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Back Pack

Updated on November 29, 2014

How can I not write about my pack, my burden-my needs-my failure from before. They all think I'm nuts all this weight on my back. "It's harder you know. How do you do it? Why did you do it?" I smile not knowing exactly how to answer. Do I give them a witty response? Most people shy away from the sobering truth of things to occupy their minds with unimportant distractions.

Short entertaining stories of adventure is what they crave. So that is what I give them. I paint over the truth with grand gestures, making them actors in my stories until, eventually, they feel a part of my experiences on the road. They laugh and ask questions. They start to turn thin with boredom. Now they too have a story, "The Stranger on a Mountain Bike" riding across the country with a huge back pack.

Black and radiating heat from the sun
It can hold no more inside its seams
More weight is added strapped tight around it increasing the burden
Increasing the weight
Bringing its bearer toward his fate

A tarp and tires, tools and a fishing pole.  Excited by attention the story
compels the listeners to ask questions and laughter thinning with boredom.  
Tell us another.  Like kids around a campfire.  Tell us more of this man.
They can't, you see
They don't know the answer.  
The pole for fishing, tires for his bike 
The tools for fixing and the rest I don't know why. 

Maybe all of these wrong.  
They are only the glint of your sunglasses that keep you from seeing my 
It is everything that should be nothing
The nothing that beats you to the ground
The nothing that makes you forget why you are around.  
It is heavy, it is cumbersome, it stinks of memories and sweat
It slows my progress but I can not let it go yet
Without its weight driving me, I would slip into the mud
I dig into it every day dealing with its contents, most of which I wary of
A chance not to unpack it, if only for a day
Gives me peace in pretending it's not there.  
Nothing weighing on my body, my soul, my mind for a moment
I can breathe freely and stretch without its bindings that so reluctantly 
relinquish their hold on me
Standing back, cut away from this giant black tumor.  Starring at it as if 
knowing it would begin to speak, adding yet another reminder.

"Why take me off?  I will always be here.  Here for you.  I have food that 
will sustain you.  I can clothe you when the cold eats at you.  You know 
you need me just like I need you."

I hate your logic, your manipulation of fact
I can not argue, not yet, not now.
I need you for another reason you have not thought of yet
Not even a brief consideration by you.  That you would make me strong.
I am stronger every day and see the even greater experience pass me by due 
to your weight.
Yes, you weigh me down, but not like you used to.
My feet nailed to the ground no more.  You grow to compensate.  Increasing 
the load, but you underestimated me from the start.  I chose to take you
on. I decide what stays in and what comes out
You weigh more than the beginning because I am hauling you about
I've thought about leaving you stranded in your own helplessness but I am 
not quite done using your torment of me to make me stronger
I will carry more to remind me.  It will be harder than before and I will 
handle it all

The pack sits quietly.  I look down at it knowing it feels my glare.
Quiet.  No sound but a creak or a moan from the plastic buckles and nylon 
straps.  Now I stand freely with my pack on my back.

Perhaps it is best I don't try to explain the truth to these people.
They wouldn't understand what I live with every day.
That's fine.
That's okay.
At least I know the difference
From before
First it was weakness
Caring, carrying to much
Now I choose to grow stronger from what I've had to do, and did, undone
So I ride
A long disappearing road.  Slipping into thin air thick with heat
I drink it into my lungs struggling to find oxygen in all that humidity.
Not wanting to breathe any more because it's so thick like trying to 
swallow down medicine that sits in your throat choking you with it's 
healing power.  

So I drink it in and swallow hard
Trying to disregard
The desert sand in my throat
Sweat pouring out of me like so many tears of a broken heart
I need to replace what I've lost
Hot water flows into me.  
Hot like the sun that changed its worth.  It stares.  It glares.  This sun 
wears on me, but not like the weight on my back...
So I ride. 


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    • munirahmadmughal profile image

      munirahmadmughal 7 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan.

      "Back Pack"

      This is an excellent hub. Posing to be against logic but full of logic in every word used in it.It is thought provoking and full of lesson.

      A human is made of body and soul. Both need food. Thus mateeial as well as moral food is need. Food must be pure and lawful. Reason being the action and reaction rule.

      A human is the other nameof responsible. Responsibility is burden. Every honour is sharing burden. This needs courage and fortitude. Creator is also Lord Nourisher and Sustainer and provider of every thing a human needs. Hence a human potenitality open or hidden, far or near, seen or unseen is by His Grant and Kindness. He the Almighty has not left a human being unattended. His mercy is howering on all mankind every moment. Feeling or not feeling is on account of human negligence or arrogance. Every breath a human inhales or exhales is on account of several systems working for him without his own effort. There is a role for every human to play on this earth during this short span of life to show his best performance. This is the thanksgiving of the body, the limbs, the soul, and all other favours. Life is activity. Activity is to work. All art and science is work. All grace andh onour isby work. Hence work, work and work and never shirk work. Good work never goes waste.It has its reward. Desert, oceans, winds, odds,hazards do not standin the way of a human who firmly resolves to serve humanity considering it the family of God, being all His creations. He is the One and the Only, the Independent, Neither begets nor is begotten, nor any one is equal to Him.

      May God bless all.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Beaitiful again! This was some adventure. I can see this fondness and struggle with the pack. I've lived that a bit too. Beautifully done!