Kara Gordon

Returnings

A fortnightly letter to the people going at 100 miles an hour. We all have the things that keep us grounded: to-do lists, morning routines, communities, and rituals to keep us sane. But when things get tough, they often fall to the wayside. Here's a reminder to refuel.

The Principle of Uncertainty

We are now navigating the debris kicked up by the events that triggered the reset of August. We know something is different, and we know things should be different. We feel somehow different and some of us are manifesting big changes, but we cannot fully embrace the reality of it until we adjust on all levels, assimilating and integrating as we go.

This is how my first yoga class since coming home began and, if you’ve been keeping up, it won’t surprise you that this reading really resonated with me. August was—always is—my reset month, and this unsteadiness, this feeling of the ground shifting underneath, is something I feel more often than not. I know that for me, I’ve always been hypersensitive to even the slightest shifts, especially in my dynamics with other people. The small shifts especially get me anxious. When it’s a big shift, what’s happening and why is often obvious. But when the shifts are minute, something just feels off. You can’t explain it, when something has changed but you haven’t quite caught up to it yet. You don’t even know if you want to.

Copenhagen was on my mind for months. I can’t remember how it got there, but once it was there it wouldn’t leave, and then I had to go. He left, and I still had to go. I would go alone. I would do what I did best and I would run away and escape, if only for a week, if only for some perspective.

There are a lot of things that bother me about flying: the security lines, waking up to the nauseating smell of over-roasted coffee mixed with the stale air of the plane, cramped seats, terrible food, and babies that howl in the row behind you. But there are a lot of things I love too—the feeling of finally clearing security, the way you can silently cry at movies, ginger ale, and if you've never seen a sunset from an airplane, I have to tell you that you're missing out.

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But there’s also the feeling of being in transit, that where you left and where you are going are, in those hours, irrelevant and completely out of your control. All you can do is watch the sky and think. Even as airlines have upgraded to in-flight wifi, I still prefer those solitary hours where how I feel and what I am physically doing are in sync. Hurtling 600 miles per hour through the air, my position is at best an approximation and I am certain of this uncertainty, if nothing else. I am moving, I am changing, I am temporary.

When I landed there was sunshine and colors and fairytales that made it easy to set everything aside. I saw myself through the lens of strangers, people too far away to not be objective, although maybe not close enough to understand. I felt myself—my whole, unfiltered self—piecing the remnants of the past year back together. I had left because I needed something to mark the change. I had needed to leave so I could return to my life. You cannot see what is right in front of you, you need to stand back to see the whole picture. Not to resolve, perhaps not even to understand, but I felt that I saw where I was in Copenhagen. 

Then I remember feeling the cold beginning to seep into my legs, the wind from the North Sea whispering summer is ending, time to go home. I smelled like campfire and my black dress was dotted with ash. You can run away but you cannot run away from the monsters you hold dear. All you can do is see them, know them, and wait for them to become your friends.

I came home to September. September is the promise of a new beginning. For some of you, it’s the start of a school year or a sports season. Job postings go up, Congress goes back in session. It is the beginning of our transition into fall, the month of the fall equinox when the nights are suddenly longer than the daylight. For my fellow Leos, September is when our party stops and our work for the year truly begins. It is the time where we piece together the debris, the time where we return home, no longer untethered, slowly raveling up the lines we sent out to the universe.

My mornings are returning to normal, slow and easy. For once, I feel like I'm firing on all cylinders, fully charged. I have not picked up all of the pieces but I am beginning to see where all of this year of change has been leading me. It feels like coming home.

All my love,
Kara

 

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