My mother (bless her soul, she would have been 70 today) used to insist every time she had to stack large framed paintings into a small car to take to a gallery, that in her next life she would be a writer with a small notepad and a pencil. I would grin at her like the Cheshire cat, ignoring my own culpability.
I used to be a rural vet then. Farm visits were never a case of travelling light. Boxes and bags of tools, medicines and goodies were tagged along for every conceivable medical and surgical situation. Bottles of injectables, syringes, powders and potions, ropes and buckets and hoof shears, calving instruments and surgical instruments and other instruments, both sharp and blunt – it was the travelling circus of a veterinary juggler.
The problem with so many tools is that you always forget something. I have had to improvise on many an occasion when the nose tongs/surgical needle/cotton wool/disinfectant I needed could not be found anywhere among the multitude of stuff in my toolboxes.
These days I moonlight as a gardening and landscaping assistant. My goodness, what a mountain of tools! Spades and shovels, spanners and screws, saws and clamps and hammers, wheelbarrows and lawnmowers and whipper-snippers and hedge-trimmers. It’s a veritable hardware shop on wheels. Maybe it is the weight that is needed to counter the lightness of being.
Every job has its tools. Words are mine. I carry them in unmarked boxes, in transparent bags and virtual files, lightly. Lighter than moonlight, they are, for a traveller like me.