Before I joined the Foreign Service, I was an archaeologist. Specifically, I specialized in American Indians from North and South Carolina.
My research was on the pottery of the Catawba. My tribe was a part of the Greater Catawba Confederacy, and as a result, there was intermarriage between our peoples. Although I am a PeeDee Indian, I carry Catawba blood in my veins.
So my research has always felt personal for me. I am fond of Indian pottery in general, and I have the works of artists from a number of different tribes. But is my collection of Catawba pottery that I love, that speaks to me.
I took my whole collection to Jerusalem. But I was less aware then of how easy it is to lose your stuff. Since then, my apartment was robbed and I lost some things that were precious and irreplaceable. I had friends lose shipments of belongings, including cars, dropped in the ocean, dropped at port, or simply vanished. Others have had looters far less kind that those who robbed my place, destroy everything they own.
So these days, I have not only the desire to take less with me, but also to protect some of the things I have that mean the most to me. So while I know things can be destroyed in storage, by fire, mold or what have you, I feel the danger is less there than in travelling across the ocean with me.
So I have selected only a couple pieces of my collection to have with me.
And I feel bad about it.
I feel bad about locking away the rest of my collection in storage, unseen and unadmired for years.
It feels like I am hurting their feelings.
Is it just me (or just my impending move) or the is it the Foreign Service that is crazy making?