Five Simple Cases


I was recently once again reminded (as if I needed to be?!) of just how cyclical Life can sometime be…

Quite a few years back I had been based and working with an organization half-way across the World from ‘home’ (for which the definition of this particular word will have to wait for another time).  We’d been there for 5 years.

I was initially invited and commissioned to go out for 5 months, to design and set up a mime & physical-theatre training module at the academy there.

So the original plan was 5 months…  –  5 years later, I was finally leaving!


Those five years had been (and, in some ways, still remain) the most pivotal and defining years of my life! – a ‘season’ for which I am eternally thankful.   The ‘highs‘ had been dynamically and exhilarating high,- the ‘lows’ excruciatingly and almost devastatingly low; – Yes these were definitely defining years,- No doubts about that!

But then, it was over, and it was time to move on.  We packed  five years of ‘Life’ into as many cases and prepared to leave.  I remember it so well, walking off the campus, in the rain, – down the long pathway, to the edge of the roadside, waiting for the ‘ride’ into town and into yet another whole new, unknown chapter of ‘Life’.


I was leaving after having received so much more than I could adequately put into words, and equally, having invested year after year, and given pretty-much all that I had to give and more.

I sat there on one of cases, on this grey-grey day with the rain beating down all around me, reflecting on this ‘closing season’.  There were no ‘thank you’s’ or ‘goodbye’s‘, just the memories and the rain.

Then the young son of one of the ‘campus’ families appeared and approached us through the drizzle, he looked at me a little bewildered and said something like – “Are you really leaving?… – Wow dude!”  he then grabbed my hand and shook it enthusiastically, then he ambled off around the corner; – and again I sat there silently with the memories, the rain and five simple cases.


“Five simple cases” (audio/vocal)

“Five Simple Cases”

… And the five years of wilderness, people, and places,–

Are finally folded and packed into cases:

Success’, ‘Failure’, ‘Fear’, ‘Potential’, ‘Unknown’,

All starting the journey, to find a new home;

The ‘Unknown’, ‘Potential’, ‘Success’, ‘Failure’, ‘Fear’,-

Five simple cases… one for each year.


© Danny Scott

4 thoughts on “Five Simple Cases

  1. Five years of preparation ready to go into the next years… of… preparation?! A traveller on a journey. (My view back to you…) -Thanks for sharing!

  2. This poem made me feel a little sad when I first heard it – sad in the sense of packing years of ‘life’ into (closed?) cases.Maybe we can pack away experiences, but life also changes us as people. You were a different person after those five years – we are changed by every stage and experience of life, so when we move on to a new ‘chapter’, we begin from a different starting point. Every ‘season’ leaves its imprint on our hearts, so, yes, things maybe have to be packed away (literally and figuratively), but we ourselves move on changed, ‘transformed’ by the journey – and hopefully deeper than we were before!

    • Thank you once again for your astute insights and reflections…

      Yes, at first glance this poem (“Five simple cases”) can indeed appear ‘sad’ and yes, to some degree, actually it is – because it is a reflection of our ‘Life-Journey’ which most certainly includes moments of very real sadness and as well as deep, healing joy! And yes, we certainly do ‘begin (again) from a different starting point’ and that is SO explosively and fantastically wonderful -(and redemptive), however, we still carry our ‘learned wisdom’ and ‘gained experience’ with us into the next ‘season’-it is positive and redeemed fuel for the journey.

      One more thought…

      When we pack our cases/s for a journey, we only pack what we think we need, and most importantly we pack what is valuable to us – (if we don’t want it, we simply leave it behind eh?!); – What we pack are ‘treasures’, precious and important treasures. I love unpacking precious treasures, and the contents of those “5 simple cases”, whatever the nature and/or perception are all exactly that – precious treasures to be cherished!

  3. “positive and redeemed fuel”I like that.

    …And yes, unpacking the treasures from a journey is special because often you come back with treasures you never had when you started out the journey – you get them unexpectedly. But then again, sometimes the most precious treasure of all is a ‘word’, a smile, a breath-taking ‘vista’, a delicious memory that cannnot be packed away in a case, but stays with you (stored in your heart) – and this you can ‘bring out’ any time you want to ‘(they flash upon that inward eye’)- like Wordsworth and his daffodils!

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