Wednesday, April 27, 2011

...Or are you just happy to see me?

The last (unintentionally) provocative title spurred on a reading frenzy so I thought I would (intentionally) aim for continuing appeal to readers.

However, not only am I looking for readers, but also commenters. So, here's what I'm going to do -- one lucky commenter to this post will receive from me a signed copy of my novel. I will choose randomly from among the dozens who reply to this posting. Be sure to tell your friends to wander over here to read. (Also, tell them that the title of the post was largely to create buzz. And that I'm not usually this rude.)

But back to the topic at hand.

The contents of my pockets have come up twice in conversation this week: at my writers' group, we discussed a piece of writing where an emigrant tries to bring a bit of home with them in their pockets. We talked about what can easily be brought across the border, what is hazardous to the wearer (glass and pointy objects), what is likely to get lost (dirt, sand). I mentioned that I regularly keep pieces of sea glass in the pockets of the coats I wear at the cottage we visit each summer. It's a very comforting, happy instant for me to slip my hands into my pockets and find the sea-and-sand-softened glass. Sometimes I also bring home small stones for the same purpose. It makes me feel like I'm still there in the place I love.

The other thing I carry in my pocket is a euro coin. I carried it in my wallet for a while but I kept mistaking it for a loonie and felt disappointed. I like to carry the euro though as a reminder to myself that I am a person who has traveled to Europe before and might do so again someday.

Pockets are curious things. Private places. We carry Kleenex, new and used, in pockets. We carry trash in our pockets, temporarily, before we find a garbage can. We carry keys and coins - things that will take us places. We carry lists that tell us where to go.

But we also carry talismans in our pockets, things that tell us who we are, where we've come from and where we hope to go.

So, the prize-offering question: What do you carry about in your pockets, and why?


  1. I carry my cell phone in my pocket. Since I put it threw the washing machine the ringer no longer works so if I carry it in my pocket I might not miss a call or text since it does still vibrate.

  2. Oh Susan, your blog is so wonderful. These days I often carry a soother in my pocket. Sometimes I have it even when I don't have Parker with me. It always makes me giggle when I reach into my pocket and find it.

  3. I carry a lock of my wife's hair from the days before we were married. I reminds me how much I love her and how little she has changed over the 42 years we've been married.

  4. I don't carry anything cool like that! I usually don't carry anything at all. I even have a band around my house key so I can tie it around my wrist or ankle so I don't have to pocket it.

    But I think I can still explain why. These past few months I've become much more minimalist in all senses. I don't bring stuff with me when I go out, I always carry as little as I can possibly get away with.

    For me, it's very freeing. I no longer worry about what I might need for my journey. I just go and enjoy the ride. I still have fond memories and special objects, but I like to carry them in my head and in my heart.

  5. I don't carry any particular thing in my pocket - just the things that happen to arrive there at a particular moment, out of a particular necessity: car keys, store receipts, a cell phone, various & sundry sticks or stones or random treasures that are found when out & about with my kids. Nothing so wonderfully reminiscent as sea glass or a coin, nor so touching as a lock of hair from a loved one... I guess my haphazard pocket collections reflect the reality of my life these days! Time to start living more intentionally, yes?

  6. I was filled with trepidation at having to see the deserter again for the first time since he created a new never-to-be forgotten anniversary. This time I would have a lawyer on my side, but even that made my knees knock.

    My big brother and sister-in-law offered to drive me, and on the way over, she shared a treasure with me- a polished glass heart. For the next hour, my fingers caressed this treasure, tucked away in my pocket as surely as was my own quaking heart and "life ...hidden with Christ in God"- and this gave me courage.

  7. An inventory of the contents of my pockets in the hall closet: a receipt from the LCBO for an Italian red, a bobby pin,'doggy' bag, no, two 'doggy' bags (they're inseparable), a broken toothpick, the piece of paper that I picked up from the front lawn that never made it to the garbage, a bright red leather glove peaking out,precariously (where is its mate?)

  8. Often it is a hair elastic. Long hair and kids to chase makes this a survival tool some days! Sometimes I am offered treasures to carry for my almost 4 year old, which I find again sometimes before sometimes after the wash. And the shells, sea glass and stones are favorites on vacation and end up in bowls on my counter through the winter.

  9. The pockets...usually brimming with cell phone, identification/health cards (in case something happens to me and you need to know who I am), Arnica (for the injuries that happen with 3 little boys in tow), tissues, keys, and sometimes a rock or two found on a journey. Finding out what people carry in their pockets is facsinating.

  10. Change, a receipt, and a guitar pick from time to time. The other day I found my lens cap in the dryer....

  11. Okay, ding ding - we have a winner. It had to be done randomly or you would all have won - such great stories.

    Congrats to Deborah!

    And keep commenting. You never know what will happen. :)

  12. A smooth, polished stone. From my pastor. To remind me of my own personal Voldemort and how he has shaped me...