Espejo (updated)

"I recall avoiding my own gaze for many, many years. It was somehow creepy, and this look-alike stranger returning my stare made me feel very uncomfortable. There was an aversion, no doubt fueled by the fear of discovering something grotesque, to looking into those eyes. Of catching myself in a lie; or seeing the hypocrite; of discovering that part of myself for which I needed to accept responsibility.The part that was responsible for my own misery. Because I knew, subconsciously perhaps, that if and when I ever did accept responsibility for myself, I’d have to do something about it, or I would never know peace. I would never be able to dance."

--The Tao of Tango, by Johanna Siegmann,"The Mirror Chapter",

When I first started, I couldn't face you at all. I could look as far as your ankles before flinching and turning away. Technique classes where we must stand facing one another, you and I, are torture. My teacher points at you and says, "look! watch!" I nod, but look away again.

Now, I can reach your waist. I get that far only because at first I didn't recognize your legs. Narrower than when we'd started. More aligned. But still clumsy, stepping too heavily. Your waist is as far as I can look.

Sometimes, by accident, I see you. Again, I look because at first I don't recognize you. But as soon as I do, I look away. Very rarely, I catch your face over some leader's shoulder and wonder who you are looking so serene through half open eyes, smiling. Happy and sad at the same time. Where did that expression come from? How did you get here?