M-2-M – St Francis the suitcase 2013/Dec/14

Today I walk back into my home town of Wodonga. This body, mind and perspective is so different to when I last visited a few years ago. Rounding a circle, journey and pilgrimage. I’m not sure what I’m coming back to or if it’s actually a key point in any cycle. I do know it will be what it is for as long as it is.

Country Victoria, Australia.

Country Victoria, Australia.

My suitcase (Francis) is finishing his phase of service. He got his name from a pre-pilgrimage dream about St Francis and I traveling together. This is his last travel before retiring to stationary storage. On his first flight I was grateful that my big heavy bag didn’t show up at the baggage claim. I was able to travel to Esalen with a more convenient one and have the airline deliver Francis to my door later that week. I was shocked to find that both his wheels had been destroyed on his first outing. Francis is extra wide to fit the Unconditional Love Drum and lots of other sacred medicine tools that joined me on this world-wide pilgrimage.

This suitcase is a miracle in itself. It’s literally a bag of rocks… well crystals, drums, rattles, singing bowls, incense and other shamanic yogi goodies. We’ve had some interesting trips through customs. Each one unique, a few where into shamanism and got free session while doing bag checks.

Francis has been dragged through airports, train stations, bus stops, ashrams, farms and youth hostels. Being a heavyweight with no working wheels, he has made a deep connection with the earth through the US, Peru, Serbia, Italy, England and Indonesia. He’s now being dragged through the final leg in Australia.

Dragging Francis has been a meditation practice in itself. Every time I take a rest after a minute of loud and sweaty case pulling, I say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to feel my heart beat. Thank you for this breath. Thank you for allowing me to feel my muscles work. Thank you for the service of all these sacred items and the blessing of this experience.

It’s been an unexpected hallmark of this pilgrimage. Since the initial incident, I was looking for a case large enough to take his place. I did find one in London and Francis was deteriorating fast, but I felt he was up for finishing the rest of this trip.

St Francis the suitcase on retirement day.

St Francis the suitcase on retirement day.

My pilgrimage wouldn’t be the same without this beautiful and challenging reminder to love the experience as it is. Francis, you taught me to slow down, prepare, work hard and let go. I learned to let go of: tight schedules, what people think, hesitating to ask for help and taking anything personally. My greatest lesson from this whole pilgrimage may have come while dragging a 35 kilogram (77 pound) bag of medicine tools; Allowing the body to do what it can and knowing it’s all perfect.

Thank you Francis for your selfless service, persistence and all the teachings you facilitated.
Thank you, I love you, Thank you!

We made it!!! One lap of the world later.

We made it!!! One lap of the world later.



  1. Deva Veronica says:

    Thank you for sharing!
    So funny, so deep, so sweet to read!
    Thank you Ian and Francis the Suitcase, you let me feel the sacred, beautiful simplicity of everything, in few seconds, right here, right now 🙂
    Birds are singing….as every morning! 🙂
    The Present moment is wonderful!
    I love you!

  2. Thank you darlin, it’s an honour to share.
    I love you too. <3

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