After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
On my last day in Buenos Aires I danced an impromptu demonstration in the park with Ernesto, a handsome milonguero who owned only the elegant suit of clothes on his back, so begins a journal entry of mine in 1999, written on the flight back to Los Angeles.
It was a beautiful autumn day, like today, and Ernesto had come by my hotel to say goodbye. We ended up on a stroll in nearby Parque Rivadavia. It turned out to be one of those epiphany tango moments that probably helped me to decide to move to Buenos Aires more than three years ago.
We tangoed to music from a boombox tied to the bicycle of a grizzled old man beneath the arching branches of a huge fig tree. Elderly couples, young children, even a woman in a wheelchair, drew round cheering, and threw money and candy at us while we danced under the high green canopy of leaves. What a blessing to be dancing in this “chapel” of fellow believers. It was a miracle that I could glide so gracefully over the rough bricks in backless high wedgies with rubber soles. It was a miracle that my ten years of journeying towards the light put me just here, just now. Maybe I made mistakes, maybe I’ve had to pay for them, maybe I’ve had bad luck and loss, maybe my loved ones are gone, but here I am dancing, blessed and happy.
In Buenos Aires I learned that Tango is music, a mystique, a way of life, a people, as well as a dance. And for some of us, it can be a miracle as well.