A Life in the Music of People

La Vita Nuova

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

I took one last look around at the dancing/partying/hugging frenzy on the pista before leaving the New Year's Eve milonga last night. Is this my life? I could never have guessed a year ago that I would find myself here - surrounded by new friends, a new family, really. So many perfect coincidences . . .

- I arrived that night with P., the first tanguero who ever asked me to dance, and his wife, who finds herself coping, like my husband, married to a tango fanatic. The four of us had lunch earlier and I couldn't help thinking how lucky DH and I are to have their friendship.

- I danced with a visiting tanguero, for the second time, that I had met online through my blog writing. How amazing to embrace someone from so far away whose only connection is this lush tango life.

- and such a relief to see and at least be able to hug the tanguero who started tango almost the same time as me. This past year has had so many personal challenges for him, and yet he brings such heart to the pista and to his dance. We've been tango babies together - growing and evolving into this sense of our tango selves.

- last night, for the fourth or fifth time, with different partners, I was the first on the dance floor. It's hard to let go of that fear of screwing up when everyone can see. I'm still scared of tangueros taking note of leads not followed, un-collected ankles, or some other glaring mistake I might make. But I'd rather dance. Period. Fear takes a back seat - when I let it in the car at all.

- and getting a few moments to talk with "La Milonguera" - the first person to greet me in my tango social life (outside of a class). From the first moment I saw her dance, and as I watched her make the rounds greeting, smiling, chatting, laughing - I saw the possibilities for a different kind of life than what I had been leading. A life in the music of people.

I am so thankful that I don't have the words to adequately express it. I'm thankful to so many dancers, teachers, bloggers, friends (tango and non-tango - I do still have a few of those), that I would need far more time than I have allotted tonight to write them all down.

Something I don't write/say/express enough though, is that none of this new life of mine would have been possible without my husband's encouragement and support. At the end of the milonga, when I feel so sad that the night has ended, almost as soon as I step outside, I can suddenly hardly wait to get home and tell my DH all about my night. He smiles and lets me unwind my tales of the milonga or practica or class that I've just come from. It's his embrace that has made all of the other embraces of this new life possible.

The road ahead I can hardly imagine. Last year I would never have imagined this much. If I had, I would have been afraid of it. I want to do more, dance more, welcome more, hope more - and fear less, worry less.

About the picture:

Every so often I create one of these images as a sort of fortune from a digital cookie, to see what comes up. I choose a random image from stock photos, a random wikipedia page for a "band name", and the last four or five words from a random quote off of Quotations Page (see full instructions below.) This time I chose personally appropriate fonts for a giggle. And the image above is what I came up with.

Album Cover - Band Name: (from random Wikipedia page: "Wide Open Throttle") Font: "Shifty Chica"
Album Title: (pulled from random quotes: Accident, n.: A condition in which presence of mind is good, but absence of body is better. --Anonymous Font: Zero Hour
Picture -stock image.

Instructions: Play the Album Art Game:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. (try http://mikelietz.org/code/flickr-ccgettr.php for rights free flickr images)

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption"


AlexTangoFuego said...

Very nice post Mari. I'm just sorry to have missed New Year's at Esquina - sorry to be missing so many milongas these days.

And so it goes with tango, imho, "presence of mind, absence of body" ...

"The music of people"....lovely concept...

Have a great new year...


Keno said...

So wonderful to read about your night in Austin. I loved dancing wih you and knowing that even when I am in town we can still share that special tango bond that only tango addicted people enjoy. This has been a wonderful year in my dance and to know that when ever I come to Austin I will always look forward to one if not more tanda's with you, You dance like the love in your heart that shines in your face when people see you dance tango.
Best Always Keno

happyseaurchin said...

great to read

have a great 2010
there are different bends in the road
different conditions
some more hazardous :)

played the album game
but don't know what you mean in point 5... :s

Marty Berry said...

I relate to everything you said Mari....I feel I have a new and wonderful tango family in Austin and I am grateful for everyones friendship and acceptance...it had added so much in my life....thank you tanguera amiga!

Mari said...

Alex - thank you for your comment. So nice to dance with you at last night's milonga. I hope you'll get to Austin's milongas more often :) .

Keno - Thank you so much - I'm so glad you were able to come to Austin to dance! Thank you for such wonderful tandas and such kind words!

happyseaurchin - the last step (#5) was only for re-posting on Facebook - sorry about that.

Marty - I'm so honored to count you among my tango girl friends - you're such a treasure! We are so lucky to find ourselves in this tango life! Now if only you lived in Austin!! :D