Let’s talk about reentry.
To Work of course
Marcus’ first outings where human contact is possible (but masked) so far have been limited to coming to work with me on the weekends. No surprise as we are the “work club.”
Yesterday he helped by placing sample description labels in folders.
Our first big outing will be at an event where Marcus will be recognized for his advocacy work by our local DSA, the Building the Future Gala. He’ll give a short speech and several of our friends/family will be there.
“Oddly enough, the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there.” – @AstroMCollins, Apollo 11
— NASA History Office (@NASAhistory) April 22, 2021
Reentering the Atmosphere
When human-created objects reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, the reentry process is…tricky. There are many factors to account for, and if improperly calculated, the vehicle (and person and/or other beings inside, if applicable) burns to the ground.
Gravity enforces a natural pull to the earth and yet resistance in the very air particles cause dangerous friction.
I’m no scientist or astronaut; I just love a good metaphor.
Here we are, all facing the natural pull, friction, and dragging because of particles in the air. How to safely reenter is tricky, no doubt about it.
Moreover the friction is coming from…everywhere. How to proceed isn’t simple and, let’s be honest, every person’s vehicle is unique. The protections are not the same and burning up is not an enviable predicament.
So, just as we orbited in our own bubbles and asked for patience and grace – so do we now as well. Everyone needs to find the right speed back into the atmosphere that will put them most safely into their desired destination. Each step individually calculated.
Although attending (and speaking) at this upcoming event feels like a huge drop at top speed, we enter in with a few of our own rules as part of our “attitudinal control.” Which, in addition to being an actual thing when landing space shuttles, is also important for us to plan ahead and implement.
So, we’re setting some of our own limits, like no hugs/handshakes or eating at large gatherings, yet. And limiting our maskless visits to only with people fully vaccinated.
Pandemic Report Card
My pandemic-year-grade was a solid C-minus. We lived. Further, Marcus did not get sick or worse, need to be hospitalized. That was our immediate family’s most important priority and Thank the Universe we made it. But that mission, in addition to work, took all I had. So we passed…but just.
That said, I’m nearly as anxious about this next phase. I hope I can find the energy to proceed with a slightly better than passing grade…we’ll see.
The friction, dragging, and pulling are real.
This is not the same as other days
This is something elseIt shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
It doesn’t need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth– Snow Patrol, “Life on Earth.”
This is a three year or so old song that feels a classic to me. I shared it on my FB writing page near the beginning of the Pandemic reaching the US phase and today it feels a bit like…reentry.
Do you have a reentry plan? How’s it coming along?