(illustration by FairyGodFlea)
Every year, we collect one more case of it. Mostly small stuff, a hurt here, a slight there, a let down, a misunderstanding. A job interview that fell flat, a song pitched that didn’t land. A promised cut that never materialized. A hold that got held for 10 months then replaced by a brand new one by the artist’s son.
And every year we stack that case in our emotional garage, right next to the one from the year before. One day we look at the stack, and realize we have acquired a full matched set of Samsonite.
So we think, well, I can unload that stuff anytime, I don’t need it. So we start going through it all. Can’t throw away that insult. Can’t forget that opportunity stolen by a then friend. Can’t toss out all those songs that were written on cold lonely nights about some passing fancy or lost lover; or the ones written in drug-induced hazes; or the ones started and never completed. Or the tunes without words or the words without tunes. Or the ones where the co-writer took back his part and you were left with, what? Part of a something-or-other.
It’s all BAGGAGE. Case after case of it. And it bogs us down, and holds us back. It’s so heavy we can’t even move it, but we take it with us wherever we live, even if we move across the whole bloody world, we’ve got to lug it with us!
We get sore backs from trying to lift it, and sore eyes from crying over it. And we’re just plain soreheads when we think about it or try to tell someone about it.
What do we think our BAGGAGE is? A satchel full of badges of honor? A suitcase full of gold bullion? A trunk full of medals for valor under fire?
BAGGAGE has no place in our future. It takes up too much room, and gets in the way when we try redecorating our emotional houses. BAGGAGE masquerades as a creative wellspring of angst, suffering, the school of hard knocks, the ladder slowly clawed upwards. It even thinks it’s a MUSE!
Can someone invent a BAGGAGE COMPACTOR? Something like a trash compactor, where you throw in all the suitcases you’ve collected, and then push the lever, and it gets crushed down to one small manageable briefcase. And then you won’t really be able to distinguish one bit of BAGGAGE from another, they’ll all be squashed into one.
There’s something to say for traveling light!