Trinkets, tidbits, kipple even.
The little things that one accumulates sometimes irrationally but that mean so much at the time.
A tin box, a concert stub, a pocket knife.
Little things, sometimes useful, sometimes just a reminder of a time and place, for whatever reason, however silly.
Sometimes just to bring some semblance of normalcy to an alien situation.
A friend used to carry a porcelain cup with him in his backpack. He would go out for weeks on end, this cup carefully tucked away.
He found it in an old abandoned cabin, miles from nowhere. Caught in a freak blizzard, he found this cabin, more holes than walls and roof, but a little protection. To alleviate the boredom, waiting for the storm to pass, he dug around the cabin and found this single porcelain tea cup.
That cup travelled everywhere from that point on, every trip, every hike. It lived in his backpack.
A talisman with mystical powers? Good luck piece? A civilized way to sip a cup of tea while the world goes mad? Perhaps all.
Why do we choose the things we do?
Sometimes the answer it “just is”.