image courtesy of Kris Hotvedt and Vista Grande Design
by Stephen Brown

I must confess that I have been seduced by the magic of a perfect tango (or was it a vals?).  The music and my partner resonated in my heart and soul, and mine in hers, as we moved effortlessly around the room.  The floor was crowded, but it was just us two and the music, though we were aware of others just enough to avoid collisions.  For one sublime tango, we touched each others' hearts in ways that words cannot match.  The feeling was unexpected; it was a golden paradise, the promise of heaven.  Then the music ended, our eternity of three minutes was over, and we returned as strangers to our own tables.

Since then, too often have I searched for the promise of a perfect tango.  Too hard have I worked on perfecting my craft, at pushing my partner to work with me to perfect her craft, at understanding the music, at deciding what music is best.

And many times have I found the magic of a sublime tango—a creation of true art and intimacy with another.  But I must confess that these times seem to have little to do with the effort that I put into the craft of dancing, and more to do with forgetting everything I learned and dancing from my heart and soul while touching the heart and soul of another.

What then is the search for the perfect tango in obsessive practice?  For me, it has largely been an activity that fills the needs of the ego rather than nourishing my heart and soul—perfecting the craft and ignoring the art.  Too often have I obsessed and searched for the perfect tango—never fully realizing that it is always at hand.