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Who Packed Your Suitcase?

When you Google a quote you might find the perfect image. Or, you might end up with the more than your original request to the universe. While spending Passover with my brother's family, I was a witness to the annual cleaning. My brother pulled two books out of a bedroom drawer confused about how they ended up there.

"I can carry them home and donate them. I'd rather do that than they get thrown away," I offered.

He handed me the books. I read the titles. I remembered the titles. I was pretty sure I had sent him these titles, asking him to look past the fact that the primary audience was women.

He shrugged. "Sometimes we get random books at the office."

I nodded and did not offer the growing confidence that these books' presence here had originated with me. The larger question was 'why were they returning to me now?'

The answer scared me, not because it was a new question, but because it was an old one, still unanswered. I pressed the two books flat and tugged the suitcase zipper strained around the added clothing and nail polish my sister in law had also cleaned from her drawers. I managed to make everything fit.

At the airport, my first stop was security.

"Did you pack your own bag?"


"Where was the bag kept?"

"At my brother's apartment."

The sticker affixed to the back of my passport swept me into the longer bag check line. Desperate to move forward more quicky, I was forced to wait. I was compelled to consider my willingness to carry the bag's contents, and yet, not address them. Upon arrival, I hung the clothes in my closet. I slid the books onto a shelf with only inches to spare. The question waited. I understood I was willing to work hard, to carry extra weight, but to what end?


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