The day begins as I pack my bag of burdens full of all of my Mistakes, my Fears and Anxieties, all of the Lies I’ve Told and Lies I’ve Been Told, my Depression, and all of the Sins I’ve Committed. I don’t go anywhere without them, but today is different, as this will be the last journey I ever embark on.
My knees threaten to give way underneath me as soon as I slide my burden onto my back, but I’ve got to carry it to my destination, my hole in the ground where I’ll find peace and can lay it down for good.
A boy stops me on the road with a friendly smile. I’ve seen him around before, but I don’t remember his name. He says, “Hello, my friend, that looks awfully heavy, can I carry it for you?” He removes the burden from my shoulders and puts it on his back, and we walk side-by-side for a while, chatting about life and the weather. I am grateful to have some company along this path, and relieved by the loss of my burden, but we’ve only traveled a few miles when he stops and says, “This is too heavy for me, you’re going to have to deal with it yourself,” And as he hands it back to me he says, “I hope you don’t mind, but I added a few things of my own. You’ll carry them for me, won’t you, friend? I carried your heavy burden for so long, and my things are light, surely you can do this one small thing for me.”
I reluctantly shrug the bag over my shoulders and continue my journey by myself, and despite what the boy said, my bag feels so much heavier than it did this morning when I left my house.
A shard of Guilt on the ground sparkles in the sunshine, and I stop to pick it up, when I discover a shiny Manipulation rock, and a pocket knife with the word “Distrust” carved into the handle just lying about as well. They’ll fit right into my collection, I think as I put all three in my bag.
The sun is growing ever warmer, and I am feeling faint when a girl jogs up next to me but she immediately relieves me of my burden without a word. We walk side by side and she sings pretty songs to me to pass the time, and once again I am relieved at the weight that has been lifted from my shoulders. She is my very best friend, I think to myself, as we walk along the path together. Her voice is the prettiest thing I’ve heard in ages, maybe even in my whole life. I’m snapped out of my thoughts when she, too, stops after a few miles of walking in the heat, and tells me she made a mistake and she thinks it’d be best for both of us if she gave my bag back to me. Of course, she added a few light things to the bag for me to take care of, but since she carried my heavy burden for so long, it’s only fair that I take her small items on the rest of my journey but her few possessions make my bag feel heavier than I ever imagined.
About a mile down the road, I spot Self-Hatred in the bushes. It’s sharp to the touch, and I almost put it back when its edges sink into my skin, but I tell myself it’ll be worth having when I get to my destination. As I make my way back to the path, I see Idolatry just under the top surface of dirt. I kneel to pick it up, and the weight of my burden shifts just enough to remind me that I should not be carrying anything else, but it’s so pretty, I just have to take it with me.
He comes from the vertical path to help me to my feet. “Here, Friend, let me take that.”
“No.” I don’t want to walk alone anymore in this heat with this incredibly heavy burden on my back, but I can’t bear the idea of letting Him take my burden, only to give it back with extra things added a few miles down the road. Not to mention, the only one who should be carrying this burden should be me. “Why do you want my burden so badly anyway?” I ask in a moment of boldness.
“Because I hate seeing you struggle with it.”
He gently lifts my bag off my shoulders and puts it on His own back, seemingly unaffected by its weight.
We’re walking down the road together arm-in-arm until I see the boy from the start of my journey. He’s walking by himself and I feel guilty for not taking better care of his items, I just handed them to a stranger.
“I’ll take it back, I know it’s heavy.” I unlink my arm from His and reach for my bag.
“No, it’s fine, really.”
“Thanks, but I’ll take it back.” I pry it away from His back, finding it considerably lighter than before.
“What did you take?” I’m surprised at how angry and betrayed I feel; I thought He was my friend, and He stole from me.
“It wasn’t anything you needed to be concerned with.”
Even though I wish He’d leave me alone, He continues to walk by my side. Occasionally He gestures at my bag, but I refuse to let Him take it. I’ve got to carry this to my destination, and besides, He might try to take things out of the bag again.
At some point, I cave and let Him carry it again, but take it back the moment I see the girl from before watching me from the side of the road, ashamed of myself for letting her precious belongings go with anybody but me, the rightful bearer of all burdens.
The bag is lighter still and I question Him again, but He insists that I didn’t need anything He took, and I don’t care as much as I used to.
I stop again to pick up some more Guilt, and still more Distrust, because you can never have enough, and I’m reaching for a large clod of Failure when He puts a hand on my shoulder.
“Stop picking up pebbles and dirt when I have diamonds waiting for you.” He takes my burden one last time and this time I am too hot and too tired to continue fighting, and it’s so much easier to let Him carry it, and He seems happy to do so.
When we reach my hole, he throws my bag of burdens into it and kicks dirt over the edge to cover the bag, then He hands me a bag of diamonds and leads me past the hole, which was not my final destination as I always believed it was.
One thought on “Creative Writing: The Path — Mental Health Post #24”
This is excellent writing. Have you tried writing short stories?
“Short Stories” are not just stories that are short. It’s an actual genre with characteristics of its own. Just Google “how to write a short story” to find out more.