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Category: Little Epiphanies

  • Travels with Harmonica

    The first time I stuck a harmonica in my pocket and headed for the open road, I was twenty-two. I hitchhiked from Oakland to New Orleans. It was the start of a long list of harmonica-inspired voyages which featured me chasing the perfume of poetry and sin across the globe. I was raised on hobos…

  • Tolstoy at the Fifty-yard Line

    Looking back, I find it strange – and charming – that I always thought I could be as eccentric as I chose and still belong. In junior high school, like everyone else in my hometown, I would go to the Friday Night Football games. But to make it more substantive, I would take War and…

  • One Step at a Time

    I write to you summoning all the reservoirs of honesty I can gather. (Sometimes, I confess, they are not much.) Honesty for me is not something willful or controlled. The greatest lies are those we tell when the truth is something we cannot even pronounce in silence. As a friend once told me, “I do…

  • World Breakdown

    Standing in the midst of a crumbling world, I hear rubble and broken glass. The world is cracking right down its very midriff like a great sheet of arctic ice. A cold gash splits everything in two. You from me. My life from my body. Our dreams from the reality we reside in. But still…

  • Besieged by Happiness

    While dancing Friday night at the La Marshall milonga I was besieged by happiness. It was a full frontal assault armed with boiling elixirs. They surprised me, disarmed me and over-powered me mid-dance. I gave up without a fight. This sequence of events is common to me and, I think, most dancers. You see it…

  • Spelling out the Words (for You)

    I write softly so that you can hear me. This is between you and me. We are alone. In the almost silence, worlds step out from their place of hiding. Rivers spring forth in the sand. Mountains heave themselves out of flatness. There, in the quiet of a new-formed world, we stand alone, face-to-face, you…

  • The Woman Who Cried in the Doorway

    One day in the 1990s after once again dancing away my lunch break at the Confiteria Ideal, I made to scurry back to my desk at the Chamber of Commerce. But as I stepped out into the street, there was a woman in tears crumpled against the doorway. I was so surprised that I stopped…

  • Bed

    End of a voyage. I spent three nights in three different beds in three different cities and a last night strapped into a jump seat on a trans-Atlantic plane. Tonight I wake in the dark in another bed and I inquire with amused curiosity in which bed I lie. It is a while before I…

  • Dancers, Go Live!

    Given my line of work, I have the privilege of traveling the world. In each new city, I explore the milonga scene on nights when I don’t have a gig. Amazingly, wherever I go, I hear the exact same music. Old recordings from the Golden Age of Tango. Beautiful music no doubt and music I…