danie gomez ortigoza journey of a braid equilibrium black tule hair down

On balance, and vertigo

Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’, must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No. Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It’s the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us. It is the desire to fall, against which terrified, we defend ourselves.

– Milan Kundera

In Sweden, where I lived for three years, there’s a word that doesn’t exist in any other language: lagom. It means sort of ‘in-between’: not too good, not too bad. They use it all the time, which speaks a lot about their culture.

It has stuck with me through the years. The closest equivalent in English could be ‘balance’.

Balance is a constant movement in and out of equilibrium, and an eternal search for unattainable perfection. No matter how hard you wish to succeed, you only move constantly in and out. As soon as you attain balance you lose it. Try to hold on to it, and you will fall. We are tightrope-walking all the time invaded by vertigo.

Sometimes, when we let go, we dive into contrast. Perhaps it’s out of curiosity; perhaps it’s your internal compass having a say.

Overcome by vertigo, we fall. Falling can be seen as a mistake, but isn’t the line too thin to judge? Isn’t resistance too much of a struggle?

In regaining balance you learn to be happy to be sad, and sad with happiness.

And even when it’s often hard to understand your choices in life, all that’s left is believing in the vision that was placed inside of you.

Your journey is your own.

Pictures by Celia D Luna

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