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Author Topic: What if you had to leave?  (Read 2921 times)

Sefiru

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What if you had to leave?
« on: October 28, 2015, 07:14:16 pm »
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?

(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so. In the meantime, I'm curios to hear what everyone else thinks.

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2015, 08:13:41 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?

(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so. In the meantime, I'm curios to hear what everyone else thinks.

 
I have thought about this before, and at first I had a pretty solid list, with basic essentials (a couple of sets of clothing, basic toiletries), mementos, as well as my irreplaceable tools and things I consider necessary for my practice (my primary bos, my athame, box of salt).

But the longer I thought about it, the more I kind of pared down.  Then I wrote a story about a post-apocalyptic situation, and realized that I would probably treat it like a true survival challenge:  take only what I absolutely need, and things that are multi-use.  Stuff is heavy, and even though I can pack and carry a ton of stuff in a bag, doesn't mean that I should.

I definitely would bring my newest pocket knife.  It's a bit larger than any of my others, but is geared towards wood-carving, so large blade, solid saw, plus basic screwdrivers.  A toothbrush.  A jacket with lots of pockets.  A bottle for water.  A bandanna.  A drawstring bag.

While I really love my tools and other accouterments of my craft, I am quite capable of doing without.  I think that if I were forced to flee my home, I might grab my prayer cords, but leave pretty much everything else.  My tools would be hard to leave, but I also think they might tempt me to make poor choices for emotional reasons.

I would have all the really core stuff on my person (in pockets or in a small, easily grabbed satchel), and then would fill my suitcase with spare clothes and the like.  Then, if necessary, I could ditch the bag and just have my essentials.
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RandallS

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2015, 08:18:39 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

Some of what we would have to take would not fit in a suitcase: Lyricfox's rolling walker, for example. Mainly, we'd end up taking clothes, medical supplies, and our dogs and cats.
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Sefiru

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2015, 07:00:23 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;181644

Then I wrote a story about a post-apocalyptic situation, and realized that I would probably treat it like a true survival challenge:  take only what I absolutely need, and things that are multi-use.


I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories, which is part of what got me thinking. I mean, in a survival situation, decisions about 'stuff' are clearer. To me, the real dilemma is when it isn't a survival situation. Take the wildfire evacuations I've seen on the news: you travel by bus or car to a shelter; stores are still open, and you can access your bank. There is leeway to take some things that aren't strictly essential, but not everything.

I guess my real interest is not about practical vs emotional choices, but which emotional choices people would make.

Quote
My tools would be hard to leave, but I also think they might tempt me to make poor choices for emotional reasons.


Would you be willing to give an example of what you consider a poor choice?

LunaStar

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 07:34:44 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?


 
I'd probably take two changes of clothes, toiletries, a couple of essential oils and tinctures, a crystal, a journal, a pen, headphones and my phone.  I just realized after I typed this that this is what I usually take with me on trips too...I like packing light.  The hardest thing to leave behind for me would be my instruments.

Sefiru

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 08:03:08 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so.

 
As someone who values material items, I've put a lot of thought into this. As I said in response to Kylara, I'm approaching this as an 'evacuation' scenario, and not a 'survival' scenario. (By which I mean that civilization is still functioning such that food, water and shelter are readily available.)

That being the case, I would take a small portion of each category of object that I own. A few changes of clothes, a couple of favorite books, the most important altar tools, and so on. I'd base my choice on what's smallest/lightest as well as what is most significant to me.

There would be some 'useless' things in there, for sure. souvenirs, smaller bits of my collections. Not just because they have memories attached, but because they would be a way to establish a new 'home' wherever I end up. For this reason, I'd probably tuck away a couple of these even if there was a zombie apocalypse.

I'd definitely take along all of my notebooks (recipe, craft, BoS, and so on) and everything that goes with my smartphone (cables, battery pack). And even though it is bulky, the album of my own artwork.

In all, I think I would give just as much space to things that support my morale as things that are physically useful. (Not to say that something couldn't be both)

LunaStar

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 08:52:17 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181664


There would be some 'useless' things in there, for sure. souvenirs, smaller bits of my collections. Not just because they have memories attached, but because they would be a way to establish a new 'home' wherever I end up. For this reason, I'd probably tuck away a couple of these even if there was a zombie apocalypse.


