So Many Ways To Fall


Standing upright leaves precious few options. It’s only there, balanced just so, that you exist.

So many ways to fall

But beyond what’s plumb there is also: lean left or right, back or forth, or slip on ice, miss a step, trip on a boot, and blunder here and here. And also here.

So many ways to fall

To be unbalanced seems more natural than not. To suddenly shift weight — to lose the element of control, is effortless.

So many ways to fall

And you fight to stay steady, to keep your head, as they say – which is heaviest after all  — from moving out in front or too far behind, so that it catches gravity, and then gravity does the rest.

So many ways to fall

You call the imbalance irresistible, and you go where one is not supposed to go, to be where one ought not.

So many ways to fall

And soon you find yourself – for no good compensation – contemplating losing in an instant, what moments before, you held in your grasp.

So many ways to fall

And those things, you’ve collected with patience, through time and with teeth gritted and sweat on your brow, they all come tumbling.

So many ways to fall

Un-strong, you reach out your arms to take hold of that which is not yours. And you became too heavy on top…

And what do you say to the ones who looked up – until now – with respect; staring incredulous, with eyes moist and red?

How can it be that balance was lost, and for what?

“It was for no reward,” you one day concede, but for strength’s lack alone.

So many ways to fall




One thought on “So Many Ways To Fall

  1. It is our fear of falling that preoccupies us, holding sway over how falling is defined, casting it in the shadows as*other*. It is a fear that unsteadies the hand, altering the gate, averting our gaze from the possible horizon to our obsession with the distance we are from the floor. As if it were its own iteration of Stockholm syndrome, we capitulate to this unseen hand of gravity – filled with a consuming dread over the unraveling consequence that falling portends.

    But what if falling isn’t *other* at all? What if it were its own form of flight? What if it wasn’t a measurement of our failure, but was a more circuitous path – a more scenic view of our lives? What if for every way there was of falling, there were innumerable ways of getting back up – filled with their own stories to tell? Would this not be a truer way of understanding balance?

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