Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Grace of Embrace

Image and Likeness of Grace

I once tried to understand religious grace.
I watched the cruel ones claim salvation's grace.
The cruel bully at work, proclaims his salvation:
"Not by works, but by grace we are saved,"
He announces--in all of his proud gracefullness.

I find heavenly moments at the milonga.
A refuge from the the cruelties of the world.
I ponder how a dancer embodies grace --
Its essence, not given but striven for.
Do not angels work on their grace of flight?

The Grace of Embrace is my heaven on earth.
Its warmth is the likeness of celestial grace,
Movement in tandem with the divine.
It is not Soul alone who embraces me
But dual grace, a duet, a harmony of two.

Spirit's grace stays on axis when I wobble.
She doesn't leave me when I stumble.
She directs the heavenly choir of dead musicians,
Beating out canyenge rhythms on my soul.
This is truly Amazing Grace.

Photo Credit: 
Artistic notes:
Martha Grahm would not have been caught in a tutu, but I liked the photo. 

Post Script:
Before I was the "tango therapist," at work I would send out a few friends messages of "tango theology."  So this is another part of me -- the Tango Thelogian: 

Notes on Tango Theology:
Christian theology, the idea of God's grace is that it is
an unmerited gift of God, from a letter written by St. Paul.  Ephesians 2:8:   "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. .  I do not think Paul is saying this in the way that it has been misused over the centuries.  The context is talking about "works" and the discussion is that the new believers had to be circumsized  -- good that he cleared up the issue of "works."  That would have been a bloody problem.  James 2:18 addressed the misuses written after St Paul:  "But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."  Grace is not given even though not unmerited!

So my definition, as I have learned from tango's help is this --
Grace:  An awakening to our merited divine beauty.  Divine grace and the grace of a dancer are expression of the same thing:  Elegance and refinement and movement before and with God and her creation."  Don't look for this definition in any dictionary.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is beautiful. I like your definition cause it has depth. What were your feelings when you wrote that post?

    Pablito Greco

  2. Pablito, the idea of a "tango theology" came very naturally to me. Grace's definition is an example of a theology is more based in human experience. Ideas of "grace" in tango can be advanced or superficial, but even if superficial, at least not so misguided as with some very dark perspectives of grace in Christian theology. We do not deserve what is given by God? How about awakening to the grace that is our center of who we truly are?

    In the poem, the reference to a cruel person at work who is a "born again" Christian is a real example of misguided theology allowing people to believe that they can bully others but also find entry into heaven. This turns many good people away from a spiritual path. It is easy to reject the ideas of grace that are generally preached from the pulpits in churches.


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