“leaving u behind”

(“View from the Mussel Pier in Amsterdam” by Ludolf Backhuysen 1673, from siftingthepast)

From “Directions on What to Take and What to Leave Behind” — a recently undiscovered pamphlet published for passengers by New World Shipping, London and Amsterdam, 1690.

What to Take.

1) Five photos of family, friends, and other loved or formerly-loved ones.

2) One pot.

3) One pan.

4) One pair of extra socks.

5) Two pairs of drawers, if the drawers are large enough to be used later for cleaning rags. If not, then only one pair is allowed.

6) One good book. (Not necessarily “the” good book, just a book you won’t mind reading-and-rereading five or ten thousand times.)

7) One map to your destination, no larger than a postcard when folded.

8) One postcard, to be mailed back home upon arrival to let the folks back home know you’ve made it across the vast and sometimes angry ocean, thanks to New World Shipping.

What to Leave Behind.

1) Everything that is not essential. Stuff like extra letters in the alphabet you don’t really need (i.e., colo[u]r, hono[u]r, etc.). Learning to live with less, like using shorter words, is absolutely essential to survival in the wilderness. And, really, survival in the wilderness is what this latest episode in the history of h. sapes’ wanderlust via long-distance boat travel, is all about.

2) Your sense of loss. Really — just leave it on the dock, since recent studies have shown that engaging in “regret, and the bottomless pit of looking back” is when most settlers in the wilderness are eaten by bears.

BEAR: (taps settler on shoulder)

SETTLER: (sighs, and turns from looking back) Yes?

20160420 11:43 (280 words)
▸ Sly and Robbie “Boops”
▸ Them Crooked Vultures “Scumbag Blues”
▸ Kathleen Edwards “Back to Me”, and “The Cheapest Key”
▸ Langhorne Slim and the Law “The Way We Move”, and “Changes”

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