Lost control of breath and heart

Travel Balance

I find myself on the matt, rushed from traffic, breathless from worry. The room dims, the instructor’s voice soothes the atoms in the air. We breathe.

The class begins and we stretch, bending over yesterday’s beers and middle-age. We look up, grasping at the sky energy. We stand tall, then lean low, we breathe heavily.

I stoop in to child’s pose, catching my breath and my resting my body. The instructor, calm energy, strong voice, tells the class to rest. “If you’ve lost control of your breathing or your heart, take a minute…”

I’m fading in to my own thoughts at these words. “Lost control of your heart…” The words bounce around the vastness of my mind: a void of sorrow and contemplation. A light, dim at first, starts to shine the very edges of my thoughts. It is not just light, it is the sun. Hope washes over the cobwebs of winter, of poor choices, of indecision. Memories of a being a child, hopeful and independent, of a girl in Germany, of a strong spirit rush back in the void’s space. Suddenly I am strong for the first time in months.

I sit now in a hippie coffee shop. It’s the kind of coffee shop you’d go to after having an epiphany at yoga. I sit across a college girl with her hair in a woolen cap. A grandmother sits near us sipping her latte and writing on twitter. The walls are adorned with swirls of abstract art, most likely a result of a night of cocaine and vodka. I’m high just staring at them.

This space, the hippie place, the women on their laptops, the older gentlemen who just hugged a hello near the cash register: this is a place as familiar as years. I do not know a single person I’ve talked to today but we share this space, this energy, and a collective memory.

I’m heading to Nuremberg again on Saturday. This may very well be the single biggest goal I’ve had since I turned seven: Living in Germany. I will be there for a few weeks at this time with an apartment and a bike. I will live like a local without knowing the language. I will walk to work, greet my co-workers with “Guten Morgan” and I will find my way through the market to purchase cheese and meat and wine. I will be alone.

I was recently told by someone close to me that independence is often misunderstood loneliness. Perhaps this is true. Today I find myself alone in a crowd of strangers, all of us breathing together or working together or sharing the mind-numbing art. I understand their language. It is familiar. It is comforting.

Without that comfort I will be isolated. But there are some dreams that make no sense, aside from longevity and a child’s idealistic mind. I go and show my own children how to capture life. They plan Skype chats, videos, and a possible trip to come see my apartment in Germany as well. My children will experience a world I coveted. They will walk to the market with me and pick out the meats and cheese and we will listen on the playground as German children run past my American youngins. I couldn’t be more excited, more petrified, more grateful. In this way I have lost control of my heart. The emotions that ruled the past half year or more come to a climax: Life, isn’t it funny? Because if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.


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