I was trying to sleep in an airport. I was a bit delirious. And for a moment the clouds parted and I had a tiny glimpse of possibility. Everyone and everything is affected, far more than we yet can fathom. Business as usual is grinding down to a slower gear. Are we giving the planet a little break? Will we be able to measure the impact on global warming, when we slow down our frenzy and consumption? Will they take a break from war?
We certainly can use the time to think about it all – too much work, too much shopping, unsatisfying tourism, bad investments, unaccountable politics, inane media … Take some time out to prioritize ourselves, our close ones, our ethics. To recover long phone calls and old photos and other things that have gone missing. To repair things that are broken. To sew buttons and fix leaks. To say things that need to be said.
Our “time poverty” manifests in many ways: in our relationships, in taking care of things, and in scarcity of energy for developing our aspirations.
Artists (and other human beings as well) need time to reflect. This is why they go on retreats. To get new perspectives and ideas, to have time to bring concepts to fruition. I believe everyone can and should be an artist, and for the next “2 to 8 weeks” many more people will get that chance.
Please, turn off the news and take this time as an aperture for yourself.
If tango is your leading artistic impulse, I’m here to support you with that. I’m offering deep discounts on our home solo practice courses until the milongas reopen, and there’s still time to join the 16-week MasterCourse Challenge.
Increasingly, I find myself supporting my students and friends in finding power and taking action in their lives beyond tango. So if you have other neglected aspirations, I want to offer you my book, Syntax of Power. It’s not about tango; it’s about everything else. It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.
Indeed interruption is part of the history of tango. During the dictatorship, tango became a family and home practice. It’s really not all about milongas.
Let us welcome this pause as part of the dance, a needed disruption of rhythm, part of a more complex one.
If we take tango seriously, then it is due for such deeper consideration, on every level – emotionally, physically, psychologically, socially.
Let’s take some time out from tango. Let’s ask if it’s really been serving us. It’s hard to figure out because in milongas we slip or jump between polarities of pleasure and pain, which do not lend themselves to simultaneous consideration. Some people say that the word ‘but’ allows a contradiction to go unresolved. I created a workbook to help us do a proper audit.
Let’s consider the silences it is causing in and around us. To consider the kind of “community” we are participating in and our responsibilities to make it one that is truly liberatory. Let us each prepare ourselves to rebuild our milongas and our tango with less “elegance” and more popularity, less conformity and more art.