When I leave tomorrow morning.

I will be carrying a suitcase heavy with the library I carry whenever and wherever I travel. I have made stacks: books about universities, books about cooperation and community, books about creativity, books about travel, books about the next places I'm travelling to. I will not be taking the horrifying apocalyptic novel I've been reading. I will be taking the small stash of art supplies--watercolors, watercolor paper, sketching pencils--I've been amassing over the past couple of days. I will also be taking my inflatable meditation cushion, my hiking boots, my best wool socks, my ordnance survey maps, my laptop, my cameras, my lenses, and my ziploc bags. I will be taking some kind of clothing that just might, if no one is looking too closely, pass for dressed up when I hear Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed on Easter, and when I see the debut of a play in London a few days later. I will be taking hats and scarves, because English beaches can be cold at any time of the year.

I will not be taking the stacks and stacks of train tickets that have been building up in the house, awaiting the Big Trip that will commence in just over a week. (I had to revise that sentence several times: just over two weeks? no. just under two weeks? no. just over a week: me, with fourteen students, at an airport, getting ready to fly together to Ireland and begin 17 days of exploring together. I don't think that I ever took a 17-day trip with my own family. But I get to try it now! And the prospect has me italicizing a lot of things.)

I will be taking the gorgeous blue towels I bought yesterday, since I have to take my own towels to where I'm going this week. I don't think I've ever bought myself new towels--I've always received them from my mother, in big bundles that I've always appreciated. These new ones are so soft and luxurious that I was actually excited about showering this morning just to use the new towels.

I will be taking notebooks. So many notebooks.