Tunnel Teachings

The Detroit International Airport seems to be the connecting airport for all of Delta Airlines flight paths.  Or so it seems, because every flight I’ve taken in the last year has passed through Detroit.

Connecting from A terminal to the C terminal you have to pass through this long, cavernous underground tunnel.  This tunnel is a marvel.  An arching, shimmering, watery display of frosted glass and lights.  A spectral portal that is complete with accommodating New Age music.  It’s Aurora Borealis-like undulations promise no less than total, if not magical, transformation.  A metaphor personified.  As if the Detroit Airport was trying to say, “When passing from point A to point C, don’t forget that B should be a magical experience.”  (Subliminal message to calm the nerves of over-anxious plane passengers?)  That, while riding on the moving sidewalk like a sci-fi character in Tron, you might enter that tunnel as one thing and exit something completely different altogether.

The first time I experienced this airport attraction, I was embarking on a terrifying and exciting journey into the unknown waters of self-discovery and transformation.  On my way to Brazil for a one-month intensive yoga teacher training and then continuing on to my first-ever travel experience around Central America for three months.  So the metaphorical meaning hit me with allegorical awe as I passed through this gateway the first time.  I mean, the symbolism hit me so hard back then that I had to stop and gawk and stare and cry.  Because deep down I sensed that I would be different than at the end of that trip than at the beginning.  And I was.  I really, really was.

Eight months later I find myself smiling with nostalgia and whimsy as, here I am again, in the Detroit Airport, passing from terminal A to terminal C in a trippy underground tunnel about to embark on another adventure into the unknown.  My smile has a bit more wisdom around the edges, a hint of confidence tinged with the all-knowing assurance of gently-used naiveté.  A knowledge, grounded in experience that, if you open yourself up to change, you will change.  Not much of a mystery.  Although, nonetheless, the frenetic butterflies in my belly are an all-too familiar feeling.

I got the job.

The job I wanted teaching yoga full-time at a Moksha studio in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.   The job I was just complaining about being held out of my reach like a taunting, teasing sibling.  Perhaps I should cultivate a bit more patience in my life and stop acting like an impetuous child throwing a tantrum the minute she doesn’t get a cookie?

It is with a modicum of embarrassment that I admit I had to Google the exact location of Kentucky before I took the job.  I mean, how is it possible that I will be teaching in both Cincinnati and Kentucky?  Kentucky’s down South-ish, right?  And Cincinnati is somewhere around the Great Lakes….or maybe Toronto?  And why is that part of the country called the Midwest, when clearly if one divides North America in two, it is in the East?

I digress.

I took a job teaching yoga in Northern Kentucky.  Rent-free living, paid transportation and full-time work of teaching 2-3 hot yoga classes 6 days a week for 6 weeks in the horse and bourbon capital of North America.  Great except for one small detail:  I’m don’t think I’m ready for this.

I mean, sure, I’ve taught some yoga classes.  I have a little piece of paper that says I did my training but I’m not sure I actually consider myself a yoga instructor.

And as I look out another teeny-tiny plane window at a sinking sun on an expanding horizon line, I’m wondering if maybe I could fashion a parachute out of all the barf-bags on the plane and just get the hell out of here.

I am calmed only by the wisdom from previous experience:

I am here.  This is happening.  And everything is as it should be.

And hopefully, like the unspoken promise of the Detroit airport tunnel, I can be transformed by the ride.  I can emerge something different altogether.  Maybe, just maybe, I will emerge a yoga teacher.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea Keener
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 23:40:07

    Dear Jen,
    Welcome to the Midwest – which is the western middle of the eastern half of the United States. Where your Aunt (which would be moi) and Uncle live – in what would be the northern-ish portion of that western middle. You will be living in the much more prosperous, warm and beautiful southern-ish half of the western middle. Enuf! Anyway, this is your official invititation to come visit “family” anytime you have the time or inclination after you are settled in. Have loved reading your blog so far, living vicariously through your travels in Central and South America, and seeing the growth you sometimes doubt you have done. Congratulations on your Dream Job — you are going to do, and be, just fine!
    Love & Hugs, your Aunt Andrea


  2. Kathy@BlueAntlerStudio
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 00:01:18

    I would also like to welcome you to Kentucky, my home state. While I have lived in Florida with my husband and children for more than thirty years, I escape often to my studio, Blue Antler Studio, and our cabin on the ridge. It’s where I store my childhood memories: It’s where I go to be with family and friends and to escape the heat of Florida: It’s where I go to be inspired and where kindred spirits gather to create and live life on the creative side. There may be sand in my shoes but Kentucky clay clings to my soul. Maybe I’ll see you in a yoga class.


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