You levitate, you know. Gravity only mostly works.
It’s only mostly working on you right now.
I’m aware I sound like I’ve followed a bad YouTube thread; my counsellor’s pregnant silence when I first shared my thoughts was telling. But I have my usual amount of marbles and I didn’t join a cult*: there are no ravings about fake moon landings or interstellar mushrooms in my future.
And, after I explained, my therapist was on board.
It turns out she’d noticed the levitating too.
I’m not suggesting gravity is subjective; that we’re in its grip beyond doubt. And while I could live without my glutes being dragged southward, I like what gravity has done with the atmosphere. In that, we have one and therefore exist.
It seems to me, though, that gravity only has us by the mostly. ** Its grip comes with wiggle room. Not enough to let you fly away, however, and that’s a damn shame. The flying dreams I had as a child were the best. Excluding initial crashes and burns. My dreams made me work to get airborne. I’d run and leap and fall repeatedly. It probably made me appreciate dream flying more. You only love what you dream work for.
I wonder if gravity is only mostly working on inanimate things too? There’s no way to tell and I can’t test my hypothesis. I can’t give my desk instructions and then interview it post-execution.
I noticed the levitating with yoga first. Maybe. Maybe it was when I was meditating. It was definitely one or the other. Or while I was in bed. I notice it there too, when I settle in to sleep. It was a relief to observe the experience during a mundane activity: I didn’t want my observations confined to “alternative” activities and thus be considered “fluffy”. Though considering the number of people involved in yoga and meditating, I’d be fluffy in a very large group.
I notice it very clearly when I cheat the “inherent dignity of meditation”. That phrase showed up in a “one true way” article about meditation. It stopped me slumping briefly; shame is a very effective tool with me. I got over it, however, because sitting up straight in a hardback chair or on the floor in lotus was not working for me. I like to be physically comfortable when I meditate and lying down in savasana (corpse pose) is certainly one way to do it.
So, there I am, lying on the ground. I think I’m connected, fully in contact with the surface. And then you breathe in and breathe out. You relax. You follow instructions and get grounded. You sink. It’s not just on the yoga matt. I find that I’m not fully down on the ground in all kinds of ways, even when I think I am. I sink into the ground, into the floor, into the chair, into the bed. There is an element of hover to my existence. We’re infinitesimally close to the ground. I’m absolutely not discounting that. We can, however, get closer to the whatever it is we’re next to. We just have to do it on purpose.
It’s like infinitesimal space is a requirement. An atom-thin skin keeping us apart. We have to be deliberate to fully connect. We can – and do – function fine in hover mode. But I like the feeling I get when I truly make contact. When I’m there, settled, breathing deep, more than just ground-adjacent. Connected. Maybe that’s why I like water so much. When you’re in water, you’re really there.
Though the ability to semi-hovering as a reality is cool too. Even if it’s measured in Planck lengths. ****
* I nearly joined a cult during my first year of university. An actual cult. It was a close thing: I was lonely and looking for something spiritual; both are issues cults promise to address. Though I’m not sure “join” is the right terminology to use when talking about cults.
** The word “mostly” is forever connected to Newt (from the 1986 film Aliens) in my mind. I hear the word and the her voice. I love that bit. ***
*** I’ve probably mentioned the bit about “Aliens” and “mostly” before. Memory is the first thing to go. Or so they say.
**** The Planck length refers to the internal architecture of particles and objects. Many other quantities that have units of length may be much shorter than the Planck length. The PL distance is 1.616255(18) ×10−35 m. That’s really small.
***** I should’ve used footnotes. This is a lot of stars.