I saw this short film "Headway" with Louis Boniface recently.
I think it's beautiful.
Falling is such a fundamental part of life, isn't it?
When we're children we learn to walk by repeatedly falling over and getting up again. There's no shame attached to falling as a child. It happens. Gravity, feet that are too big for our little bodies, and spending a lot of time literally spinning in circles, mean that as children, we find ourselves intimately acquainted with losing our balance and hitting the floor.
As adults, falling isn't a part of our everyday existence. Generally, folk aren't keeling over in droves as they head through town (Saturday nights excluded). Shame seems to have attached itself to falling by the time we consider ourselves grown up, and it somehow means we've failed if we fall. Both in the literal sense (running for the bus and tripping over the paving slab in front of more people than you can waggle a stick at) and the metaphorical sense (losing all your savings in a bad investment).*
*neither of these things has ever happened to me, although I did do a very impressive fall down a spiral staircase in a very crowded nightclub back in the 90's, and managed a somewhat flouncy recovery into the bar after dismounting the bottom step (there may have been a smattering of applause)
After watching this video, I've been thinking a lot about falling as a metaphor for Life and what we make it mean about ourselves if we do fall. As if somehow our worst beliefs about ourselves are true if we make a mistake, lose our balance, stumble, get knocked down by Life.
No matter how many times we fall, we are still a beautiful combination of strength, and vulnerability. Tenacity and tiredness. Open-heartedness and fear. Creativity and compassion.
I watch Louis Boniface fall in this film and see how he turns every loss of control into something graceful and beautiful.
Maybe, when Life sends something unexpected, and we start to lose our balance, instead of tensing and clinging on, if we can allow ourselves to relax into the falling, stretch into the freedom of it, perhaps we can find ourselves flowing with Life a little more rather than fighting it.
Losing control and falling aren't the worst things that can happen to us.
We all fall. Life happens. We haven't failed if we fall.
There can be great beauty in the falling and then choosing to get up again.