Sunday, September 21, 2008


In all honesty, friends, it terrifies me.

The absolute intensity that this thing, this Tango, awakens in me is terrifying.

That serpent of passion is coiled pretty deeply inside me. I thought we had found a way to coexist. He had his space, and I had mine. Occasionally, when all the conditions were right and safe, we might play a little together. But always with protection, never too close, always barely touching fingertips. Controlled.

But all bets are off now. He dances to the music, and when I am looking or when I'm not he coils himself around the little figure that is me that coexists in this body and he takes me for a ride and I just don't have any say.

I always knew he was bigger than me. I always new that if it came down to a contest between Passion and Personality, well....Passion would win hands down. And if it came to that, it would be ok because all else would be obliterated. There would only be the aftermath to deal with.

But this music, this is pulling and twisting us together and I'm finding that the passion and the personality are not as separate as I thought. And it terrifies me. I liked that neat tidy package, and nothing feels neat or tidy anymore. I feel like I am in this spiral of release and fill, and I have no say in it whatsoever. And more, I don't want to have any say. I just want to give in and go.

And in those moments, like tonight, it is glorious to go.

and the aftermath is frightening, because I'm trying to clean up and separate and reorganize what was torn open for me...and there's just no map for this.

and the only solace I can think of is to bury myself even deeper. To hope it opens me even more.


Anonymous said...

What a stunning post. Yes, it is the alpha and the omega, both. It creates and destroys us. It undoes and completes us. There is nothing to be done but never get used to it. Because, like that orgasm, there is no getting used to it. Even in our weakened state after the glory, we are left thinking, planning, plotting for the next time.

Mtnhighmama said...

ahhh, Johanna, your words are so often a balm for my wounds. I'm tender and bruised this morning, and it's nice to know that others understand and share. It soothes me just a little.

Anonymous said...

Not just others, mtnhighmama. Everyone who is gripped by Tango feels this way.

It is why we both love it and hate it so. And why so many try to quit, and just can't :-)

Elizabeth said...

Everyone who truly has a tango heart goes through this. Aren't you grateful though to find a place of passion, of grace, music, euphoria...of beauty?


Mtnhighmama said...

I am grateful, Elizabeth. And more so for the people that understand.

It is wonderful have people say, oh yes...i went through that too.

My non-tango friends just kind of blink at me. and smile bemusedly. They're good friends, so they listen, but I think they secretly think I'm being dramatic. I can't really convey it to them in a way they can feel it.

So having you reaffirm that this is a part of the process, it means the world.

Anonymous said...

You still have friends outside of tango????!!!!!

[stares at screen in wide-eyed disbelief]

Mtnhighmama said...

Well, actually, a couple weeks ago I drug them to the milonga and made them take the intro class. And tonight was their first class in a beginner series. I took it as a leader just to make sure they actually showed up and stayed for the class.

I'm importing them, Johanna.

Anonymous said...

Then you are a VERY lucky woman. And have VERY good friends :-)

me said...


(Like wow, your recent posts, beginning with "bliss.")

Right, so you are on one side of the world; I on the other.

You are woman; I am man.

Like, notwithstanding time zone differences, a good number of us share these transcendent states (surprisingly, they are repeatable!) at the same moment.

We struggle with the words to describe this feeling (more than mere feeling!) in our own ways. Time after time, we find our words resonate.

Often, I read (and hear) people describe women to submit, surrender. I can tell you, just as your partner, my most profound moments present themselves after I surrender.

Mtnhighmama said...

Me, would you talk a little bit more about what that surrender looks like? I was chatting with a friend and trying to explain that I was still completely present on the dance floor, but also completely in a different place with my partner. I wonder if it is different for leaders, as you have so much more to keep track of?

Mtnhighmama said...

Johanna, I am very lucky. My good friends said, "well...we keep losing friends to tango, so maybe we better find out what it's all about." And, they brought their mother along for the class too! How fantastic are they? I am blessed.

me said...


Sigh, I wish I have the words...

Yes, I hear people say all the time that the leader has so much to track. I agree and disagree.

A number of factors must be true:

1. I (as leader) trust her COMPLETELY.
2. I trust myself (not always easy).
3. The music takes hold of me so that my mind hears only the music and nothing else.

Then, every note makes sense (this is the best I can do for now, to describe what I feel in these moments), in the sense that I don't have to think about the music. The music IS. The music has no meaning. There is no ambiguity. Each moment in time is perfect, and I do not question anything.

Now, my body (the entire body) goes where it has always known to go, even though it has never been to this place before, it simply knows the way.

There are no obstacles. The path, with all the convoluted changes and avoidances, had already been decided. Everything is part of the experience.


Back to trusting her.

Every step, I have an awakening that she understands me perfectly. Every step, I am surprised by this realization, because it is simply not possible. And yet, I am living the impossible fact that she understands every movement in my body. With every step, I say, "This is my world." And she replies, "Yes, yes, yes." (I am writing about my perception of the world. I don't in fact know what she thinks.)

Mtnhighmama said...

It's interesting to me, because in that moment of surrender, there was no music, no thought, no movement. I don't remember what we were listening to, I don't remember how we moved in those moments where we were so complete.

I hear people talk about that, him, music. And I guess it was there, but all of those things were just stage setting, I think. The real moment was in our hearts, not in our bodies, not in the music, not in our heads. at least for me. is it that for you?

i wonder, does the music obliterate the need for thought, allowing true freedom for our hearts to give?

me said...

(again, apologies for fumbling)

Yes, I don't remember anything after. Nothing. No steps. No music. I simply find myself in a trance-like state.

The music is necessary. Imagine "surrendering" to the leader, in silence.

I feel the same way, that all these are stage settings in order for the moment to happen.

As to, "The real moment was in our hearts, not in our bodies, not in the music, not in our heads," I have been struggling with making sense of this...

Within my head, I receive all the delicious sensations, the way she smells, the way her cheek touches mine, the way her curves fit my curves...

I cannot imagine the "moment in our hearts" to happen without all of that to exist between us.

What I cannot resolve is that AFTER, the salient memory is the mutual understanding of the heart.

Mtnhighmama said...

What I cannot resolve is that AFTER, the salient memory is the mutual understanding of the heart.

yes, that's it exactly.