Eight years ago I managed to arrange an interview with Gravity, Gravity’s Sad Story, during which he expressed a great deal of unhappiness about his negative image in the popular imagination, and the blame he so unfairly receives.
I thought about that interview while reading an Alexander Technique blog post, Using Knees as a form of Humiliation, by Maciej Kowalczyk. I’ve very much enjoyed reading Maciej’s blogs – more at The Room of Attempts – and I like like most of this one as well. Maciej brings a fresh Alexander Technique perspective into his writing.
But two sentences in the blog jumped out at me: “When I’m just thinking about standing, it is a source of pride. We are able to resist the force of gravity, we can overcome space, it is our strength.”
I just knew I needed to share that with Gravity.
He agreed to another short interview, again using an avitar to convey his words, and here’s a portion of our talk:
Me: Gravity is good to talk to you again after all these years. Before we talk about the quote, I wonder how you felt about the attention you got when the movie Gravity came out, not long after we spoke before?
Gravity: Yes I enjoyed that movie a lot! It got a lot of things right and for that I was gratified.
Me: So… Gravity, what do you think of the quote?
Gravity: (Audible sigh) Well it illustrates what I been complaining about – the idea that humans think they need to resist my force, not cooperate with it. That it’s a question of strength, not intelligence.
This is a little harsh and overstated – and I’m saying it to make a point: If just being upright for extended periods was something to be proud of, than a garden gnome would get first prize!
Me: But Gravity, we are living, dynamic creatures so surely the comparison is not fair.
Gravity: Of course, of course. My point is that objects don’t resist me and they do just fine. And humans can do just fine too if they let go of any idea of overcoming me. It’s my job to be helpful, not a challenge.
Me: I assume you’re referring to your gentle downward pull on our heads’ center of gravity – the “forward” of “forward and up” so to speak?
Gravity: Yes that certainly. But more generally that there is any reason at all to resist, or counter, my force. My job is provide a constant pull down towards the center of the earth. My friend the “strong force” has the job of keeping you on the earth’s surface. It provides an upward force (by the way, the “up” of “forward and up” in your Alexander Technique jargon) thus making it totally unnecessary for you to do any resisting in order to get my beneficial effects.
Like the other primary and secondary forces, I’m here to help, not hinder. My job is to keep you tethered to your earth, and I act on your structure in a way that allows you to be easily upright and balanced. Not to mention keeping your atmosphere from floating away and lots, lots more.
Me: So really then you just wish we had a little more respect? And understanding?
Gravity: Yes, exactly.
Me: Well you’ve certainly my respect. Thank you for taking this time to chat.
A lot more information about just how gravity and the other fundamental forces act on us can be found here: Gravity, Support and Freedom