Inverted Illusions

Today it happens yet again,

I step out of my bed and fall into the ceiling.

Or is it the floor?

The world has inverted,

and the space beyond my mind is gone.


The floor is too far now.

My legs seem endless,

gait troubled, unsure,

How long can we walk on skies,

without toppling over to the limitless?


In this carefully built world,

with the comfort of gravity,

softly sheltering us from infinity,

life isn't certain,

without the solid ground beneath my feet.


The heavens seem too close,

too limiting, too stout,

Is what defines heavens then,

abstraction and space?

The cogent structure of these roots,

allows little room for creation.


Even if I drop to my hands and knees,

the floor evades me.

While I precariously hang,

like the lizard in my dreams.


If I let go,

I won't fall,

but like you, I keep holding on,

to the familiar illusion of comfort,

when my world turns upside down.


Isn't it strange,

how height is always endless,

but depth, limited?

The same skies that seemed so far away,

seem nearer now.

The same birds that flew in abandon,

now are careful of my steps.

Is it the vision or the perspective,

that then determines the dimensions?


Help me!

I cry,

my brain aches,

for what room does retrograde have,

but to challenge our very fundamentals?

I reach out,

to grasp at the face looming below me,

but my consciousness gives out and I fall.


What an endless fall!

Right into the skies,

beyond the birds,

beyond my imperfectly luminescent moon,

beyond the slowly twinkling stars

to my darkness.

And yet,

It's familiar now,

diminishing space,

somehow makes it closer,

less threatening,

and more curious than scared,

I open my eyes,

to the endless skies above.



Upside down or inverted? We humans are blessed with sight, perception and cognition. So then reality must be quite simple to see wouldn’t it?

But as it so happens, in almost everything I write/think about, there’s a twist! We sometimes can suffer from vision inversion- literally - it can happen in certain disorders and headaches and metaphorically, can happen when undergoing internal struggles and living within the Chrysalis (or the pupa), before bursting toward growth. I recently came across this inverted vision study done by scientists almost over half a century ago, and it fascinated me!


As a child, sometimes I’d hold a mirror and spend hours angling it to see what the world would look like if I was on different planes/directions. The only thing keeping my world view constant was the ability to walk on two feet, yet the minute you bring acrobatics into the picture, the entire world view changed in a split second! And all of us were tied together by relative gravity. I also do remember the strange tingling sensation in my legs and somewhere 2 feet below my head, when I saw and tried to walk in an inverted world.


It was the same uneasy feeling that accompanies a strange, known yet unfamiliar emotion, and made me super queasy. However I could choose to stop anytime, and that added to its excitement, for control really made a difference in my ability to accept this experience and even desire it. Metaphorically though, we seldom have control over what and how we see, in our own minds.


Especially the truth, that we invert many times over to suit what we believe suits our vision. But when the vision itself turns upside down, we are as distraught as a child over a broken toy. So can we emerge out of this inversion? Maybe, if we can choose our reactions to it. The prose attempts to live through an inversion literally, and metaphorically,


Image courtesy - Inverted vision-Sommer.bar 2010 (do check out the full video on YouTube)

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