Knowledge arms: no question.
But how encumbered am I willing to be
Seems an important question.
In poetry, in theology, in dealings with others –
Information can drown.
Think soldiers in Normandy
All their accoutrements
All that gathered up, strapped on, other-imposed equipment
Didn’t liberate them…
(It pulled them down.)
How does one sort through all what others perceive as necessity?
How does one remain equipped
But light enough to stay unencumbered?
Don’t assume the trappings
Just ’cause they’re there for the taking
Don’t take another’s word for what’s needed:
Celebrate the tools
And the capable wielding of them
– I’m not above them, I’m probably below them –
The point is, I’m not them.
Try on the armor perhaps,
See how it feels.
But don’t keep it on just ’cause it’s been offered
Find my tool, trust my voice
E’en though it be a slingshot
Such as these have slain giants: and endured.
So read, consider, deliberate
But stay afloat too
Buoyed and buoyant and in command of one’s own weight
Armed with one’s most well fitting, carefully chosen tools:
For otherwise I may easily succumb ‘neath another’s trammels
I was never meant to carry.
2 thoughts on “Staying Light”
Been listening to audio books (via audible.com) of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs. Reacher is a drifter, ex-Army MP, who owns nothing. He only keeps what will fit in the pockets of his clothes – some cash mostly. No ID, credit cards, or wallet. He buys new clothes once a week, throws away the old. He has a military pension and has money wired to him as needed. He travels. Walking. Hitching. Buses. Whatever.
I think about all my stuff, my job, the things that keep me chained to one place. Do we really need all of that?
Reacher is of course fictional. Not sure if being rich and homeless is possible in modern society. Still, interesting to contemplate.
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Definitely interesting to contemplate! When I wrote this, I was thinking of the gathering of information, the borrowing and accumulating of others’ ideas, opinions, and ways of doing. Your comment has catalyzed a second reading and new eyes for it. Thanks for this! Who knew I could derive new meaning from my own piece? But I’m grateful for the look… And very much for your willingness to visit, read, deliberate and share your thoughts!
In answer to your question, no, we probably don’t need it. And even though a large portion of my life is devoted to my being the “resident stuff mover” (self-proclaimed title as mother of five, wife to one), all these comforts and their care is probably a better problem to have than the alternative… I think…
Here’s to hoping we’re good stewards of any of what we’ve been given, no? But man! That Jack Reacher stuff certainly makes one think… I was homeless once. But I was not rich, and it wasn’t entirely by choice so mine’s probably not a fair comparison. I will say that I didn’t love my life at the time, romantic a way of life though it seemed for a bit. It was empowering to be able to fit all my possessions on my back. However, I didn’t like being at the mercy of others’ generosity (or lack thereof). And it was sweet bliss to have a space of my own when it came; a place to return to. (TMI? Sorry. Just for the sake of conversation, I guess…) thanks again for stopping by. I hope you will again!