Being Silly

As I was sauntering along today, carrying twenty-eight pounds on my back, the whole thing — the weight, the pretend backpacking treks, the dream of a hugely long hike — suddenly seemed utterly silly.

I suppose if I could see any changes — more muscle tone, a sleeker body, greater energy, anything — it wouldn’t seem so ridiculous, but I don’t see any difference in me at all. I am carrying more weight in the pack than I did at the beginning, but I don’t think it’s because I’m stronger; it’s more that I carried less than I could when I started this project. Back then, I couldn’t carry much because I couldn’t sling the pack onto my back. Once I figured out that it was easy to put the pack on while sitting on the bed, I was able to increase the weight.

But that brings up another silly issue — in the backcountry, there are no beds, so I researched how to put on a pack out in the wild (hoist it up onto a bent leg using the haul strap, hold the haul strap with the left hand, put the right arm through the right shoulder strap, hump it onto your back and then put the left arm through the strap), but that’s difficult to do even without a weak and wonky left arm. I thought of using a rope to haul the thing up my back, but sheesh — talk about silly!

I guess none of this is any more foolish than the rest of my life, such as spending years writing books only a few folks read. Or taking ballet classes when one is leaden footed. Or learning to dance when one can’t distinguish one note or instrument from another. (In class the other day, I was told to do a certain move when the steel guitars started. Total blank. Hadn’t a clue.) Or driving a forty-six-year-old car. Or . . .

Come to think of it, is anything in my life not silly?

But then what do I know — perhaps silliness is the point of my life. Of any life. Maybe God created us and the world and even the universe in a fit of silliness and then went on to more important things.

Since I have nothing more important to do at the moment, I’m stuck with my silliness. At least I’m consistent, but then, consistency is foolish, too.

As if all this weren’t silly enough, I spent the past half hour trying to find the perfect positioning for the image of the bed in this blog post.



Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

11 Responses to “Being Silly”

  1. Carol Says:

    None of this, and especially not “the rest of your life” is silly, Pat. Not at all. Anything that gives hope is never just foolishness. Whether or not you fulfill your dream of doing a major hike isn’t the point. It’s that the idea of doing it opens your mind to possibilities, and that’s a very positive thing. All your walking in preparation has to be good for your fitness and general health, so that’s another plus. So no, I don’t think any of it is silly at all. 🙂

  2. Wanda Hughes Says:

    I think having this goal and preparing for it are both wonderful activities in their own right. As to getting stronger… perhaps some actual weight lifting to build muscles? Carrying the pack will build endurance but exercising each muscle to strengthen each one might serve you well.

    As to being silly, you’re the least silly person I know.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I work with the weights occasionally, but not as much as I should. Actually, there is supposedly nothing better to develop leg muscles than to strap on a pack and walk up hill and down hill. Maybe it’s too soon yet. I think the hiking poles are helping a bit to strengthen my bad arm. That remains a wild card in all this. But more to the point – I will be seeing you in just about a month!

  3. Constance Says:

    At least you keep yourself busy doing something interesting, even if you think that it is silly. I enjoy reading about your adventures.

  4. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    28 lbs is almost 14 kg, which is the nearly the same weight as my dog Coco, and I can’t carry him around for 5 minutes let alone saunter around with that weight.
    Are you doing an A-Rod? on the steroids Pat? 😈

  5. Terry Allard Says:

    The things I do fit your description but I use the word pathetic as my self descriptor least in the middle of night when I cannot sleep and fairly frequently in the day when I wonder “why bother_________”?

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