Life Space

Overlook Park in White Rock, NM

Overlook Park in White Rock, NM, high above the Rio Grande

Don’t fence me in, I said. Don’t make me choose. What if I want something else another time? Who could give up that? And so I never really unpacked anywhere. (Still don’t, just ask my wife.) Rather than making it easier to jump, this means accumulating baggage. All the reasons, rationales, and run-arounds. History repeated, roads not taken. Running from the very thing I ought to wed.

When we check into a motel room, she almost always puts her things inside the drawers. I never ever do that. Just leave it in the bag or suitcase, even at her sister’s house—although the last time there I did relent. What kind of person does this? I’m afraid of putting my clothes down in there… (Who knows what goes on with motel furniture?) And if I leave everything in my bag, I always know where something is, even if I have to root for it. I must be fearful of forgetting, too. The baggage then is me.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Ken Webb August 13, 2013, 6:29 AM

    Travellin’ light is a good motto when the bag you’re toting contains only yourself. But there’s always more in the bag than that. You could call it baggage, I suppose – these other lives tangled up in each of ours. We’re carrying them with us as well, even the dead and the absent. A good thing, it seems to me, and a rebuke to the ethic of lightness. Without their weight we’d just float away into “the unbearable lightness of being”.

    The thought of this weightiness once scared the bejesus out of me, but now it’s weight that I crave. Then again, as Freud said, sometimes a bag is only a bag. I never unpack mine in hotel rooms. They’re not carrying me or people I love, just socks and shirts.

    • JHF August 13, 2013, 1:04 PM

      Whatever you do, don’t change. 🙂

      • Ken Webb August 15, 2013, 7:52 AM

        Thanks – I guess. Change is highly overrated and not as frequent as sometimes seems. Sure, the superficial things come and go – fins on cars, hemlines, buzzwords, faddishness in all its forms. The constants – birth, marriage, work, death – are pretty constant.

        • JHF August 15, 2013, 8:25 AM

          Well sure, it’s a compliment! I’m also amused that you’re so reliable in your personal outlook. Coming from a background with more toxicity, perhaps, I’ve had to tear the joint down and root around to find the good stuff. You don’t question the same things I do. It’s another way to “be.”

  • Mike Walsh August 13, 2013, 9:17 AM

    Before I travel I go to Goodwill store and buy clothes. I wear them as I travel and discard them as they get dirty. By the time I get home I am empty handed. It works well at airports and I never care if I lose my luggage. . . . I also buy new socks n BVD’s. I leave them at home and take my old crap and discard as I travel.

    • JHF August 13, 2013, 12:39 PM

      Really? That’s wild! Trouble is, I like to look good when I travel. Vanity requires I take my best stuff. I like your method, though. Will give this some thought.



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