Dance of Life

Many have said long before me that Argentine Tango is a great metaphor for life. Looking deeply at some of the elements of this genre can open possibilities of illunination for our individual journey. Even my beloved teacher, Alex, not a particularly religious guy, once said “Dancing tango is the closest thing to God I have experienced.”  Take the parada, or stop, a common tango movement. We don’t actually stop, at least not more than a second or so, but our movement is adjusted or perhaps redirected, and we are called in the parada to a certain instant awareness of the present moment. A death in the family is like this too. It stops us, at least momentarily, and calls us into an acute awareness of life and it’s deeper opportunities. My aunt Nadene died earlier this week and today I am in California for the funeral. Last night I was blessed to share a little time with some of my cousins. We sat and chatted in a restaurant where others of their family had shared supper but departed to rest before today’s challenges. We shared old family stories and pushed as much as we could into the deeper connecting places that families and friends sometimes find the courage to explore. We wanted to go there, to find those connections which before these moments we had not allowed time to explore. But death reminds us as nothing else can: life is short. In our connecting we spoke of faith, our common Christian faith, Jesus’ teachings, the Jesus Seminar’s view of all that. Finally we settled on a place of common belief: what’s important is the heart of Jesus’ teachings: love God, love others and love yourself without condition. And one cousin added, “It’s that love yourself part that is the hardest.”  Yes, it is, but it’s also crucial.  This is where following your bliss comes in (Joseph Campbell’s advice to all his students: Follow your bliss!); it’s about finding joy and choosing that.  And this is why I pursue Argentine Tango.  Jesus’ words are actualized in my dance: “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly!”  For me this is not about more stuff, but it is all about more joy in my life! (New tango shoes and that cute new tango outfit notwithstanding! Natch!)

About tangobunny

Pastor Bunny went on sabbatical leave to Argentina July 28-November 4, 2010, funded by a pastoral renewal grant from the Lily Foundation. It was her second visit to AR. Since then she's been back three more times and toured the country. She loves the Argentine people as much as the tango and calls Argentina her other home.
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