22: Tiptoes and no luggage.

- February 26, 2017 -

A few weeks ago, I came across a passage by Aldous Huxley, a prolific writer who is perhaps best known for the dystopian sci-fi novel Brave New World. This particular passage, however, was published by Huxley some thirty years later, in 1962, as part of his final book:

“Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.

There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, 

That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling, 
on tiptoes and no luggage…”

To me, there was something so inviting about this passage, so calming about its message. After all, when you think about it, it is a bit strange just how intently focused we are on bringing our luggage with us everywhere we go, isn’t it?

Far from walking lightly, it seems that we’re committed to trudging around from one place to the next, metaphorically packing months worth of luggage for what should really only be a day trip, or, at the very most, a weekend away.

. . .

Our luggage, of course, would be enough of a burden even if it were just left sitting in the hallway — but we don’t leave it in the hallway, do we? We carry it with us wherever we go, complaining of the strain to our backs yet continuing on nonetheless.

Weighed down by such an onerous load, it’s no wonder that our steps would be anything but light. If that’s the case, though, then wouldn’t it be tremendously beneficial for us to simply pack a little less? (Or, better yet, pack nothing at all?)

As Huxley so eloquently expressed, might it not be less wearying if we were to move forward only “on tiptoes,” with “no luggage?”


Walking lightly,
– J


This piece comes from Jana Marie’s newsletter, The Sunday Letters. You can sign up to receive future editions below.