“The heat lasted until nightfall, and all that time he had to carry his jacket. But when he thought to complain about the burden of it’s weight, he remembered that, because he had the jacket, he had withstood the cold of the dawn.”
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
For me, the jacket, or burden as it is described, represents the causes, responsibilities, and heartaches that weigh upon our spirits, yet strengthen us: the things we don’t understand, things that make us ask why, things by which we are carried only by faith.
Strengthened by it we may be, but changed and chiseled none the less. Does this jacket not scatch our contentment with its zipper’s teeth and test our spirit with its solidity? Nevertheless it is ours, not ours to choose.
The manner in which we carry our burden is ours however. Some carry it with resentment while others choose evasion. Neither resulting in refuge from its inevitable weight; saturating it with time and gravity.
But what of hope? As an artist envisions beauty in an unsculpted block of stone, our perfected form requires the gouge of surrender and the mallot of sacrifice. So, we carry our jacket, weathered and torn, and play our role in the magnificent story of life.