The Lows - A Thousand Kisses Deep

"Lean into the sharp points and fully experience them. The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. Wisdom is inherent in (understanding) emotions." ~Pema Chodron

After the festival, my non-tango life came back far too soon.

I wasn't ready.

Mondays (especially after so much dancing) are often saturated with tango hangover. The non-tango world seems too bright, too cold, with too many sharp edges. Bad news, crises, politics, business as usual - all took their toll Monday. I danced at lunch to cheer myself up, but it wasn't quite enough.

For once, a non-tango song brought my very tango aching to the surface. As I listened, everything felt so suddenly overwhelming.





"You live your life, as if it's real,
A thousand kisses deep."

I have never been very nostalgic for my past. I am, on occasion however, quite nostalgic for the fantasies I've held. I sometimes miss the lies I told myself and could make myself believe.

Today was the day of reminders and hard lessons. Necessary, but oh so soon after being cocooned in my tango bliss.

so I lean into the sharp points.
I make myself be grateful for truth,
as I should be,
for seeing things clearly.
But sometimes, I wish the fantasy
would last just a little bit longer.

My teacher's words come back to me . . .   some day, she said, you just won't be able to go back, to leave the tango life.



A Thousand Kisses Deep
(the song version*) 


The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done –
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against

The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
I made it to the forward deck.
I blessed our remnant fleet –
And then consented to be wrecked,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,

I’m back on Boogie Street.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
And quiet is the thought of you,
The file on you complete,
Except what we forgot to do,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,

The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep


The ponies run, the girls are young,

The odds are there to beat . . . 


 *There is also a deeply moving poem (also by Leonard Cohen) which is quite different (but with similar themes) recited by Cohen himself, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boaBzKqGqUw

4 comments:

Ghost said...

I don't know if this will help, but an idea I took from the Japanese is the concept of a Way. That is if you follow the Way of an Artist it doesn't mean you earn a living from art or that you do art for pleasure, it means that your entire life is a work of art.

So for me to follow the way of tango, I don't just put on my tango clothes for the milonga and stand up properly for a tanda at a time.

When I out for a walk in the park I feel the different types of ground through my shoes, the broken paving stones, the soft grass, the gravel. In town I move gently along the pavement in the flow of the dance. When I drive, well you get the idea ;o)

The question I had to answer was "well isn't it so much better dancing at A with X?" And I do love that. But I also love walking under a sky where the clouds do their own sweeping tango to the music of the sun and the wind ;o)

Cinderella said...

I had a similar experience a while ago. After an absolutely perfect Sunday afternoon milonga I came back home feeling more than capable of facing all the odds of my everyday life, which right now differs so much from my tango life. That wonderful feeling didn't last very long into the Monday that followed, though. By midday I felt completely disheartened and weak. But later, during some quiet moment, I found a way back with the help of some music and my vivid memory. That made me just so grateful that I have found the secret door to that magical tango world I can escape to.

Carole said...

Nice post. You might be interested in this post about the new Leonard Cohen album. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/old-ideas-by-leonard-cohen.html

Mari Johnson said...

Ghost - that is very helpful actually - and something I need to think on . . .


Cinderella - thank you for your comment, I know exactly what you mean. I keep my tango music with me and even if all I get is a few minutes on the bus with D'Agostino - it's enough :-)

Carole - thank you for the heads up - listening to some tracks now. :-)