Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There is so much to write about, and yet words fail me. Or ideas fail me. So I have not written. I have started posts, then put them aside and left them to germinate into inspiration for me to write. Which they did not do. They simply sat there looking at me, waiting for me to complete the thoughts I started.

I have had a landslide of sadness these past 6 weeks or so, along with a healthy side of worry and concern. The death of two people near and dear to me, mixed up with health scares of others near and dear to me, has put me in a funk. And tango has been a precious release for me. I have not thought about technique, I have not thought about position, posture or pointing my toes. I have simply tried to find bliss is the moment. And it has helped.

At a practica recently, I became very vehement against trying something that I did not believe would help the issue at hand. And I got mad. Really mad. And I realize now that it was because I did not want to analyze who was doing what wrong, I wanted to dance and connect. I did not want to find fault. Or look at what was wrong. I wanted to look at what was right. I wanted to feel better. If I had known that at the time, I could have verbalized it. But all I knew was that I did not want to hear what was wrong with me. Even though that was not what was being said.

This past weekend we went to NYC despite my having to be back on Monday for another funeral. Actually, we went because of my having to be back on Monday for another funeral. I lost my grief dancing. I was selfish, I did not accept any dances I did not want to have, and I also did not get to dance with everyone that I wanted to. But I found escape that night, which was what I needed. And then the next morning, sitting around the breakfast table with friends, eating french toast, nectarines and coffee, I felt relaxed. Exhausted, but relaxed.

I am going to be leaving for the wilds of Tanglewood in a couple of weeks to work on the opera, Mahagonny, and will be technology and tango free for 5 weeks. I love working out in Tanglewood, it is gorgeous and although we work long, tough hours, it is such a labour of love that it is worth being removed from the city and those I love for a little while. I was thinking of filling the time before then with classes and structure. But I think instead what I need instead is just to dance. And maybe find some healing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A good day

I was asked to be a part of a seminar on Leadership and Tango, taking the skills learned in Tango (on either side of the embrace) and applying them towards leadership skills, the attendees were all educators. My part, as well as that of a friend, was to be followers in the tango aspect, and assistants when the basic walking skills were taught to the attendees, and being the instructors' partners in the end of seminar demonstration.
Talk about pressure! Yikes!
But it was a blast. It was a room full of alpha educator leaders, who were strong in their opinions in the beginning, but then it was amazing to see them all make the connection between learning how to lead or follow in tango and the parallels they found for teaching in their fields.
My friend and I worked with different people as they learned as fill in followers or leaders. The only tango they learned was how to be comfortably close to another physically, the tango presence, leader intention, and how to walk. That was it. But you would think that we were unlocking the mysteries of the world to them! The thing that rocked my world was when they caught the idea that a follower is not a passive being who receives, but an integral part of the communication of the dance. It was like a dozen lightbulbs going off in their heads, especially when the traditional gender roles were not being used. Everyone lead. Everyone followed. I had a moment with one gentleman who "got it" while I was working with him. I rotated in as his follower, and he said to me "Oh good! Now I won't have to worry!"
"Why is that?"
He responded "Well, you know what you are doing. So I'm golden."
I gave a little laugh and said "Yes, I know how to follow reasonably well, but if there is no lead, I won't be able to contribute to our dance at all. Which makes you not so golden."
He looked at me in surprise, then I saw what I said connect and he had an Aha! moment.
At the end, all of the attendees, even the men who's wifes had obviously twisted their arms to come, caught some of the excitement that inspired most of us to start tango. They wanted to learn more, they wanted to work more on walking. They wanted to hear more about leadership. So the two gentlemen running the seminar said we can either spend the final few minutes working more on learning tango, or they could watch a demonstration. You would have thought we were playing musical chairs they all sat down so fast! So music went on, and I danced with the tango instructor, and my friend danced with the leadership instructor (who is also a very good tango dancer). I was very happy that our dance was kept simple, nothing fancy, nothing showy, just simple social salon tango, which felt just amazing. In speaking with the attendees afterwards, I was even more grateful that the volcadas, colgadas, and all those other adas were left behind, because I was told repeatedly that they felt they could one day do what we did. It was a performance that contained elements they felt was attainable for them.
There was one gentleman who gave me such a laugh because I remember the feeling of disbelief he gave us when I was a beginner. I had not danced with the tango instructor before today. We danced a few songs together before the seminar to warm up and get a feel for each other, but that was it. The gentleman would not accept that as truth, he was convinced I must be the instructor's partner or assistant. He could not believe we only met that day. Then he said to us "So, in tango, you can connect that completely with people you've never met before?" Yes sir, you can. And thus, the addiction begins..... ;-)
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ahhhh.. so that's my issue.....

It's been a hell of a summer so far. I am hoping it gets better soon. It has to, right? :-)
I have been listening to Annie Lenox recently (*gasp* NOT tango music?!?!? heh heh, yep, not tango music.... shocking, I know.....), and I always listen to Annie when I am melancholy or having quietude in my life. I have a playlist titled Mellow - and I have been listening to it as I integrate into Sorin's home (I hope soon "My home" will flow easily from me). I could not figure out what was wrong with me, Sorin even mentioned to me that I have been out of sorts recently. And I did not figure out what my issue was until today, when I ran into a friend who asked the innocent question of "What's new?" and I started to tell her all the new things happening (most of which are all good), and when I started to tell her about the death of my friend a few weeks ago, I broke down into tears. My core is still shaken from his death. My heart is broken for my friend and "sister", his wife; and his step-daughter, my god-daughter. I can't even type this without feeling my heart swell and drop in my ribs.

He was the same age as me, a few months older. He fought cancer for over a decade, and every time he entered that battle field he was nothing but positive and victorious. The amount of good he did in the world humbles me. He was politically active in his town, he owned a business that was a haven for the youth of his community and he gave them a place to be at night that kept them off the street. He loved my god-daughter as if she was his own blood and was a marvel with her. He was over 6 feet tall, his wife under 5 feet and they fit together perfectly.

I am still mourning the loss of such a spark in my universe. Now that I realize why I have been so out of sorts, I can work towards finding positivity again. Being snappish, sad, glum and unbalanced is not a good way to honor his memory. I have so much to celebrate right now, so I am going to work towards offering thanks for the happinesses in my life and to stop being a grumblecakes or DebbiDowner.... ;-)