The Weights We Carry
Poems from a solo bike-packing journey around the Scottish Highlands and the Orkney Islands
by C.D. Seventeen
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Pub Date 23 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2023
Join C.D. Seventeen on her 46-day solo bike and wild camping adventure covering 658 miles of Scottish Highlands through the lens of poetry. The Weights We Carry is one woman’s incredible solo journey intended to find her true purpose through solitude. What she found was this poetry book, 22 poems paired with breath-taking photography.
The journey started from Inverness and went north, from the east coast via Rosemarkie, Tain, Brora, Helmsdale, and John o’Groats. CD Seventeen kept heading north to the Orkney Islands, then back to the mainland to Thurso. After that returning to Inverness from the west coast via Durness, Scourie, Ullapool, Gairloch, and Applecross. The journey ended in Burghead on the east coast of Scotland.
“I use poems as containers of my colourful emotions, preserving never-fading memories between the lines. I see verses as musical cords, evoking indescribable feelings. Words are teachers. They never stop asking us thought-provoking questions.
I started writing poems with the purpose of self-redemption. I was brought up in a place where individuality is impossible, freedom is an unimaginable dream, and self-expression is an unforgivable sin. When my world is mostly about competition, productivity, and usefulness, any form of art seems worthless. However, writing poems in a foreign language taught me to be brave to make mistakes and embrace flaws and new possibilities. I learned to let go of the hatred I held towards all the trauma in the past and learn to cure my sense of inferiority caused by the environment I grew up. I learned to appreciate all forms of beauty. And, of course, writing poems created my own freedom.
When freedom is restored, I wish for a rebirth. And this is how my passion for a solo long-distance cycling journey started. I wish to know my limits and break them. I want to face my fear and learn what braveness means. I want to unlearn every single word I have been taught and relearn them in my terms.
The photos were taken on a half-frame automatic film camera with a kind of film which had a purple-hued character. This, I believe, captures the magical atmosphere of the Scottish Highlands.”
The Weights We Carry is not being produced as an eBook. It isn’t going to be sold on Amazon. C.D. Seventeen will remain true to her original purpose and wants to encourage everyone to get off social media, off their chair, and out into the outdoors. To challenge themselves, make mistakes, embrace flaws and explore new possibilities. The book is available via selected retailers online and of course in Scotland, as well as locations globally.
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