Handle Without Care

These days, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you are seeing an actual advertisement or something from The Onion. In this case, an Italian company called Crash Baggage is promoting a new line of suitcases that look like they’ve been savaged by baggage handlers during multiple trips, but they come straight from the factory looking this way. “What’s the first thing we think of when we buy a new suitcase?” the company writes. “We are afraid that it will be damaged.” To that end, they manufacture ABS and polycarbonate suitcases with dents molded right into them. “Our ‘Handle Without Care’ travel philosophy,” they write, “exalts freedom of movement and action where and when you want, without worry.”

The company makes three different sizes: Carry-on, Medium and Large, as well as a fanny pack. Check out their collection here.



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so many options


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Remember the sky that you were born under



Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.


The U.S. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has appointed Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, to a third term in the office, making her only the second person in the position’s 77-year history to do so. She will start that third year next September. Harjo has also launched her signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words,” which features 47 contemporary Native poets through a story map and online audio collection.

“Throughout the pandemic, Joy Harjo has shown how poetry can help steady us and nurture us. I am thankful she is willing to continue this work on behalf of the country,” said Hayden. “A third term will give Joy the opportunity to develop and extend her signature project.”

For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet

Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.

Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.

Open the door, then close it behind you.

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.

Give it back with gratitude.

If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.

Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.

Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the guardians who have known you before time, who will be there after time. They sit before the fire that has been there without time.

Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.

Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people who accompany you.
Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought down upon them.

Don’t worry.
The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises, interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the thieves of time.

Do not hold regrets.

When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

Ask for forgiveness.

Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.

Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.

Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and given clean clothes.

Now you can have a party. Invite everyone you know who loves and supports you. Keep room for those who have no place else to go.

Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark. 

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Everything Points To Nostalgia These Days

I don’t know about you but I seem to be spending more time these days on random internet rambles. It’s not surprising that some of these trips down the rabbit hole lead to serendipitous bits of nostalgia. Somehow I recently stumbled upon this beautifully filmed video below from a pair of British bikers on a nostalgic trip of their own through Norway. The film reminded me of a long ago backpacking and camping trip that took me around Scandinavia for an entire summer more than 30 years ago. For part of our time in Norway, we were based in the lakeside town of Voss and we did hikes in the area using trains and boats to get to and from the hiking tracks. One memorable day trip took us along the small, but energetic Kleivelvi River in the Raundalen Valley not far from the famous Myrdal-Flåm Railway. While Matty and Clare seemed to bypass this area, they weren’t far away.

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The Freedom to be Free

Penguin Great Ideas is a series of mainly non-fiction books published by Penguin Books. Titles contained within this series are considered to be world-changing, influential and inspirational. Topics covered include history, philosophy, politics, science and culture. The project has resulted in six series of twenty books, each about one hundred and twenty pages long. After a nearly decade long hiatus a new sixth series was issued this Fall.

The mission statement of Penguin Great Ideas is : “GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.”

All books in series six have teal spines.

101. One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer – Aristotle
102. Being Happy – Epicurus
103. How To Be a Stoic – Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus
104. Three Japanese Buddhist Monks – Yoshida Kenkō, Kamo no Chōmei and Saigyō Hōshi
105. Ain’t I A Woman? – Sojourner Truth
106. Anarchist Communism – Peter Kropotkin
107. God is Dead – Friedrich Nietzsche
108. The Decay of Lying – Oscar Wilde
109. Suffragette Manifestos – Various
110. Bushido: The Soul of Japan – Inazo Nitobe
111. The Freedom to Be Free – Hannah Arendt
112. What Is Existentialism? – Simone de Beauvoir
113. The Power of Words – Simone Weil
114. Reflections on the Guillotine – Albert Camus
115. The Narrative of Trajan’s Column – Italo Calvino
116. A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart – Martin Luther King Jr.
117. Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible – John Berger
118. When I Dare to Be Powerful – Audre Lorde
119. Brief Notes on the Art and Manner of Arranging One’s Books – Georges Perec
120. Why Vegan? – Peter Singer


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The Feast of Venus

Last year, the Belgian tourist bureau VisitFlanders commissioned the folks at SkullMapping to create a wonderful bit of projection mapping to entertain passengers while they waited for flights at Brussels National Airport. With some clever digital trickery, a cheeky little cupid escaped from Peter Paul Rubens’ 1636 painting  The Feast of Venus and flitted around the terminal. The short film below is just what we need today.

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Uses of Books

Uses of Books at the End of the World by Kristen Radtke


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Feline Friday


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The Epistemology of Loss

“The Ball Poem”


John Berryman

What is the boy now, who has lost his ball.
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over—there it is in the water!
No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take balls,
Balls will be lost always, little boy,
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up
And gradually light returns to the street,
A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight.
Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark
Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere,
I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move
With all that move me, under the water
Or whistling, I am not a little boy.
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not all those who wander etc. etc.

If you visit TBTP on a regular basis, you are likely aware that I am a big J.R.R. Tolkien fan. I really like the style of these reissues of The Lord of the Rings trilogy published in the US by HMH last month. The covers were designed by Christopher Moisan with illustrations by Swedish illustrator Johan Egerkrans. The cover of The Return of the King  in particular is reminiscent of classic pen and ink fairy tale illustrations of the early 20th century.




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