The Dancer - Portrait of Teri
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Monday, April 09, 2018
By Kukucka Photography
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- The Dancer - Portrait of Teri -

This will probably be one of my most personal blog posts, but that's what the "Musings" section of my website is all about. Stories and photos from my life - what I think about, remember, miss, and celebrate,  - and ALWAYS what I'm grateful for - and this post includes all of those things.

Most everyone has that "one great love" - whether real or imagined, wished for or experienced, enjoyed or missed, longed for deep in your soul, no matter how it shows up or for however long it stays. I'm lucky enough to know a few of those couples who have had the unusual gift of truly being there, together, at the same time, same place in life and love, and I'm always deeply touched by it. I've been blessed to have many loves in my own life, but have yet to play one out to a ripe old age - but you never do know, now do you? Regardless, all of those loves I've know are now and forever, a part of me.

There was one love that seems to be hanging around me a lot these days, kind of just gently coming to mind and letting me that know she's with me. She's on the other side of the thin veil and has been for more years than she was alive, but in my mind and heart she will always be young, and vibrant, and very much alive, and so will our love.

Teri was a dancer, and she and I met in May of 1986. We had a whirlwind summer romance before the autumn of that same year when Teri moved to North Carolina to attend the School of the Arts for dance - and I, to NYC in search of fame and fortune - or at least a few good photographs to show and a story or two to tell (I came back with both, and then some). Fame and fortune were not meant to be, at least at that time, because I just couldn't stay in NYC after Teri died, less than a month after I arrived in a city that is known for it's brilliance and detachment. My skin was too thin and the subways were too loud. And when my Teri died I could hardly remember my own name, so I came back to the safety of my beloved tribe of friends and family in Pittsburgh.

In an attempt to do the sweetness of this love justice, I'm sharing my story all these years later. It's a timeless story of young love, no matter the age or gender, and whether or not your girlfriend gives you her class ring to wear on your pinky so everyone knows you're 'taken'.  (I was honored.)  If it's possible to have an ethereal reunion with a beloved from across the thin veil, then Teri and I are having a sort of reunion this week. As I prepare to make some changes in my own life and journey, perhaps she is reassuring me that she is still here with me, listening to music by candlelight, telling me I can do whatever I put my heart into, feeling at peace. Both grateful to know a love this deep.

Keep dancing my beloved. Until we meet again.

Tags: Musings
Leave a comment:
Beth Kukucka - Thanks so much Cathy. Yes, that song would be appropriate, for sure. Dan Fogelberg's "Dancing Shoes" was played at her service, appropriately.
Cathy - Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful words and images. Do you know a song by Jackson Browne, For A Dancer? This image seems to go along with it.
Stephanie - Wow Sweetie... That image is just heart-stopping, and so incredibly beautiful... I love how you write, how you feel, who you are... (Thank you Teri, for gently visiting your beloved journeyer.)
Carol - What a beautiful memory. You opened up your heart ❤ and let us in to a private part of you. Love you Beth. You are special.