Ramblings...                   ...the dance of words

12 April 2007

The dance of words

When the soul needs to talk, it finds a way.

For some, it will be music, for others dancing, painting, writing, talking...

sometimes only a light in the eyes or the caress of a hand will say it all.

The poem by Aragon below is a dagger in our hearts, the vanity of our attempts at capturing happiness in love: is the pain the price of beauty?

I'll attempt to give you an acceptable English version one of these days!


Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Louis Aragon (La Diane Francaise, Seghers 1946) 

Rien n'est jamais acquis à l'homme Ni sa force
Ni sa faiblesse ni son coeur Et quand il croit
Ouvrir ses bras son ombre est celle d'une croix
Et quand il croit serrer son bonheur il le broie
Sa vie est un étrange et douloureux divorce
          Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Sa vie Elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes
Qu'on avait habillés pour un autre destin
A quoi peut leur servir de se lever matin
Eux qu'on retrouve au soir désoeuvrés incertains
Dites ces mots Ma vie Et retenez vos larmes
          Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Mon bel amour mon cher amour ma déchirure
Je te porte dans moi comme un oiseau blessé
Et ceux-là sans savoir nous regardent passer
Répétant après moi les mots que j'ai tressés
Et qui pour tes grands yeux tout aussitôt moururent
          Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Le temps d'apprendre à vivre il est déjà trop tard
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos coeurs à l'unisson
Ce qu'il faut de malheur pour la moindre chanson
Ce qu'il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson
Ce qu'il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare
          Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne soit à douleur
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit meurtri
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit flétri
Et pas plus que de toi l'amour de la patrie
Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne vive de pleurs
          Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux
          Mais c'est notre amour à tous les deux


Hi gang,


It's home.


Not yet the cosy living-room I would like to invite you in. The furniture has not been delivered and it needs a lick of paint, but it's not a derelict shed or a cold office lobby either. The fire is burning and the coffee, mate, chocolates are on the table. So, come in and stretch your legs. 


Oh yeah, another tango site?


Yes and no.


This place doesn't exist to educate anyone about tango, you only need to do a quick search and hundreds of sites will do that for you, the roots, the rules, how to dance and not to dance, iconic figures, places to go, the teachers...


No encyclopedia, no bible either.


Tango touches our souls. With so much intensity that each one of us thinks we have found the One and Only Truth and are driven to ram our thoughts down everyone's throat. And on many sites you will find long personal essays about what tango is and should be. That's good and bad, good to share and talk but bad to impose on others a vision that is after all only as big or as little as our own experience of life.

This is the home of La Rosa.

Mine.                      For you.

Of course, this place will let you know what La Rosa is up to, ie, milongas, occasional workshops, music and musicians and whatever her thorns and roots happen to dig into.

If you pop in, just be ready to put up with bad jokes, moods, interminable emo-philo-prose, emphatic notes about the latest music find, occasional sharp tongue comments and a bit of gossip... whatever it is that I feel is worth sharing.

I'll keep the swearing to a minimum, promised! and here, aren’t you lucky, you don't have to share my nicotine...

If you are on the Rosa's list, I'll still barge into your inbox for news, meanderings etc, but the messages will also be put up here, not that they're worth reading again but with a bit more permanency than email.

Tango is one big paradox.

Just as it is for each of you, it's my life, my emotions, my dance, my soul, my thoughts... never have I felt as much of an individual.

But it certainly cannot exist alone.  

For one thing: not only do we dance with a partner, but we need the milonga, lots of other people to share our dance.

So this is for you indeed.

Your photos will be framed and hung up on the walls, images are not important in tango, they're even dangerous sometimes. But piccies are good little reminders of an atmosphere, a special dance, a meeting, a good laugh... and they like playing with our nostalgia. 

Obviously you can walk in and out of this place without saying a word, but…. washing the coffee cups  after your visit will be a pleasure if you've left a note, your news... a little something? Just use the mail tab.

See you Saturday, see you Tuesday…

Mille bises


10th January 2007


No tango potion without a great big dose of it.

What is it though?

Maybe you'll help me understand.

nostos in Greek is the return, algos is the pain.

Pain of the return?

Is the pain in the wanting to return or in the return itself? or both?

Return to what?

To a place, to people, to a past... Nostalgia is not geography or history, nor is it a phone book. Bigger than that: it's the sense of loss.

Let's look at the ("voluntary") immigrant. Where lies his worse suffering?

Cut off from home, he keeps images in his heart. Years go by and the images acquire a "static". No real change in them but they are now both attractive and repulsive. Missing home. It doesn't really take fake pretty colours. It's an empty hole that memories try to fill. Memory is in any case naturally selective, fades the bad and heightens the better.

Home is not just the place, it's our whole life until we left.

Is that what we miss?

If it had been so wonderful, we would not have left.

Maybe we hurt for having failed to stay. Why did we look for the unknown, the better, the greener fields? It could have been an escape. So, it could be time to find out what we were running away from.

Not easy. Not just a matter of looking at the past from all angles with all the mirrors of our experience. Not enough. Our feelings have the static, stuck in the departure lounge. And the unconscious fear of finding out, of hurting more, makes us blind.

Let's go and see then. Go home.

Home is the same. And not. The present there doesn't answer the new questions of the past. Old wounds open, new raw ones: people do not see you as you are now, they try to shrink you to their own warped image of what you were. Blindness and dizziness. Loss of the old you, loss of the new you.

And loss of the images. Nothing to fill the hole with any more.

The loss will remain.

And even when, miraculously, we learn to integrate and value every experience, every feeling of there and here, of then and now, it will remain. But not necessarily as a negative force...

So, while we're on the subject, I hope you enjoying the new track, not tango but folklore: "Nostalgias Santiagueñas" interpreted by Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), composed by Los Hermanos Abalos. And that bombo is more than the strongest heartbeat...

... to be continued