It's a Wonderful Life


Sometimes my mind goes down such useless roads.
When things are going badly, it seems so easy to get lost in thorny tangles of what if I had?
What if they had?
What if I never?

Maybe I would have finished college.
Maybe I wouldn't live my life in pieces at a time.
Maybe I would look further ahead than the end of the month.
Maybe I wouldn't feel so raw so often.

Maybe.

But if the bad things hadn't happened . . .
If better things had.
If my route had changed . . .
and my life changed . . .

I wouldn't have met my husband . . .
or his family that became my family . . .
I wouldn't know the people I know
who care so much for me and for whom I care so deeply.

and tango . . .

my life, all the ugliness and beauty, pain and elation, brought me to tango.
So I've got to shake this off - this useless interrogation of the past.


La vida es una milonga y hay que saberla bailar,
Life is a milonga,
you gotta dance to how it goes . . .



So let's just dance
Let your body tell me your tales,
and I'll let mine do the same.
Our feet can trace out
our battle scars in the dust on the floor,
and our hearts can whisper secrets
to each other in their beats.

Our hard won miles brought us here
to this music,
this tanda,
this moment . . .

There is no time,
for what if I had,
what if I hadn't.
Just this - right now.

La vida es una milonga y hay que saberla bailar,
que en la pista está sobrando el que pierde su compás.

Life is a milonga—
you gotta dance to how it goes;
it'll leave you behind on the floor
if you're one to lose the beat.


(Translation courtesy of TangoDC and photo courtesy of morguefile.com . )

5 comments:

Tango Therapist said...

I was supposed to be mobilized with an Army unit to be near my children in Germany, and instead I was stuck in El Paso. (It could have been Iraq too.) But in El Paso is where I found tango, and tango has been the one thing in my life that has no plateau. It just keeps ramping up with great friends, the love of movement, a sense of accomplishment, a deeper sense of musicality that affects the way I play music, and much more. I feel more alive than ever. What would we do with our lives if everything just went the way we wanted it?

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful words Mari. Thoughts sometimes just get in our way.
"Let your body tell me your tales...."
Thanks, E

Dieudonne said...

Yeap! we all have these thoughts at various moments. What if....? If I could go back knowing what I know today, I wouldn't change a thing, since my past has brought me to where I am today, and I love it. I love this place of emotions where I am complete as a Human Being, this place that Tango music offers me and that I embrace when I dance.
I don't know what my words have to do with what you are talking about, but this is what Wonderful life looks like! See you on pista.

Sallycat said...

If my hubby hadn't left me and I hadn't gone to Mongolia alone on our big adventure made for two, I wouldn't have discovered tango. If I hadn't come to dance that tango in Buenos Aires I wouldn't have ended up writing a book and learning how to publish it myself. If I hadn't made that first book over a period of two years, I wouldn't have been able to create a book for my Mum, in two short months, to share her experience of oral cancer with people who need the generous gift of her words and sketches http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=303867&id=569120627&l=53c7e2780e.

Your words are very beautiful, and I think, so is the shimmering fabric woven by the paths of all our tango lives.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly.
SC

Mari Johnson said...

Thank you everyone for your comments. I've received so many stories of peoples' journeys that brought them to tango. I would like to think I would have ended up in tango no matter what, but who can say. Merriest of Christmases, and Happiest of New Years to each of you. Thank you for all of your inspiriation.