A measure of mass times gravity. An element of work over time. The burdens we bear of remembering history, of ‘Never Forget’ing.
There’s an image in my head from a Capitol. One of those pillars next to the big stairs, a girl sitting on the edge there, her scissored heels drumming the granite. I can tell from down the street that she is young, not by her height, but the way she is sitting, and her energy. She is my freshmen year friends skipping across campus, my junior year welcoming the freshmen, my job as a teacher, the friend everyone (still) calls goofy. Some people in this world just… stay… unburdened.
For three years I’ve been training in professional wrestling, and for some of that time in parkour. I’ve watched folks twice my size move with grace, three hundred pound linemen with agility, and felt comparatively heavy. I’ve had them land on me from fifteen feet high, all the time being… light. I’ve seen the dour looks on faces of coworkers, zombies walking aisles in the grocery. I’ve been excitedly giddy to test drive a car only to have the sales person ground me with their gravity. I have felt myself get bloated, and slow, and heavy.
Weight. A measure of what we injest minus what we burn plus what we excrete, of what we shoulder versus what we surrender, of responsibility compared to capacity, of our incomes versus our mortgages, of how much we worry about the ones we love, and our own death, and the collapse of the world. All that we have can fall away. Will fall away.
This day is going to fail your ideals. Days that dissapoint pile, one by one, on top of us. We can’t forget or release. We walk around constipated with expectation. Advertisements claim you can get out from under by getting something new and doing something new. We vacation and dread coming back. Our stuff is there. Our doing is there. The way to get out is less, less of everything.
I could tell she wasn’t one of the adults concealing herself, scarfing down lunch, holding it in, sitting cross legged with her hands clenched, arm across her belly, trudging to and from work , touching each step deliberately, hiding our resumes from ourselves.
This month has been a cleansing of toxins. Not by adding any product, but by removing. And by moving. And by excreting. I am lighter in the ring. Less irritable at home. I skip a little. I make goofy noises when driving (when driving alone). I jump on top of things and drum and swing my feet. It’s not all defense and agony. It doesn’t have to be. Not… so much… weight.