Microgravity

(lin­er notes for track 3)

They speak of it
reluc­tant­ly,
the astro­nauts of few who admit
to the sen­sa­tions
and frus­tra­tions
of the first days
in weight­less­ness:

when your head feels
some­thing like
a water­mel­on with a cold,
and your low­er back feels wrenched
longer than it’s design,
and your stom­ach is doing cart­wheels
some­where in between.
when every­thing is not
where you have always
known it to be:
no up or down now,
no ceil­ing, no floor,
only walls that seem
to crash so eas­i­ly
into you.
when you try to move over there
and sud­den­ly find your­self careen­ing
in the oppo­site direc­tion…
not to men­tion the aspect of
putting things down,
(drop­ping things),
the things you seem
to need most at the moment,
and they quick­ly float away and van­ish
into air ducts and socks
and the most unex­pect­ed places.

In con­trast,
the astro­nauts of many
can­not wait, it seems, to describe
what it is that replaces
that ini­tial peri­od
of nau­sea and qui­et frus­tra­tion.
For there is a moment they speak of pas­sion­ate­ly,
a very pure and crys­talline moment,
when one sud­den­ly knows
how things are now, how to move now in micro­grav­i­ty…
they say it doesn’t hap­pen
after cal­cu­lat­ed
intel­lec­tu­al rea­son­ing, no,
but instead it hap­pens
rather sud­den­ly, sur­pris­ing­ly,
a vis­cer­al real­iza­tion
when you least expect­ed it.
Bin­go!
It’s like the light bulb went on,
and you get it!
You get it!
Sud­den­ly, you know how to do it!

From that moment on you can nev­er
get enough of micro­grav­i­ty.
For they say that
the expe­ri­ence of it
is sheer joy,
sheer ecsta­sy,
unlike any­thing you’ve ever
expe­ri­enced
on earth before.

Some astro­nauts have called it
an amaz­ing chore­og­ra­phy,
a dance, a bal­let…
for me as the com­pos­er,
in this music
it became a swirling, spin­ning,
and tri­umphant
waltz.

copy­right 2008 Anne Cabr­era

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