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The Miseducation of Jordana del Feld

Como en la pista, así en la vida

Definitely the smartest thing I said all yesterday. Just as true today.

Recently I redefined dance to myself. I had previously thought all effort and thought were anathema to dance. As we all know I got outside permission to think while dancing. And then after doing enough yoga, I decided to think of dance as yoga—the balance between effort and surrender. “It's about connection,” everyone says, and many people think of connection as “above” technique...but they go together, they need each other, they are each other. A smart young friend of mine recently said, “well, yeah, but how are you gonna connect with anyone if your hand is all like this?” (presents hand in mangled droopy position).

Whatever connection means.

A reporter once asked Prince Charles, while he was still married to Diana, if he loved her. “Of course,” he said. “Whatever love means.”

I grew up in a world where it was a truth universally acknowledged that you have to “work at relationships.”

What if we've got it all wrong? Tango tells me that we work on ourselves. The effort is in the core. The surrender is the embrace. The freedom is the embrace. The soft thing is the embrace. While all the time we're chugging away with maniacal focus on our dance. The amount of real physical exertion required to look like nothing's happening is just mind-boggling.

What if relationships are the freedom?  What if the reward we get for working so hard on ourselves and our core and our dance and our technique and doing what we need to do for ourselves and being on our axes is...the freedom of soft, fluid, beautiful relationships? And the more we work on/engage/activate ourselves, the more beautiful/free/together can be our time with other people?

But if so, then what does love mean? Because I thought it meant assuming responsibility for somebody else's shit. If you don't have to care about somebody else's stuff, if you don't take it on as your own problem...can you still love them? Can you, perhaps, love them more that way?

I found myself caught in a moment of love today, and I thought, “well this is a real thing.” A thing so real it had weight and substance and depth, I could practically touch it it was so real. And yet it was still true that I did not feel responsible for the other person's bullshit, and I did not feel that I had to fix them or change them. I did not see them as a reflection of myself. But that was always what I had assumed love “was.”

It feels much lighter and nicer and more like an embrace when you are not leaning on the man. It feels much more sensual and delicious when the man is not gripping you. It is easier to hear and respond to the man when you are not pulling him. You are much more likely to have a tandagasm if he does not shove you. When everybody takes care of their own shit, we can come together in an...well, maybe this is what they really mean when they use the word “embrace”!

And maybe this is what they really mean when they use the word “love.”

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You.  Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio.  Lauryn Hill.