 
That's something I hadn't thought of...it would be important to make the new place feel like home.  I think my crystal would help with that.  I also immediately thought of flowers, since having flowers around the house always makes it feel more cozy.

Kylara

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2015, 08:39:08 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;181662
I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories, which is part of what got me thinking. I mean, in a survival situation, decisions about 'stuff' are clearer. To me, the real dilemma is when it isn't a survival situation. Take the wildfire evacuations I've seen on the news: you travel by bus or car to a shelter; stores are still open, and you can access your bank. There is leeway to take some things that aren't strictly essential, but not everything.

I guess my real interest is not about practical vs emotional choices, but which emotional choices people would make.



Would you be willing to give an example of what you consider a poor choice?

 
Certainly!  I was still thinking survival situation, and for example, my main BOS is in a three ring binder (it does have a fabric cover, so at least it stays shut pretty well), but still it is decently heavy, fairly fragile and definitely not water/fire resistant in any way.  And while it does hold a lot of information that I have accumulated over the years, as well as my own personal accounts of stuff, I also think that I would be very concerned with keeping it in good condition...prioritizing that over more practical matters just because it is so dear to my heart.  I sort of think of it like all those places in movies where you watch someone risk their life to save the photo of their loved one.

In a non-emergency situation, I think I would definitely prioritize the truly irreplaceable stuff.  I would leave behind all my stuff to be able to bring my two cats.  I would pack a change of clothes, but outside of that I would pack photo's, jewelry (especially those that have special meaning), my box of momentos (stuff like the license plate of my first car, baby blanket, son's baby stuff).  If the option to buy new things is there, then I would pretty much fill my bag with all the things that I couldn't just go to the store and buy replacements.
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Gigi Kiersten

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2015, 08:50:17 am »
Quote from: Kylara;181644
I have thought about this before, and at first I had a pretty solid list, with basic essentials (a couple of sets of clothing, basic toiletries), mementos, as well as my irreplaceable tools and things I consider necessary for my practice (my primary bos, my athame, box of salt).

But the longer I thought about it, the more I kind of pared down.  Then I wrote a story about a post-apocalyptic situation, and realized that I would probably treat it like a true survival challenge:  take only what I absolutely need, and things that are multi-use.  Stuff is heavy, and even though I can pack and carry a ton of stuff in a bag, doesn't mean that I should.

I definitely would bring my newest pocket knife.  It's a bit larger than any of my others, but is geared towards wood-carving, so large blade, solid saw, plus basic screwdrivers.  A toothbrush.  A jacket with lots of pockets.  A bottle for water.  A bandanna.  A drawstring bag.

While I really love my tools and other accouterments of my craft, I am quite capable of doing without.  I think that if I were forced to flee my home, I might grab my prayer cords, but leave pretty much everything else.  My tools would be hard to leave, but I also think they might tempt me to make poor choices for emotional reasons.

I would have all the really core stuff on my person (in pockets or in a small, easily grabbed satchel), and then would fill my suitcase with spare clothes and the like.  Then, if necessary, I could ditch the bag and just have my essentials.

 
I would take my medication, my kids, my parents, changes of clothes, some unpearshable food, and my phone (even thought the battery won't last long).  Honestly, I just hope that world lasts a little longer (until after my death maybe) because I love all of my technology and giving all that up would be hard.

DemeterDelusion

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2015, 05:24:03 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?

(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so. In the meantime, I'm curios to hear what everyone else thinks.


As someone who HAS been forced to evacuate my home before because of a wildfire, that entirely depends on where the destination is and what resources there will be when I get there. If I know I've be able to buy the essentials (clothing, toiletries, etc.) in a reasonable amount of time, then I'll keep more personal items with me. If I can't or don't know if I can re-buy them, then those take priority.

