Monday, August 15, 2011

Soul Dancing

I hold her and listen.
The pictures flash through my mind,
And I know about her life more 
Than she would tell if asked.
I sense that her history is a labyrinth
That she herself has not mastered.

She is so young but has lived so much.
I feel the joy of dance counterpoised with great mourning and loss.
The music encrypts the moment with its own mysterious message.
And I am in awe once again that tango is not just
  the skill of movement,
  the music,
  the embrace.
Tango is about the embrace of one human being, one soul,
Who transforms me if I will let it happen.
But so often I forget this Most Simple Thing.

Post Script:
I have learned to listen and believe that through embrace we are able to sense more than we might allow ourselves to believe possible.  This poem is dedicated to a young Eastern European woman, with whom I danced in a small town.  She was a beginner and did not dance very well.  I tried to hold her as if she were very special and feel her presence.  I felt if I did not do this, I would be just tortured with an unsatisfying dance.  In doing so, I discovered something that I already deeply knew inside of me:  That one can dance with another soul and this is supremely satisfying.   In talking with her later, I found out what I had sensed from holding her -- that her life was very complex:  A life with no contact with family and no way to return.  I did not ask her why.  She "escaped" through Russia, a bizarre path to freedom that my mind's paradigms cannot understand easily.  I think we all are capable of more soul dances.  Many of you have experienced this.  If you haven't, try it.  See what happens.

Research on this theme:

Sculptor:  "Dancers" by Jonathon Borofsky; unknown photographer in Denver, Colorado.  If you know who who took this, please share that with me.


  1. I don't know who took the picture, but it's of a large public sculpture in Denver called 'The Dancers' by Jonathon Borofsky. A google image search will likely turn up more.

  2. Such a metaphor for life,huh? I think a dance is only unsatisfying when one has particular expectations that aren't met. The challenge (for me, at least) is to leave the expectations outside and dance with the person in our arms. Glad you were able to embrace the present moment and enjoy.

  3. @ Anon: Thanks for the info on the sculptor. I added that just now.

  4. @ Christine, I imagine when you are doing your pottery and art work you are "imprinting" your impressions from all the souls around you, right?

  5. well, I think it's safe to say yes, to a certain degree, but have some boundaries.


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