For a number of years I have collected lists about traveling light. Most arose from journeys people have taken: place to place, day to day, birth to death. Each list simply describes what was carried, often in a rucksack, sometimes deeper within the traveler. I began collecting these lists, I suppose, because I found myself drawn to their spare poetry — a poetry of emptiness.
I have given each list below a brief introduction. The lists themselves retain as much as possible the language, word order, and spelling of their sources.
Adapted from Journeys of Simplicity: Traveling Light with Thomas Merton, Basho, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard & Others by Philip Harnden. Published March 2003 by SkyLight Paths Publishing. Permission granted by SkyLight Paths Publishing, PO. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091