Before you take hold of the beautiful weight, you read the stories written and listen to the tales told of holding on to it. But life is short, and when you are offered it, you are more afraid of refusing it than you are of accepting it. You fear you will never get the chance again in your life, long or short, of having the beautiful weight. You see so many others, weightless and unbearably light and that seems worse than the load.
You step forward and shift the heavy beauty onto your back, and as you stumble forward, you experience the pride and panic of such a possession. The days and months and years will pass, and through each of them you will rise up and shoulder the weight throughout each hour, retiring it briefly each night. If you are lucky, you will have a string of Hercules who will shift it onto their shoulders, however briefly, giving you a moment’s rest. Many unfortunately know no such solace, and the sublime burden falls solely on their backs.
The truly unfortunate are unable to walk steadily forward and eventually lose their footing, stumbling off the path, into the waters. Unable to let go, they go deeper and deeper down into the water, struggling to keep their head above the surface as the weight submerges them.
Only those unworthy of the beautiful weight are able to slip out from under it. The rest get stronger from their struggle, or drown.
They say out loud that the beautiful weight makes life worth living. Afterwards they whisper something else.
There is an art to carrying the beautiful weight, and though it is the most important of the arts, it is rarely taught. They will learn as they go, they mutter, and either sink or make do. And many make do, while some struggle terribly and then float quietly beneath the surface.