What I would save

The Burning House asks if your house were burning, what would you save? I love this question--which is a new development, by the way. When I was growing up I hated that whole fire safety discussion. It gave me hives. It brought me to tears. I didn't want to talk about a gathering spot. I didn't want to wonder how I would get from my upstairs bedroom to the ground. I didn't want to think about what might happen. I was perfectly happy with my head planted firmly in the sand, thankyouverymuch.

Okay. Having said that I'll admit that I still don't like that glimpse around the bend of the path of what-might-happen. But I do like thinking about what I'd prioritize, what I'd save.  And I think what we choose says quite a lot about us. As Burning House puts it, "Think of it as an interview condensed into one question." It helps me see the big picture, which is this: I am lucky to have some things I like but, really, most things are replaceable. 

So here's an idea of what I would grab if I had slice of time after making sure my family crew were safe:

What I would save...

What I would save...

  1. My set of scriptures that I've had since I was 17. I've highlighted, I've made notes. It's a record of my making sense of the world. A map of my spiritual progression, complete with tear splashes on some pages. 
  2. My external hard drive with all of our family photos and many documents saved on it.
  3. A wedding picture of G kissing my forehead, snapped by one of G's best friends. I don't have the negative and I want to keep it forever.
  4. My flute. Because it's given me a lot of joy over the years.  And it's portable.
  5. My battered, soul-baring teenage journals (and more recent ones, too, now housed in a series of smaller Moleskines). 
  6. My good camera (certainly replaceable but well loved).
  7. The laptop containing my dissertation files and analysis (which I just realized I need to BACK UP, by the way).
  8. My super-secret red book of important information.
  9. My wallet (credit cards, drivers license, etc.), just in case. Sometimes it even has money in it. 
  10. Not pictured because they're in the US: the box of love notes and the library of audio tapes I exchanged with G when we were dating.

How bout you? What would you save?