To Feel the Weight of Gravity As Nothing But the Wind

What if we’ve done everything we’re here to do? Thoughts from a canal in Osaka, Japan

Vincent Van Patten
3 min readFeb 2, 2023


Osaka, Japan. Photo by the author.

Has the gravity diminished?

The moon’s above, veiled in passing clouds; a seam runs through the sky, half blue, half pink; a canvas for the strokes, the depth, the wisps of paint that are the city moving.

I guess I still can’t grasp it — this prismatic shimmering of color and emotion.

Naw, I can’t.

This canal takes my breath away. What better thing is there to do than watch the day change.

What is home, then; I feel comfortable, for the gravity doesn’t pin me down. It causes me to feel the sky, to notice it in questioning. That helps me understand.

To feel something, anything at all means we’re here; life can always change if we embrace those feelings. Let them come.

My spirit drifts standing on this bridge, observing this time of day when the two facets of existence meld into one.

Water and fire, the flowing stream of day and the warmth that is the darkness falling — night — together to inspire incandescent light, deepening color.

And maybe, at the time of day when the world seems so intensely beautiful no matter where we stand, we’re given courage.

The sun sets and nothing else matters but the soul held in our hand; nothing’s so eternal as the words I long to say.

I feel it. The love rising through my being as the sun goes down.

Everything will be okay.

Flowers need both sun and rain to grow… maybe we do too.

Highs and lows, day and night, growth from pain. There’s meaning in the darkness.

Friends pass and laugh, some stop and take a photo.

Life goes on.

Night comes.

Life beautifully continues.

What if we’ve done everything in this world we need to do?

What if there’s nothing out there which would make us whole, nothing that we need to accomplish to feel complete, worthy, loved.

No success could validate what I feel in my heart, standing on this bridge, lost in the clouds in the sky, needing nothing but the next breath to be fulfilled.

Maybe then we’d create, we’d do, we’d move forth not to prove to ourselves or to others. We’d create from an overflowing cup, because to do is what sustains us, not what drains us.

We’d create because it’s why we’re here on earth.

We’d feel the weight of gravity as nothing but the chilling wind.

Not a pressure, worry or angst, but a reason to stop, look around and smile. Perhaps as a reason to grab someone to hold.

The fog lifts from my eyes, and at this moment in the waning day, I see life for what it is.

On these strangers’ faces, I recognize the light within us all.

This story is part of my weekly newsletter, Citoyens du Monde, sent out every Friday morn. Check it out to take part in the journey.🚀



Vincent Van Patten

Exploring what lights my soul on fire ❤️‍🔥 Living in Japan. For my writing, podcast, photography and more, check out