Living in zero gravity
I tried to describe the surreal feeling about living in today’s world – a world where truth is mostly ignored, where life comes in tiny fragments, where nothing seems real, where you feel like you need lead-soled boots to keep grounded and a compass to show you which way is north. Then, it hit me. It is very much like living in zero gravity. There is no direction, there is no ground, and it’s not entirely real. This is still the third rock from the sun and Newtonian laws still apply. I remember reading about astronauts living in space and how disorienting that was for them at the beginning. But then, they came up with all kinds of mental and physical tricks to get some grasp on the reality they were living in – weights around wrists and ankles when they exercised, swallowing the toothpaste.
You see, they were only there for short periods of times and they knew that was going to be that way – things will not be normal. They trained for months and years before they made it into space and started floating around in the Internal Space Station or the Space Shuttles. They had a very specific purpose and lots of scientific experiments they ran (they, too, were part of experiments). All these were voluntary missions with volunteers who knew precisely what they were getting into for a limited period of time.
The one I’m talking about is everyday life. No opt-out box to check. No training. No instructions. And no way of knowing what experiments you will be forming or be formed on. So, what are we supposed to do?
Well, what the human race has always done: adapt. Learn to float in zero G and orient yourself by other things than compass or someone else’s sense of direction. Enjoy the ability to do somersaults in the air without worrying about getting hurt. Drink your water drop by drop going up. Come up with new things to build, do, create. Leverage the unusual angle from which you can observe the world around you. You’ll find it much more interesting than it is from where you stand – feet firmly planted on the ground – now. Remember that floating through the air covers much longer distances than walking. Let go of the fear of the unknown. If you barf – there are barf bags you can use – but don’t worry, that will quickly go away when you see beauty you’ve never seen before.
Is it scary? Yes. Is it unknowable? Very much so. Is it unpredictable? For sure. But from that vantage point, you can much easier navigate the winding path, discern truths from lies, and forge your own – much shorter, more enjoyable – way.
Go ahead. Have your feet firmly planted in midair.