How did I get to this?
It’s fairly easy, once you get the hang of it.
You find something first to cushion your head, a small pillow or a rolled up blanket, and then find a spot close to the wall. Nopw slowly, maybe ceremoniously, place your head on that cushion, have your arms and hands in square angles from your shoulders to support your neck, and raise your lower body up, and ease yourself into an upside down position, while relocationg strtain from your neck to your arms, hands and elbows. Wait a few minutes to settle and adjust to a more comfortable position.
Of course to some, being upside down is not comfortable at all.
But I find it the point for the act. You see the world in literally a different perspective, where all the things within your peripheral and stereoscopic vision is backwards. I, for one, saw that I’m lousy at house cleaning, seeing those corners that need sweeping and dust gardens growing under my workstation and that wooden couch-turned-bed of mine. The arms take up most of my weight, and that weight, mind you is obviously a little bit off the scale. A sort of exercise wherein your body acts and moves to maintain balance, the legs, finding no ground beneath it, reach up, hips and torso working subtly to keep the whole skeletal structure aligned. And the heart, thankfully, is still where it is supposed to be and keeps on pumping blood, and may have to adjust pressure and rhythm for the arteries to take the plasma way up to my toes, however confusing the brain may have felt, faced with a unit that is strategically built for a different orientation, but nevertheless is in a stationary state so the commands for all bodily functions – breathing, cellular replacements, blood flow and digestion seem to adapt to the current right-side up is down situation. And then, when you finally get your bearings, try to do this, a little bit farther from the wall, and let the body and mind take over the responsibilty of keeping you balanced. Don’t go gung-ho. Just a little bit at a time. The disorientation and cluelesness ia always present in the few minutes.
Like waking up blind with the house on fire.
Well that may be a little extreme, considering I have never woken up in a house being consumed by flames, and if that actually happened, and I’m blind, I probably would last about, oh, say 5 minutes. That, or I suffocate.
The disorientation with being upside down is actually a welcome experience, specially in the mornings. I play music, heavy metal, jazz, maybe some 80s pop, or play some tv episodes. I love these songs or tv shows by heart, but hearing or seeing them in an upside down state just makes it more interesting. I do this so I can forget about looking at that upside down clock trying to figure how long I’ve been at it. The number of songs determine the duration, or at the longest a single 45-minute episode of Elementary or Third Watch, which at the end of it, leaves my arms and shoulders almost numb. What’s surprising is the neck, of which throughout the act, is quite resilient, just a bit of stiffness after I decided I have had enough for today.
And you will find it’s a kind of meditation once you are in the groove.
And then in slow, deliberate actions, I bend my knees, the back arcs, and in counts I plant my feet on the floor and relieve my upper body of all that gravity and stand for a couple of minutes just savoring the re-orientation.
The world is back to it’s normal abnormalities. I make coffee, look up some old notes, read the news online, smoke a stick. . . .
It’s as if, the only reminder that I was in a backward, uncomfortable state was the stiffness of my arms and a small discomforting kink at the small of my back.
And it is a new day again.
“Have you ever had more
than one thought in your mind?
Do you ever know?
Further than your own kind.
You say you’re living in a world turned upside down?
No, you’re just hangin’ around
waiting for someone to rescue you . .”
[Gratitudes to Dr. Reg Banda for inavertedly leading me to this practice of topsy-turviness]