Last night, without knowing it, I found myself tiptoeing between the haunting memories of my past and the colorful, newly formed memories of my more recent present. As I tiptoed between what was and what is, I was unsure of where I was.
Somewhere beneath the trees, in a ravine, at my close friend's childhood home, I found myself lost in love and tango.
The captivating chanteuse Gabrielle Louise, a native of Colorado, and a winter resident of Buenos Aires, gave an intimate concert where she candidly opened up her heart, revealing the poetry that lives within her soul.
As she delicately danced between folk and tango music, I found myself wrestling with feelings and memories I thought I had buried.
She sang about her recent affection for the morning light, loved lost, and lessons learned. As her songs deepened with intensity, I found myself digging deeper.
Unexpectedly my mind wandered, accessing and revealing memories of a shattered relationship in Montreal. I remembered his smell, his touch, his gaze as if he were in front of me. I felt the wound that had taken years to heal, briefly open, only to be quickly closed up again by my powerful and protective mind.
Gabrielle's lyrics darkened and became more passionate.
As her music intensified and swelled, I was quickly transported from mending my healing wounds- to Buenos Aires, the magical city I had visited 15 months ago-before I knew I was sick- before my Cancer journey began. She brought me back to San Telmo, where Maggie and I held the hands and shoulders of strangers, as we willingly allowed ourselves to become completely enveloped by the power of tango.
As I accessed these memories, I could feel the frame of the 75 year old Texan who told me to close my eyes, feel the music, and let go. I remembered how light I felt as we slowly, cautiously, and at carefully tiptoed across the floor. We danced for hours without speaking. We may have been silent, but we were communicating.
I then remembered Juan, the 25 year old professional tango dancer, who aggressively took my hand and tried to overwhelm me with his skill and masculinity. With Juan, I breathed deep, pushed back, and quietly screamed.
Gabrielle continued to soar, her melodies deepening, her voice strengthening.
It was only then that I realized that by getting lost in love and tango in Chicago, I was able to be found in San Telmo. For 8 months I have been learning how to dance with Cancer. I have twisted, turned, and tango-ed my way through this disease to understand her, to fight her, to beat her. In Montreal, I learned how the power of the mind has the ability to heal the wounds of the heart. With the Texan, I learned how to listen, how to let go, how to silently communicate. With Juan, I learned how to push back, access my voice and silently scream. I had no idea that love and tango would teach me how to handle Cancer.
Gabrielle Louise- thank you for helping me unlock the memories and lessons that were living in my past, influencing my present, and quietly shaping my future.
Your gift of poetry and song must be shared- the world looks better, brighter, more translucent through your eyes.