Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

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It's just easier to keep things packed
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Brandi Dawn Henderson on the things we carry at Lost Magazine. I never unpack.As I prepare to go home after nearly six months in India, all I really have to do is smash my swollen, needs-to-be-washed clothing down far enough to make my dirty, orange duffel bag zip. At the airport, the man who first inspired me to leave home will hug me tight, and whisper sweetly into my ear, “Bran, we're at an airport and you don't hate me this time.”

Over the past four years, I don't know how many places I've lived. Floors, futons, one art studio across from a 7-11, a couch in a hippie collective, inside of arms, and in borrowed office-dens with other peoples' pets. One of twelve tight-sheeted bunkbeds in a room in Italy. A couple apartments – momentary attempts to touch down. Motels. A couch fort with my nieces. A cabin in the Himalayas without running water.The things I bring are relatively constant, and mostly, never used.I have a long painting of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh, which I bought in Bangkok after getting lost at midnight and sitting with an old, white-haired fortune teller who melted a thick, creme-colored candle upon an overturned orange crate.A marigold in a wooden box, blessed by an orange-robed Paramahamsa in the monsoon jungles of Orissa.Photos of my family and friends, which I never take out, but which bring me comfort to have.Antibiotics. Just in case.

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