Art, ritual, adornment (or what’s in my bag)

what's in my bagArt, adornment and ritual are what distinguished modern humans from their predecessors. Somehow our species developed a taste for seemingly useless, wasteful habits. Why would they waste time painting caves, give away resources by burying the dead with their earthly possessions, and paint their skins or wear amulets and beads that were hard to come by and costly to produce? Somehow our race arrived to the conclusion, very early, that there is more than the eye can see, that the world is a place of magic and wonder and we are not only flesh and bone.

This is how I feel about my bag. It is a collection of objects, but at the same time it is much more than that. It carries signifiers of the moment in my life (diaper pouch), of my values, my habits. It shows the random workings of my mind (that pyramidal tea sachet is meant to as a distraction for the baby, not to be used as actual tea). My bag is also my amulet: it makes me feel safe in the world. It carries my little objects and treasures and it protects me. It is my invisibility cloak: when I feel overwhelmed by the outside world, I start fidgeting with my bag, taking stuff out, rearranging things, etc. It’s like moving into a different space.

I remember the first bag my mother ever bought for me and every single bag I owned after that. I think this is because I attach so much emotion to my bags.

The one I am wearing these days was found in a thrift shop and it’s the best ever. It can fit a lot but I am carrying little stuff nowaday. As little as possible. The diaper pouch is actually missing from this photo, but it is just slightly larger than my wallet (which is actually also just a pouch). And the planner is only rarely in there. I use it to plan my days and motivate myself in the mornings, and I rarely need it later in the day. You will however often find little hats and mittens in these, as the baby sheds them throughout the day. I also always carry my mint and oregano essential oil mix, which is not pictured either. It often helps soothe headaches, and I also use it when I’m feeling tired and sleepy or I can’t concentrate.

That’s about it, really. It’s already more than anyone would care, probably. Sorry about that. Next week I promise to come to you with something of more substance. No more bag insides for the next three years. (This, in case you don’t remember, although of course you do, was my bag three years ago. Looks like November is the Month of the Bag for me.)