Abbe’s Ruminations November 2023
Welcome to my newsletter, Abbe’s Ruminations. I mull, contemplate, ponder – old and new experiences, finding what I call the joy and laughter of repetition or the abandonment to not knowing.
Travel, of one kind or another, begins with packing. I’m a practical packer based on need and my limitations. The constant that follows me is my short height, thin frame, stubbornness, need for warmth, color, and self-sufficiency. The changing element is my ever-increasing age.
Recently, I discovered a magical suitcase that disguises itself as a duffel bag, a carry-on that slips easily under an airplane seat. Why would I need the disguise? Perhaps it’s my allergic reaction to having to collect my baggage from the carousel with the rush of dropping suitcases that I can’t pull off the rotating machine quickly enough. Or perhaps it’s my inability to reach the overhead cabins on the planes. Height is always a factor.
For a trip to Africa, Nepal, or other third world countries, you don’t need much in the way electronics—computers, i-pads, fancy cameras, hairdryers, which all zap energy that is often non-existent. On these trips I only worry about my feet, keeping warm or dry, and quick- drying clothes.
For a formal wedding in the city, however, the criteria of needs changes dramatically. All the constants remain but the outfits and accessories change. Yes, I’m vain enough that I bring make-up to highlight my best features and hide the telltale signs of droopy eyes and wrinkles beyond those caused by smiles. Three fancy nights of wining and dining, and the black-tie optional wedding day event means long dresses, heels, jewelry, a clutch-purse, and daytime attire appropriate to the venue.
This is where my magical suitcase enters. I liken it to the incredible small space homes where there are flexible walls, disappearing floors, and rearranging forms. Spoil Alert: It’s all in the folds. From a flat, open space to hang fancy dresses or suits, to folding sides that hide shoes, cosmetics, and little pockets for accessories, and a flat area to tightly pack workout clothes and another change or two, all miraculously zipped into tubular shape. Engineering the design brings me back to my geometry days.
The real magic happens when I take my wandering unfancy soul into the world of a new bride and groom, who have created a wonderful life. Over these last years they entered a relationship that allowed them to blossom and be younger and freer. I found within my own inner walls the flexibility to change my form, to dress to the hilt, wine and dine, and dance!!! Along the way, I met their wonderful friends and dipped into many lifestyles. I saw my wonderful family shimmer brightly, expressing themselves.
This is a reminder that hidden within all of us is the ability to join in, to contain within a small space, flexibility, pocket walls that disappear, creating more room to grow and reveal hidden joys.
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving where gratitude prevails.
I’d love to hear from you and share my other works. You can find me at www.abberolnick.com.