Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bag


I have been carrying around a bag of mine for a long time without ever a thought of putting it down for good, a final resting place, maybe for someone else to find and use. That would mean once placed in that spot, it would remain until gone—one way or another. This bag and I have journeyed for years. It has been filled with parts of my life ranging from hats and gloves in winter so as to avoid losing them from a shallow coat pocket when having dinner with a friend in a darkened restaurant, and then walking out leaving them behind for some stranger to pick up, or for depositing folders, mail, and papers that are moved from place to place.

Dropping a very comfortable hat can become very upsetting especially if snug and well worn, or one of two gloves making the other half unusable forever.

A cozy hat is not easy to find. It can take a while before one softens and conforms to the head. A great hat is not unlike a well aged pair of shoes, especially hiking boots, which must navigate the roughest of terrain for hours at a time, while protecting one’s feet wherever they venture.

Hats lying on the ground are there all winter. Some are filthy having been ignored or unnoticed for days, or even weeks. A hat lost by a walker deciding to remove it from his, or her head, then stuffing it into a pocket, finds later that somewhere along the journey, it fell without a sound onto the ground being left behind with the footprint in the snow. I might imagine that person, upon finding this out overcome with sadness, since many being found are very nice ones. Often, they are woolen or fleece pullover hats, and not caps. Caps don’t fit in a coat’s front pocket.

A single lost glove dropped upon a sidewalk or trail draws your gaze. This one rolled up glove quietly dislodged from a hand warming pocket leaves the owner upset having lost only one, when two would be better, with the remaining and only lonely one deemed useless and destined for the garbage.

When finding a glove lying on the ground, hang it nearby in hopes the stranger will come happily upon it recognizing they have found their lost personal item. I imagine people hold out some hope as they scan their past steps wishing to stumble upon what had been lost. Finding what they lost is luck embraced.

Other people carry bags for similar reasons, yet for me I find it a convenience, as well as a necessity of life. A bag can be viewed as a form of baggage: an item to contain, or hold one’s personal baggage, or stuff depending on how it is viewed, or that which is owned, or just to carry the things one wants to give away to others.

I have many types of bags used as baggage, but this one is a special one, since I use it everyday.

I have not used it to hold my feelings, although it might be an interesting idea to do so. When feeling angry about something it could be used to transfer that emotion into the bag for examination or disposal later on. Or, how about opinions? The bag could be used to store opinions, since the bag has a few compartments that could hold such deeply personal items that are not made from tangible materials.

There might be a time when I have my bag, since I carry it everywhere, and find myself among a group of friends, some being nether-a-friend, where I could stash varying controversial opinions into it before sitting down. That way I might forestall an awkward situation from unfolding before those who were kindly invited along for a friendly dinner. No sense in breaking an egg on a clean white floor when you don’t have to.

There are people I know who freely give away their opinions when actually no one cares to hear them. They probably need to carry a bag with a couple extra compartments, as well.

Bags, or small packs, that go around one’s waist should be used by everyone. They could become just another everyday garment, such as pants, shirts, socks, or belts. A person could use those tight zippered compartments in a pinch to stuff small amounts of opinions, or emotions, since the pouches are limited in size and could keep one’s embarrassing words from spontaneously escaping, or exploding, from one’s mouth, or, if for nothing else, to hold a thin wallet and keys preventing them from entering the hands of another.

 Maybe there is a social need for carrying bags. So, let’s consider the wearing one a ballot referendum sometime soon.

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