The things they (used to) carry

Our friend, Lorianne DiSabato lives in Keene, NH where there has been recent flooding. She writes:


"In the opening chapter to Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried, the
hopes, dreams, and fears of a group of American soldiers in Vietnam are
expressed through the belongings in their backpacks. Laden with too much
physical and psychological stuff, the men refuse to carry one ounce more than
they must…and yet they still find the room and the strength to tote photos,
books, and other mementos. When faced with the bare-bones reality of life and
death, people grow surprisingly sentimental. Stripped of everything but the will
to survive, only the most desperate soldier will willingly part with the
letters, photographs, and other trinkets that remind him of home.
Keene isn’t Vietnam, and it isn’t New Orleans, either. Even compared with
the outlying areas that lost entire houses, roads, and bridges, Keene got off
easy in terms of infrastructural damage. Even so, sometimes it’s the loss of
little things that brings bigger losses into perspective.."

"The things they (used to) carry"
Lorianne Disabato
Visit her blog, "Hoarded Ordinaries"

2 thoughts on “The things they (used to) carry

  1. As Bob Dylan said in the song “Lonesome Day Blues,” “Funny, how the things you have the hardest time parting with/
    Are the things you need the least.”

  2. I have been re reading Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michael’s for the third time in ten years and last night came upon the section telling about Hurricane Hazel. Hazel hit Toronto five years before I was born so I only know about it from the stories of my parents. Sometimes I would stand in the backyard and try to imagine what it was like to see the water rise above the ravine at a pace that made you know you should not stand watching, no, not one second longer. Michaels tells of one {fictional} couple who lived through that flood but their house was destroyed. Their son reflects on this experience as an adult and notes that they never complained because everything they had to loose they had already lost in the 40’s to the Nazis. It is a stirring book.

Comments are closed.