Falling makes you feel some kind of way, as my friend Mika would say. It’s a feeling of disconnecting with the ground, going from upright to stretched out flat, and then wondering what happened and if your hip is broken that lingers long after you stand up again. Falling is unnatural, uncomfortable, and overall, a brutal reminder of our mortality.
Someday, its ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
After a festival this year, my hubby and I walked behind another couple, we were equally overserved and unbalanced. We laughed and sang and danced and gasped when Ann fell to the ground. Her body tipped forward and she moved unrestrained through the air and reconnected with the ground in slow motion.
“Noooooooooo,” we yelled from behind her and grabbed the air, interrupted by a lack in depth perception and delayed response time.
Ann hit the ground with a force, and fortunately, her chin slowed the momentum of the rest of her body. The woman came to a complete stop and lay motionless on her side; red beads of blood started to form on her face and shoulder. She stared up at her partner, Mark, in disbelief. He stood over her, wide eyed and open mouthed.
We followed his eyes further down to his clumsy feet, one of which stood firmly on a black flip-flop. It was obvious, the fall was the flip-flop’s fault, clearly.
Tears blurred Ann’s eyes and she blinked hard, hoping the fat drops of salt water would disappear, reabsorb, and retract back into the depths from which they managed to escape. The sharp pain in her skinned palms and the red blood gathering on her face and the crushing disappointment in her head assured her that this was not a dream.
“You were supposed to catch me,” Ann said as she looked up at her fiancé. Her voice accused and questioned at the same as she came to terms with his lack of action. She was establishing was what real from the ground up.
She was no longer certain that this was the man she wanted to marry. The fall shook her sense of security in her uprightness and confidence in her destiny. The world felt a little less safe, less predictable; it was something she might learn to accept someday.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.