I like lying backwards on my backyard lounger when it’s in its upright position. I twist around so my feet are where my head should be and my head is where my feet should be. If you still can’t picture what I’m describing, picture this: me lying on my back, the soles of my feet facing the sky. It’s a bastardization of the restorative yoga pose, Viparita Karani. It’s also called, as I just discovered when GoogIing how to spell Viparita Karani, leg draining, which sounds kind of gross. And not fun to do.
But it’s not gross. It is, in fact, extremely relaxing. And yes, I suppose the blood is draining out my feet and back into my heart; and yes, I suppose that is good for my circulation, but that’s not why I do it. I like looking at the sky.
It’s amazing what goes on in the sky. First of all, the clouds! Be they phantom wisps, or cottony mountains, the way clouds reveal the air currents never fails to entertain. And at night when the stars are out, wow, it’s like front row seats to the greatest show on Earth. Only it’s even bigger than the earth. It’s the universe! What’s out there, I wonder. And who? And are they as ridiculous as human beings?
Looking up at the sky reminds me that I am but “a micro-speck on the speck-ship Earth”, as Jane Wagner so aptly put it in “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”, a truth from which I derive much comfort. Knowing that any second a rogue meteor or sudden bolt of lightning could take me out kinda puts things in perspective, makes me feel all carpe diem, which my Latin scholar friend, Maria, recently told me translates not so much as seize the day but as pluck the day, which somehow I like even better.
I also like looking at things that fly. Birds especially. I like thinking about where they’re going in such a hurry. And about how they used to be dinosaurs! Makes me wonder about our own imminent evolution. As we continue to use up our resources, will we just get tinier and tinier? Will we start migrating? Flying?
Yesterday, as I lay on my back in the lounger, I saw a lone Mylar balloon dancing its way up higher and higher. Now, I know that environmentally this is not such a good thing. Helium balloons litter where they land. They kill countless animals. They cause power outages. If you don’t believe me, check out the website Balloons Blow… Still, watching that sole balloon rising ever upward into the sky, into the universe, I couldn’t help but to see it as a kind of distress signal, meandering up into the sky, calling to whomever is out there, Help! We’re making a mess of it down here! Help! Help! And with that thought, I wished it well.
Oh, and my latest novel is coming out in June. Published by Bold Strokes Books. I hope you’ll check it out.
Top photo of balloons by Luca Upper curtesy of Unsplash