Thought Catalog

Everything Is Falling

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‘Fall if you will, but rise you must.’
–James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
fall1
U.S. National Archives

I fell the other day. You’ll fall too. Everything falls. The Roman Empire fell. The 18th Amendment fell. The Papacy fell in the 14th century. The Austro-Hungarian Empire? It fell. The Romanovs fell. British seapower fell. I’ve been reading a lot of history books lately.

We all fall, in the end. My mom fell and broke her hip. My dad fell with cancer. Everything is going to fall.

I fell quite literally the other day. I was walking down the street to the store. And then I fell. I didn’t trip. Nothing happened. I just fell for no reason. One second I was walking, and the next second, I was splayed flat on the sidewalk. It didn’t hurt for some reason, though I could have quite easily broken my nose or something. It made no sense. I went from vertical to horizontal in no seconds flat. It was one of the weirder things that had happened to me. “Wha?” I said. Like that:  Wha? I got up and dusted my knees. It was one of the more embarrassing things that had happened. The street was fairly deserted. I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed. No one had.

Everything falls.

Falling, falling, everything is falling.

Satan fell from the crystal piers of heaven. Adam and Eve fell. The Dodo fell. Martin Luther fell. Fascism fell. Racism falls, or is falling, slowly. Sexism. But also the things you love will fall too. Everything will fall down.

Fall if you will, but rise you must,” James Joyce says. Well, we can try, at least. Fall down. Pick yourself up and dust off your knees. Do it better. Do it again. TC mark

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Cut yourself some slack. One of the biggest regrets most people have about their 20s is that they didn’t enjoy them more. And I’m not talking about “buy more expensive dinners, take another trip to Thailand” type of enjoyment. I mean having the ability to take a deep breath and sip coffee in the morning knowing that you have done, and are doing, your best.

“These essays are slowly changing my life, as the title promises. As my friends’ birthday come along, they will all be receiving a copy of this wonderful book.” – Janie

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