End of a chapter
6 months has gone by…
Really so much has happened..
As I sit here in a polish town called Lodz at a HUGE 800 person festival and reflect that in a few days I will be back in the US I am struck by the strangeness I feel: an overwhelming amount of feelings as I go packing once again…..
Here are a few reflections in no particular order:
* I spent 3 months working on getting a visa, successfully; I moved 6 times in Berlin to find a place to call “home for now” and didn’t find it, and when I return to Berlin I will be looking again; I wanted to enroll in German language classes and somehow didn’t; I traveled to 5 cities I never in my wildest dreams thought I would visit: Budapest, Belgrade, Lodz, Erfurt, Gyor. I met people from so many different countries and encountered faces that I hadn’t seen in a while! Tango is a small world.
* I discovered that if I don’t speak their language trying to communicate in English only goes so far. I still feel disconnected from connecting without language, this is why it’s called a language barrier.
* When you need help to do something or if you want something, you really have to ask for it. I learned to ask… “I need help with X do you have time or can you help me with it?” (who knew that I didn’t know really how to ask without shame or embarrassment?)
* You really have to enjoy the sunshine in Berlin because before you know it, it’s cold again – I’m wearing the same clothes I wore in April, when I arrived and am a bit cold already!
* I have a blog sitting for editing regarding the concept of Community and I paused on it as I was now seeing myself as an outsider trying to enter and belong to many communities of this large community of tango. Funny thing the idea of community and our expectations of community. I was sitting on a gorgeous hot and horribly humid Berlin day at a lake accessible by train. Watching everyone vying for any access to cooling off. Everyone piled next to each other changing shamelessly in the sun (very agile with a towel, I must say). And I thought, “you are not a part of it until you are a part of it. You will be on the outside, until when? Well, until you are somehow invited in? You have to contribute to belong.” and somehow through the rantings of a lonely reflection, I actually found solace from my solitude in tango. The ideas on community are still rolling around in my head but they will be blogged soon.
* Learning to rely on something so much bigger than myself – call it god, spirit, what you will – just when I would reach a point (and believe me, there wasn’t just one) I would say practically out loud ‘What for?’ and magically, a live person would reach out to me and say something so nice and so kind. Or I would get a message from someone saying, “come teach please”. These signs have kept me often from real despair.
One such incidence came from a chance meeting with a young Hungarian who put me in contact with one of Budapest’s local teachers, Bela Barabas and his lovely wife. We had several great classes teaching together and rumor has it there may be more!
* Recognizing my privilege or forced to see it when I was asked by a friend in another country if I had moved to Berlin because I couldn’t find a job where I was. The impression to him was that I went to find work. As this is the state of so many of the people running around frustrated in Europe right now. I reflected heavily on this trying not to feel guilty for my opportunity to do this ‘sabbatical’ while so many are looking for jobs or would like to change their current situations in their countries. But also, that the general unfriendliness of the area is probably merely a reflection of the huge influx of people frustrated to have left their homes, combined with people frustrated that you are now in their home. Are you taking or contributing? One Berliner told me, that they (in general) were afraid to speak to people for fear that you might want something from them. Interesting…..
* I attended a few tango marathons and had a great time at both. I was given a quite extensive explanation on the differences between a Tango Marathon and a Tango Festival. I really had no idea!!!! Obviously very important if you are an organizer and clearly now important for me as I will have choices to go to both and have also been asked to attend several!
* I never thought it possible to be standing, let alone dancing in the same room with about 5 other Daniela’s!!! Now I know how Lisa, Jane, John, and Mike might have felt!
* Maybe not finally but having had plenty of time to think I came up with blog titles that have yet to be written:
Summer Only Lasts 1 Day, At A Time (just when you think it’s gone, it manages to come back, briefly)
Girls in Skirts Riding Bikes (actually feels great!)
Girls Riding on Trains in the Wrong Direction
Those who follow me on Facebook have been able to see my posts regarding travel and pictures. However, I have been quite conservative on my posts. I hope this blog serves to fill in some gaps and I look forward to our continued connections.
If you are in Scottsdale, Austin or Albuquerque in October come visit, have tea, or take a class.
My schedule is being updated and can be found here.
ALSO I have edited my ABOUT ME page check it out!
Stay tuned for Chapter 2. Starts in November in Norway! Otherwise, see you stateside starting October 2nd.