (not that I'd get to keep it), and also not very useful.
So I went with what one of my classmates said: a journal. Preferably many journals. Preferably all of my journals, both empty and otherwise. They contain my past identity in a way that nothing else can, and I can both record events and write stories within the empty ones. If I could, I'd bring this blog, because I can go into more depth here, because I type faster than I scribble.
Except I have a lot of journals. And got two more since Christmas.

What would you guys bring, even if it's not terribly practical? I am interested to see what other people value.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure what I would bring...the journals, I suppose. I don't have anything physical that I could absolutely not live without. I agree, the book was really sad. Did you watch the clip of Elie Wiesel and Oprah walking around Auschwitz? It was disturbing and rather depressing. Oh, and this may be of slight interest: I used to have a tutor whose daughter had breakfast with Mr. Wiesel once. But I'm not really sure what I'd bring. Sorry!


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