Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Portage

I am deep into Orphan Train, our book club selection for May. The word "portage" is mentioned several times in the book. It is a school assignment for one of the main characters, and I believe it is a tool used to show the book's theme. A dictionary definition says, "the carrying of a boat or its cargo between two navigable waters."

I've been thinking about what I would say if I had to describe my "portage". What have I chosen to take along on my life's journey from early childhood until today? It seems poignant because of all the memories I have been writing about. I wonder why I choose to remember certain things and put them into words.

And then there are all the things I have chosen to save or keep, carrying them from place to place as I have moved, never getting rid of them. I see all those photo albums that I hang onto like they are gold. I see old pictures displayed in their frames. I see Grandmom's sewing machine. I see the Scrabble board. I see ancient vinyl with its recent purchase of a new turntable. Why did I feel the need to buy that? To listen again? I see fishing poles sitting in the corner of the garage. I see gifts I continue to use remembering the people associated with them.

Portage. When does it become too heavy a load?

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