The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Things We'd Carry, Part Two

July 24, 2009
Washington, DC

Words, Post-Election.

(Photo by e_walk from Flickr  Creative Commons)

Here's more in our continuing series of responses to the prompt: "Marching into battle?literally or metaphorically?what things might you carry? It's your choice to tell or not to tell why you select what you do."

Today we'll hear from Liz Mehaffey, Sarah Cook, and Laska Hurley of the NEA and Angharad Guy and Susan Chandler from Arts Midwest.

From Liz Mehaffey:

I would carry pens, journal, a safety kit, ipod that doesn?t need charging, and philosophy books so I can ponder what marching into battle really means.

Oh, and maybe my blackberry so I can tweet about the experience every few minutes.

From Sarah Cook:

The first thing that comes to mind is my grandpa?s ?memoir.? We recently worked together to document his life stories. He was raised in Ohio on a farm, served in the military, and then continued the family farm his whole life. His words inspire and remind me of the values and work ethic of my family.

 From Laska Hurley:

 Here is a list of my going into battle kit:
1. Family photos
2. A map
3. Water tablets ? don?t ever underestimate the state of good healthy drinking water
4. Gerber knife survival tool set
5. Two diplomatic passports ? US and Swiss (One might work better than the other depending on which countries are in the battle.)
6. Computerized multi-language pocket dictionary
7. A giant empty duffle bag to carry all the cool crap, collected on the way
8. An ice cream machine with all the fixings ? You can stop a war dead in its tracks by serving ice cream.  (I?ll ask Amy to carry it. She?s bringing a load of stuff anyway.)
9. A  Do-Over Button
10. Sure as hell won?t need my imagination?Between Amy?s imaginary friend and battle fatigue, I?ll be pretty exhausted to think much.
11. A shovel to dig trenches. I guess we?ll be supplied with thos. Also guns, tanks and stuf. I might want a horse and a cool outfit, something with a feathered hat. Maybe some of them cool boots and spurs.

From Angharad Guy:

I would carry a notebook and pencil, some stamped addressed envelopes, a photo of my beau, a necklace that my parents gave me for my 18th birthday and a copy of my favorite book.

From Susan Chandler:

I?d carry a photo of my daughter, husband, and me; and a small stone from Smooth Stone Beach on Lake Michigan, both of which would remind me of what?s good in the world.










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