False Gravity


    Gravity. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. The law, mind you. Meaning it cannot be broken. Ever. Sure, it can be manipulated, but it rules.

    It’s only physical, though, right? It can’t hold your mind down, can it? Keep your thoughts from staying put with you who think them? Surely, you have the power to send thoughts out which will not come back to their source. Right?

    I got to thinking about gravity the other day while putting groceries away. In a roundabout way, mind you, because at the time my mind was pounding away at me with other thoughts, culminating in a high pressure system in the middle of my forehead.

    Both kids are sick. One of them is having learning challenges at school. This kitchen is a mess. Heck, this house is a mess. I got to do some laundry today. Got to pay some bills, too, see if there’s any money left until Friday. Start my new job next week. Not sure I’m ready for that again. Thank God it’s only part time. Damn, I forgot to call mom today. Hope her chemo went well. It seems to be helping. Oh man, my back is killing me. And this world, my God, this world is enough to drive a person crazy. That story about…

    When bam, a can fell on my foot. A nice, heavy can.

    Propelled by gravity? I’m not so sure, being a strong non-believer in coincidence. Sure, once gravity took hold, the can had no choice but to fall. Yet, I didn’t drop it, and don’t really recall bumping it enough to knock it off the counter. All I recall is the pressure in my forehead, as I contemplated all these pressing issues while putting the groceries away. It’s a lonely job, putting groceries away, giving ample time for an idle mind to work.

    I tend to take moments like these as a sign. An instant karma kind of sign. Normally, I’m a peaceful guy, but even I can get distracted by the weight of the world around me. It took the can falling on me as a signal to pull my head out of the dark clouds and get back to basics. There was no one else to blame anyway, for the can or the worries. False gravity, if you will, providing me with “stuff” to distract my peace. Holding me down mentally. Truth be told, it may be a scary world out there, but here in my world it’s a big, fat fluffy cloud of peace. A dream cloud too, perhaps, but one grounded in me.

    So there I was, internally contemplating all of these cosmic issues while smiling at the symbolism of it all. Outwardly, however, I screamed like the little boy I sometimes am.

    Then, a voice from the hall, “Are you okay, Daddy?” I saw my daughter standing there with a worried look on her face.

    “Sure, honey, I’m fine. I just dropped a can on my foot, that’s all. And you know what they say about gravity, it’s not just a good idea…”

    “Yeah, yeah,” she interrupted, “I know. It’s the law,” she added as she walked away shaking her head. She stopped, looked back and said, “Can you play with me?”

    With another look around the kitchen, my final thought on the subject was, “False gravity’s getting you down, man.” I smiled and said, “Sure, honey, let’s play.”

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    Doug Crandall
    Doug Crandall is a stay-at-home dad living with his family in a suburb of the Twin Cities. Co-founder with Mike Meginn of www.Godflags.com, he is also a published poet and part-time philosopher. Doug worked for The Edge Magazine for six years during the 2000s. He can be contacted at [email protected].



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