All I know about gravity, is it’s some invisible force that keeps us from floating off into space. I suppose someday we’ll figure out that it’s something to do with mass and speed and motion and density…or some hamster running on an eternal wheel spinning us around the sun, or jibbers crabst might have something to do with it. Hail Jibbers! Or maybe gravity is just there to keep us from flying.
Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t know.
“Most gravity has no known origin. Is it some exotic particle? Nobody knows. Is dark energy responsible for expansion of the universe? Nobody knows. ” Neil deGrasse Tyson
And all I know about infinity I learned by looking at a star-filled sky in the Arizona desert. Stars and stars and stars. A friend says he had a vision in the desert. It was a good story about saguaros who saved him from falling off a mountainside. Gravity could’ve killed him, if not for the saguaros. I’m not sure what was altering his normal vision, but I can’t say it did him any harm.
I suppose the only response to being tied down by gravity is to rebel against it, to dream of flying and to look to the stars, or math, or myth, or something beyond what’s immediate in this messy, messy planet we’re living on. Or maybe to imagine a different world, to turn to surrealism….Art.
Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali. — Salvador Dali
I want to be Dali! What an incredible mustache! Talk about visionary.
“A visionary, vision is scary, could start a revolution, polluting the air waves” -Eminem
A vision is scary. Were you still in Phoenix when the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in yucca branches? I think there were large crowds that gathered. The branches were stolen before I could get there the next morning. I mean, what kind of vision would just let herself get stolen before I could see her? But there we digress into myth. But I really like myth.
Maybe attaining vision just takes practice. When I taught, I had my students write 50 lines about an object. It was my favorite “writing exercise” because by the 10th line they were forced to imagine something just to fill up the other 40 lines. Staplers became metallic whales, paperclips became little machetes. I say “when I taught” but I should say when I taught as an adjunct with no benefits and no support and no one to show me anything…. while raising three young children. Totally wonderful and terrible.
Have I mentioned, grey hair is really a sign of wisdom?
So really though, I guess I’m not clear where you draw the line with vision and The Imagined or The Other. Doesn’t that sound literary? I could’ve just said “what you imagine.”
The image of actual misty clouds in an unfinished church is a beautiful image. The viewer is taken to something 3D, or magical realism, or the natural world as miracle…
Isn’t recognizing those clouds something of a vision? Isn’t imagining the thoughts of someone who lived a hundred years ago, isn’t that some sort of visionary practice? Maybe to have vision we have to do a Jim Morrison road trip sort of deal…George Harrison tried to get there by meditating, which sounds wicked boring and drove Patty Boyd crazy, and also seems way too monk-like. Not ready to be a monk. Let’s go with Marilyn Monroe.
“I defy gravity.” – Marilyn Monroe
I was thinking about tossing a lot of stuff with the New Year too, it’s better to travel light as you say. I mean monks get by without any possessions, right? It must make things much simpler and clearer. Clarity, intentions, vision….sounds good. As long as one has food, clothing and shelter, and poker games to go to. Wait, monks probably aren’t playing poker. Damnit. I had it there for a second.
Mentally I’ve already tossed out most of the people who make me crazy, or at least made their insanity more manageable to me somehow. Being lonely is terrible, but if one tries it’s easy to learn new habits. Like doing all the stuff you said you’d do if you had the time. Russian proverb: друзья воры времени “friends are the thieves of time.”
The only good piece of advice I’ve pretty much EVER received (except of course from my mom) was from a call-in radio show. Yes, seriously, a call-in radio show. Maya Angelou was on the phone, and I knew she had many children and still found time to write. I was able to get through and I asked her how she did it. How she could write and raise kids. She said she had to learn to say “no thank you. ” And then she said, “Not just no, but no thank you.” .
I am having trouble discarding things, so I made a list. But I relapsed a little. I still have stuff that I should never have bought. A pasta maker I’ve used once, a couple hundred poetry books. I’m OK with it for the time being– my daughter pointed out to me that creature comforts are important. God though, wouldn’t it be nice to just have a yurt and a camel and a million stars.
Or at least a car and a cabin and a fireplace.
Here’s the list anyway.
Things to discard:
Things that make you unhappy.
What you do not love.
What you can’t learn from.
What is too broken.
What spins wildly out of control
What endangers you.
What steals your time.
What takes your energy.
What others might find more useful.
What you find boring.
Things to keep, for awhile anyway:
What you’re obsessed with.
What makes you smile.
What you’re unsure about.
What you can’t replace.
What will change you for the better.
Things that are interesting.
response to Gravity