I’m aware of the benefits of gravity. It keeps our globe spinning around the sun, and the moon tethered to our nights. I can appreciate being able to eat a potato chip without it floating out of my hand, drifting to catch it with my open mouth like an astronaut. I do like being able to walk with some predictability.
But black holes are frighteningly gravitational.
So is aging.
Poverty has an overwhelming gravitational pull. Grieving, though it is ultimately freeing, can hold your head down against a pillow for days on end. The weight of the world can crush a soul. And the word “no” can drag a single soaring idea crashing to the ground.
Gravity. From the Latin, gravis, heavy. And the Old French–my ancestors–took gravitas, seriously. Solemnity. Weighty trouble. Unlike so many words down through the ages, gravity has changed little in its meaning or connotation. It is gravely weighted in its own gravity.
I want to dance, leap, flex my muscles, run, but mostly dance …and preferably dance madly backwards. I want to lift up, inspire, free Atlas before someone else lets him shrug. I want to say, “Yes, yes, yes! Do that!” I need weightlessness, lighter angels at my shoulder, better angels of my nature, whispering kindnesses in my ear.
And wings. Wings would be good.