The Mountain of Should

By Brady Gill

I left on my quest to the Mountain of Should

‘Cause I should

I just thought that I should

And I should


Many had journeyed, all said it’s the way

Seemed foolish to question and hard to escape

This feeling I had, like a debt to be paid

Of course I had doubts, but I kept them at bay

By telling the world that, "Today is the day!

I will climb the Mountain of Should

‘Cause I should

Everyone says I should

And I should"


You shouldn’t go, unless you’re prepared

One friend said to me, There’s danger out there

I don’t mean to scare you, but you should be scared

‘Cause you should

‘Cause I am

And you should


I tried to get ready but needed a lot

So many things to learned and be bought

All sorts of supplies and provisions to make

And books to be read and courses to take

And facts to be known for knowledge’s sake

No room for error, no room for mistakes

And even then I still felt like a fake


I’ll never be ready so why should I care!


But the shopkeeper there just grimaced and stared

“Don’t act so abused, it’s called paying your dues

This is fair, this is fair, and just like the rest

You should care”

So I cared


I cared because I was scared

And I should

I thought I should care

And I should


So off I went with my pack full of stuff

Which felt like too much and I hoped was enough

There was one way to go and that way was up

On the Mountain of Should the path could be rough

And that was OK ‘cause it all should be tough


It should be hard

It shouldn’t be easy

Your body should ache and your stomach feel queasy


And that’s how I felt going up every day

For months, for years, I traveled this way


‘Cause I should

‘Cause I knew that’s the way it should feel

And it should

And I should

And it should

And it should

And I should

And it should

And I should


“Where are you going?”A monk said to me

Me trudging higher, her shooting the breeze


“I’m climbing the Mountain of Should

Can’t you see?

That I should

And I should

And I should”


"But why are you climbing?

Where will you go?

What will you find?

When will you know?

What will you gain from reaching the top

Of a mountain which frankly just doesn’t stop?


When will you stop?

When will you see?

When will you pause?

When will you breathe?"


“Not now you old fool

There’s no stopping me!

There’s no truth in your words

You’re just jealous I see

‘Cause you can’t

But you should

And I should"


Higher and higher I pressed to the top

To the top of the mountain that never would stop


Each day I came closer to the summit I craved

But each time I looked it seemed farther away


So harder each day I pushed myself more

Though every step felt like a chore

Though every morning I woke up with dread

And each night was filled with strange thoughts in my head


The higher I went

The more tired and spent

I would feel

From my head, right down to my heals

So tired I couldn’t quite tell what was real


For sitting one day, resting my feet

I thought to myself, when will I be complete?


And then came a thought I found quite defeating

Do I even know what it is that I’m seeking?


I climb ‘cause I should, but where am I going?

And is that place worth the weight that I’m towing?


It was then that the old monks words spoke to me

It was then that I stopped

I paused

And I breathed

And just like that I was able to see


Hundreds of mountains

Thousands of peaks

Millions of "Shoulds" that everyone seeks

All of us climbing, our goal to ascend

Missing each moment to get to the end


And when will it end?

Where are we going?

What is this truth that we all should be knowing?

What are these shoulds that we’re told

That we feel

How can something that’s not real feel so real?


What if they’re nothing, in our heads, just a voice?

What if they’re wrong, and we all have a choice?


With my shoulds all released, I found with relief

My need to climb higher was just a belief

And if I chose to stop then I could

Not I should

I decided to stop and I could


And as soon as I stopped I was delighted to find

The distance I’d traveled was all in my mind


The crumbled Should Mountain was nowhere in sight

Now hundreds of paths, each one of them right


Each with their losses

Each with their wins

Each was a story that I could begin


And without all these shoulds

I felt good

I feel good

I’m choosing my path and I’m good


Copyright © 2015 Brady Gill, All Rights Reserved