When you have been light enough to live up in the air…

Why does “up” sound positive and “up in the air” negative?

“Up in the air” is a metaphor for a life lived lightly. It implies the absence of concrete weight that pulls you down to earth, the abundance of space and breathing room found in the open air. “Up in the air” is the freedom of not belonging anywhere, the absence of unnecessary responsibilities. No risk of suffocation. “Up in the air” can also mean just that, hanging in space, neither here nor there. If you are able to stay there, it can be nice. If you have to come down, it can be difficult. Because if you have been light enough to live up in the air, coming down means you are now heavy.
Is “up” always positive and “down” always negative? Watching the film, I never made up my mind which way I wanted the character to go.

  • kleitia

    Nje citim i marre nga libri i Kunderes “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” qe eshte shume i ngjashem me komentin tend per lehtesine dhe peshen si “pozitive” e “negative apo vice versa…

    “The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins
    us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be
    weighed down by the man’s body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore
    simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier
    the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and
    truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes
    man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the
    earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as
    free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or
    lightness?”

    • joravaso

      Yes!
      You made me recall one of my favorite passages of the book. It’s a great dilemma and one that, it seems, always results in a question.

  • WWH

    yes, nice movie, “loyalty ain’t a cheap think!” and kill your 9 to 5 before it kills you!