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.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My Life is a Tango!
Is it a good thing or a bad thing to win a Heartbreak Competition? But of course it's not whose heartbreak was the biggest, but who wrote about it in a tango way. Traditional tangos are full of sad stories of broken hearts.
Life is full of heartbreak and ache of one kind or another and writing about it can be cathartic. I'm thrilled that something I wrote was selected by a panel of judges to be the "best." The heartache is still there, but winning anything makes you feel better.
My life with so much drama and loss and tragedy always was a "tango," and now here's the proof. My little autobiographical vignette, The Key, from my unpublished memoir, The Tango Dancer, won first prize in the competition and will be turned into a tango song with words and music by Marian Barry.
The contest was to promote Maria Finn's new book, Hold Me Close and Tango Me Home.
Here's my winning entry:
My old house sits under the full moon of Hollywood as I drive past where I lived so long ago. As always, the street’s ancient cedar trees perfume the air, and in the black night, the glimmering Observatory hovers above like a friendly space ship.
The courtyard gates are locked, but the closed windows shine from within and call to my heart. The drawn draperies glow like a candle in the window lit for me, calling me home.
It looks just the same as when I lived there so content with my husband, my children, my beautiful life—all gone now.
Perhaps inside the wrought-iron gates and behind the cozy golden windows is my old lost life. Maybe if I stare long and hard enough, I can catch a shadow of a vanished time, the comings and goings of a happy family. If only I had the key, maybe I could go in and find it all again.
What if I found the key and opened the door into another dimension, and came home?
Painting by Michael Austin