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Thursday, November 26, 2015

A new backpack

In Dutch there is a metaphor in which a backpack signifies the load of life experiences or physical complications one carries into the future. Sometimes the backpack is replaced by a suitcase but the metaphor stays the same.

I have been having some real backpack troubles a few weeks ago. 

My favourite backpack was a blue-green one that I bought one or two years ago in a time in which I saw how my relationship with my mother had truncated my own personal development. Now it was time to work on my own life and I loved the coincidence of owning a new backpack while making a new start.
Over time I started to embellish the backpack with artificial flowers.  It was a game with a very simple rule: the flowers should not have been bought, begged for or stolen. I would either have to find them or receive them as a gift. As it turned out they were all single flowers, lost by their owners, lying bedraggled on the sidewalks or in the grass borders along the streets. A colourful mix of rejects showing off their worth on my bag. I fear I identified myself with them.

And now the zipper had given in... just while I had no money to have it repaired and wasn't able to repair it myself....
But no problem... I kept the bag for show and dug up an old backpack I got through the food bank, upon which I depended 5 years ago. Not exactly a favorite, but still pretty good.
That's what the cat thought too, when he used it instead of the litter box, making it totally unsuitable for buying food. Even carrying other stuff in it didn't sit well with me...
In only a couple of days I had lost two backpacks. My shopping tour for an affordable one did not pay off, so I settled for using my other bags instead. Who needs a backpack? 

A little while later.... just when I was not looking for a backpack, but only for comfort by visiting a dear friend and going out shopping together... did I run into it... the perfect backpack: the right size, beautiful color and a not too common design. All this and still fitting well within my budget. I took it from the shelf thinking how I didn't need it... I was doing pretty well using my shoulder- and handbags... but suddenly my heart leaped and I saw Serendipity smiling at me from behind the store's rack, whispering that it had a different value... worthy of a new blog post.

I saw what she meant. A new start. Letting go of old views and values. Even better: a backpack is not for carrying around old pain, it's for carrying what you can use to build the best possible future. It's a tool bag!

No longer asking Why but How...
For so often I have analysed why I have stranded in the here and now. I think I did find the answer.  But it's only of use if I see its lesson, get off my ass and walk again. Carrying only the new wisdom, not its history, with me.
I shouldn't put my dysesthesia and tinnitus in my backpack and definitely not the story of how I got them.. But the new life style, the techniques and list of good foods that are beneficial in my current physical condition.
And I have a lot of new 'things'  -sorry folks-  to put in my backpack: from dog walking and yoga to a whole bunch of new friends. 
The hike would no longer be about looking back to see which stone has "made"  me trip (huh huh.. I tripped over it) but about looking around to enjoy the view and  looking forward to see what should be my next step. 

If you pack your backpack that way, you are traveling as light as you can.

Hm, wonder what the beautiful cognac color of this new bag might signify :)

 Here -in Dutch- the solution Brigitte Kaandorp found for her life's suitcase ... leaving it behind. If you like it, you can keep it, but you'd better not.

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