The Train Trip

I am on a train. On two outstretched arms I carry a heavy suitcase filled with the stuff of my life -- my attachments and desires, my worries and fears, and my beliefs and attitudes. Since the train and I and my suitcase will arrive at the destination all at the same time, why don’t I put it down? Because I can’t. I have been carrying this stuff for so long it feels like a part of me.

My arms burn and my legs are wobbly but I can’t put the suitcase down. I wouldn’t know how to be without it. As the pain of carrying the suitcase rachets up, I distract myself by looking out the window and dreaming.

I'm awakened from my dream by the pain. I just can't bear to carry the suitcase for one more second. With no other option, I ask for help. The porter comes, but, instead of taking the suitcase from my arms, he opens it and together we look inside. I notice a few old, musty things I had forgotten about. They are no longer useful and I wonder why I had been carrying them around for so long. I ask the porter to please remove them for me. He does so gladly.

Now the suitcase is lighter and much easier to carry. I tell the porter I won’t be needing his help anymore and continue on my journey. But I was wrong. The suitcase becomes so heavy again that I have to call the porter for help once more. We look again and I see many more useless things I’ve been carrying around. The porter quickly removes them. Again I feel comfortable and believe I can manage on my own. Again I dismiss the porter but by now I have become sensitive to the weight of carrying around useless baggage. I call him back again and again until my suitcase is empty.

As the train nears its destination, I ask him to take the empty suitcase from my arms. I know he will when the time is right.