Have You Ever Felt as if the World Were Backward and Upside Down?

?drawkcab saw dlrow ruoy fi sa tlef reve uoy evaH

Hɐʌǝ ʎon ǝʌǝɹ ɟǝlʇ ɐs ıɟ ʎonɹ ʍoɹlp ʍɐs ndsıpǝ poʍu¿

¿uʍop ǝpısdn puɐ pɹɐʍʞɔɐq ɥʇoq sɐʍ plɹoʍ ɹnoʎ ɟı sɐ ʇlǝɟ ɹǝʌǝ noʎ ǝʌɐH

At times, we’ve all felt as if the world was backward and upside down, felt as if we needed to stand on our heads to make sense of life. In truth, the world is upside down all the time, or at least half of it is, though I doubt anyone knows which half is upright and which half is upside down. Does space have an orientation? Is there a top and a bottom? A right and a left? An east and a west? We know the east is where our sun rises (at least, that’s what we’ve been taught) but in space, with no rising suns, with not much of anything in fact, is there an east?

We live on a small ball, careening around in space, twirling and tumbling at unimaginable speeds. And yet, for the most part, we manage to deal with each sluggish day as it comes without a thought to our precarious situation. Some days, we feel as if we are on top of the world even when there’s nothing to prove to ourselves that we are on top. Other days, by definition, we have to be at the bottom of the world because, in a globe situation, there is no way for everyone to be on top all the time.

There are some things one cannot make sense of, even when you and the world are both upright. Electrons, for example. We live in an electronic world, with billions of electrons careening around in mostly empty space (hmmm. Too obvious a metaphor, perhaps?). Or maybe there is only one electron zinging around so fast it creates the whole shebang. (Not my idea about there being a single electron, though with the way my mind is working tonight, it might as well be. As for shebang — that’s something no one seems to be able to make sense of — apparently it appeared out of nowhere like the big bang.)

Now, don’t you feel so much better about your problems? Life may not always make sense, but it muddles along whether we understand it or not.

2 Responses to “Have You Ever Felt as if the World Were Backward and Upside Down?”

  1. sandy Says:

    Hmmmmmmmm can’t say I thought of it that way but I do find it overly crowded, overly noisey and now with all the new technology, overly confusing. Living in a city was never an ideal situation for me but if I lived near a park where I could lose myself among the trees along a lake preferably with geese and ducks, some bit of wilderness, I could feel better. Now I’m living in the mtns I’ve become increasingly agoraphobic and when I go to the city (Boulder or Denver) I get seriously anxious thinking about it even though I’ve done it safely many times. The whole cyberworld thing has me so distressed I want to give up on trying to find my way around it. So you are saying just let this world muddle along and not worry about trying to understand it or fit into it?

  2. Pat Bertram Says:

    Sandy, I don’t do well in cities, either. The best thing about my current living situation is that I’m within walking distance of a desert. I dread the day I have to go back to urban living with no wilderness nearby. I dread even more moving to an apartment with people living on top of me, on all sides, and below me. Mostly, I dread having to deal with all that noise. But maybe something will intervene to keep that from happening.

    As for the ideas in this article, I was mostly playing, but the truth is, we as humans need to try to make sense of life, the universe, the world, but nothing out there needs us to make sense of it. It exists without our volition, without our thinking about it, without our understanding. I find that comforting since I can make little sense of life (and death). So maybe I am saying to just let this world muddle along and not worry about trying to understand it or fit into it. I’ve certainly never found a way to fit except in a round hole/square peg sort of way. And whether or not I fit into the world affects it not at all.

    Except for the frustrations of all the bleeping ads, browsers that work too slowly, and sites that change beyond what I want from them, I find comfort in the electronic world. I turn off the sound so all I hear is the click of my fingers on the keyboard and the fan of my computer. It is here that I find friends, companionship, and ideas. And that is worth all the frustrations.

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