And regardless of how far and where I'm going, there would definitely be some space dedicated to canned food and bottled water. Other non-negotiables are my laptop/hard drives/cellphone/chargers, various legal/bank documents I have (because scavengers can and do exist, and I don't want to survive a disaster only to find that my identity has been stolen or something), a pocket knife, toothbrush/toothpaste, a blanket, and my vitamins/medicines.

Don't really feel a connection to material non-essentials like books, mementos, or the like, so I wouldn't feel that bad if I had to discard them to meet a one suitcase limit or something.

Sefiru

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 06:29:42 pm »
Quote from: LunaStar;181668
That's something I hadn't thought of...it would be important to make the new place feel like home.  I think my crystal would help with that.  I also immediately thought of flowers, since having flowers around the house always makes it feel more cozy.

 
Plants do that for me as well ... unfortunately, all those pots are hardly portable. :p My 'key items' are a couple of scarves and small objects in my favorite colors and motifs.

It seems to me that this is a topic that rarely comes up in apocalypse/survival stories; they tend to focus on physical challenges. Possibly I have been reading the wrong ones.

Sefiru

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2015, 06:39:54 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;181676
I sort of think of it like all those places in movies where you watch someone risk their life to save the photo of their loved one.

In a non-emergency situation, I think I would definitely prioritize the truly irreplaceable stuff.


There's undoubtedly a sliding scale of types of situation, where the ratio of necessary-to-irreplaceable would vary according to circumstances. And of course, there's the whole other type of emergency, such as a fire or earthquake, where there isn't time to pack at all.

Sefiru

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2015, 06:49:16 pm »
Quote from: Jenny Cee;181679
Honestly, I just hope that world lasts a little longer (until after my death maybe) because I love all of my technology and giving all that up would be hard.


I find it interesting that you went straight to 'end of the world' even though I didn't mean to imply that in the OP. Post-apocalyptic settings are popular in fiction, but personally I think that's much less likely to happen in real life than localized disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and such.

Do you think it's a possibity for civilization to collapse within our lifetimes?

Elding

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 05:57:37 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?

(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so. In the meantime, I'm curios to hear what everyone else thinks.

 
I would absolutely bring my recorder, I'd like to take my guitars as well but those are too big.. my laptop and my drawing tablet, since I need them for work, thankfully both are quite light. Also, note book and sketch pad. A few small items from my altar, but those are small enough to fit into the pocket of my jacket..  And as DemeterDelusion said, my identity documents for sure, they would be especially needed in a refugee scenario where I might have to cross a few borders.

One or two extra sets of clothing (depends on how much space I will have left at this point - I live pretty far north and it gets COLD even in the summers, so I would need to bring some fairly bulky clothes) and extra socks. One of my scandi knives, those things are wonderful.. and of course my cat. Well, maybe not in the suitcase xD But she'd have to fit in there SOMEHOW.
Out in the woods, and I\'m not alone, but the sun\'s quickly going down!
There! In the trees! Something stalking me! Stop walking around!
\'K, just be cool, don\'t be such a fool! There is nothing at all to fear...
... other than the trees and the night and a beam of light, and the breathing in my ear...
[/I]

Castus

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Re: What if you had to leave?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2015, 09:14:17 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;181629
With the many stories about wildfires on one hand and Syrian refugees on the other, this question has been on my mind recently:

What if you had to leave your home, taking only what you can carry, with the possibility that you might never return? What would you take? What would you leave behind? What would you have to leave behind? How would you go about making such decisions?

(For the sake of this thought experiment, let's say you have one suitcase per person and enough warning in which to pack it.)

I am still pondering my own answer to this question, and I'll post something about it in a day or so. In the meantime, I'm curios to hear what everyone else thinks.

Assuming I could make use of a single suitcase:

  • Two clean regular outfits
  • My formal/church suit
  • "A History of Venice" by John Julius Norwich
  • "Basilica" by William D. Montalbano
  • "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
  • "The South Was Right!" by James and Walter Kennedy
  • My copy of the Jewish Bible
  • My laptop, and its cord

ETA: And ofc a toothbrush, deodorant, and stuff like that.

Covering religion, fiction, non-fiction, and politics; as well as my laptop and clothes. Seems reasonable.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 09:16:56 pm by Castus »
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