Archive for August, 2004

Living Each Moment As If It Was Your Last

Sunday, August 29th, 2004 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

*”Live each moment, realizing that you and everyone around you is dying”*
I’m currently reading the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and really liking it. It talks about the constant awareness of imminent death and how this realization of our own impermenance can affect the way we live. Reflecting on this a bit (at 5AM) I am recognizing this same message has been coming to me from many different sources. I like this, because this is usually how I recognize something as true, I suddenly notice that everyone has always been saying the same thing.

Experiencing a city before moving…again

I was bitching for the umpteenth time that I couldn’t believe I’m leaving in 3 days, and I started to say that I should get that out of my head or else I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of my time here. And then…I realized that wasn’t true, and furthermore, it is the same situation that the book talked about. At the end of every trip, or move out of a city, I realize “suddenly” all the things that I really want to do and I go and try to do them. I always do more in the last 2 weeks than over the month or months that I have lived in the city. But in the cities where I have lived shorter times, I go do stuff sooner. It is human nature to deny things that we don’t want to think about, like leaving a place and running out of time to experience it, like New York, London, Argentina, or this existence we call Life. The more we force ourselves to acknowledge the truth that we are just transients, that we had better enjoy ourselves, because we may never see this road again, the better off we’ll be.

Now, I am a Catholic, and don’t worry, Mom, I’m not thinking about converting to Buddhism any time soon (and yes, my mom reads this blog…). I was just thinking about the early Christians, and wondering if we didn’t have this same message back then? They really and truly believed that the end times were just around the corner, that they might happen within their lifetimes. They had to live their lives accepting that the world could literally END at any moment. …wow. That was the time when much of the world became Christian based solely on the admiration of those Christians. I don’t think Christians today live with that realization. It’s okay to do bad things, to sin, to hate, because we can make it up. It’s okay to run up a huge credit card debt as long as you have a long time to pay, right? 0% interest for 12 months…

7 Habits
One of the habits in SevenHabitsOfHighlyEffectivePeople is “Beginning with the End in Mind”. It starts with an amazing exercise of imagining your own funeral. It asks you to imagine your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors there, and ask yourself what it is you would like each of them to say. It’s a really cool and is a great tool for recognizing what’s really important to you in the different worlds of your life. Imagine living very moment with the constant awareness that above all else, you want to be a husband that always has time for his wife and family, that you want your coworkers to see you as dependable, that you want your friends to always be able to confide in you.

Tango is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

Sunday, August 29th, 2004 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I am sitting in my bed at 5AM and I can’t go to sleep because I am still dancing in my head…
In every learning process there are stages. I have never found this to be as true, or pronounced and clear as when learning a dance.

First, you SUCK. You are uncomfortable, you feel like you don’t know what you are doing. You aren’t really getting a lot of positive feedback and you ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Teachers are critical of you, you are more critical of yourself. It’s hard and EVERYONE is better than you (not really but you are convinced this is true)

And then there is TheTippingPoint, the point where it starts to click, and starts to become fun. Suddenly, you don’t need other reasons to go dance, it becomes it’s own self sustaining lifeform. Very few people make it to this point, and it is in different places depending on the dance, on the other dancers, on the city, culture, etc. In the states, not many people make it this far with partner dances, mostly I think because there have to be a lot of forces that make getting through the first stage possible. If EVERYONE is doing it, if a bunch of your friends take classes with you, if your girlfriend makes you… – these all help.

For tango in Buenos Aires, I feel like TheTippingPoint is pretty damn high, but I reached it yesterday, and today…oh my god is tango fun I don’t feel like I suck anymore (though I can almost taste so much of what I DON’T know, it almost hurts). And I have had some AMAZING dances dancing with follows that are actually good, really good, and they seemed like they genuinely shared my take of the dance.

It’s kind of funny, but I can tell that in a couple weeks my swing will have totally integrated my tango and it’s going to feel really, really good. I can’t wait to go dance blues with someone that does tango…luckily I think this happens in Portland on Friday, if not in San Francisco on Thursday.

I can’t believe I only get 3 more days of this, damnit

I’m coming back!!!

Saturday, August 28th, 2004 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

After 5 months in South America, I have a ticket to come back on Wednesday.

On one hand I am really, really going to miss South America, and most of all Buenos Aires. The reason I came to this city was tango, and, of course, I’m just starting to really enjoy it now right before I leave. Last night I was out at a milonga dancing tango till it closed at 6AM. And I got some compliments from girls that I would have sworn I had no business dancing with. I closed the night dancing 3 tandas (tango comes in sets of 7 songs here, and you usually dance one set, or tanda, with the same girl) with a gorgeous contemporary dancer from England. Tango is fun, really, really fun.

On the other hand I can’t wait to get back. I’ve missed swing, my family and my friends terribly. Travelling alone in another continent is an interesting endeavour but it definitely gets lonely at times, it’s going to be good to come back and be bathed in love. And I will be :).

I come back to San Francisco and go to the 920 Special, probably my favorite swing night…in the world. After which a couple of my friends are throwing a blues after party in my honor, YEAH Then I go up to Portland with Erin to witness Shira’s wedding and visit some friends there. I’ll spend a couple weeks at home with the family in El Paso doing some much needed chilling and bonding before people.MihaiBanulescu and Chealsea come pick me up to go RoadtrippingTheStates for a month and a half. We’re going to hit 4 or 5 [LindyExchange]s including Austin, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Orlando. I’ll get to see and hang out with hundreds of my very closest friends, and make up for 5 months of no swing.

So if you live in South America, un abrazo y un beso, you have been wonderful, and I will miss you terribly

And if you live in the states, I can’t wait to see you, and if you dance…Jeremy is BACK