What’s in your bag?


“I can take things I want – clothes, photos, belongings, but I can’t take what I really need to take, what I really want to take…. when I’m here all the things that really do mean something to me can’t stay with me – the sounds, the smells, the sights – none will fit in but all with stay in my head, in my heart”


“Pack lightly to save weight and pack what I need. Look at my list……Try not to go overboard., only pack what I need, essentials of the modern age. Maybe take a book to read on the train. Maybe. Take everything out and repack. Take out useless items. “


“I bring the box of string because it’s like a Sunday Roast, smells of stuffing.”



What isn’t in your bag?


“He cannot take his pet with him

nor can he take is family

the smells will be unfamiliar

The journey will be silent

even your conscience won’t speak”


“She cannot take her bed, it is too big for the case, the smell of link sausage and egg in the air bristles her nostrils, her make up set, too broad to squeeze in. It won’t even get squashed into the suitcase by the crop tops and ripped skinny jeans, the white converse or even the fake tan or the hairspray. ”


“ My family’s first steps in the house they grew up in

The many birthday wishes that have failed to come true.”


“So many people to leave behind.

I‘ll miss being able to see my nana, just across the road.

Her house and her beautiful, fairytale garden.

Me and my sister, only young, running around the flowers and trees.

I remember the smell of the fresh, red roses that climb the side of her house, reaching higher and higher. The sound of her calling us back in the house for dinner at the end of the day. How will I live without her?“


“I cannot take my mother, though it breaks my heart.

I cannot take my father, though it breaks my heart….

Without them I am completely blind to what’s coming next. “


“I cannot take the soft voice of my mother or her mind reading away at her book. My baby brother’s cry when he cries for my mum at night begging to go in her bed to feel her heart beat against his, that helps him sleep. That I cannot fit into the suitcase…. The smell of my little brother’s nappies when they are screaming to be changed. “


The dog won’t fit. The endless shelves of books won’t fit. My TV won’t fit. Nothing that has a meaning to me will fit. “


What does it mean to travel?


“She goes on the train with her little brother in hand. she didn’t cry, looks out the window as she waves to her mother goodbye. Her little brother doesn’t understand , but still asks. “


“She comes running into the room, crying that her parents are fighting again and maybe planning a divorce. She takes suitcase and grabs everything that she needed…..”


What does it mean to start anew?


“I took the key. The key to my box. My box under the house. No matter where we are sent I always remember it. One day, when it’s safe I will come back to get it. It’ll make all of this worth it – the running, the hiding.”