But there’s strength in numbers, so we walked into the beautiful church hall together…and into a timeless space.) The warmth and beauty of the decorations, the delicious aroma of Armenian food permeating the air, and the familiar sound of treasured songs from our past rolling from the twelve musicians onstage made us feel instantly welcome, although we knew only a handful out of the two hundred and sixty relatives and friends gathered there.
All older now than our memories registered, familiar onstage faces broke into grins as we were recognized.
I and two of my good friends, bellydancers all, who had worked with this man were invited to a very exclusive family gathering, a celebration of his life. (Personally, if they hadn’t gone with me, I wouldn’t have by myself.
I’ve attended enough funerals and memorials for those I love ( and so have they) so my face crumples and the waterworks start in earnest the second someone’s eyes water, or a voice cracks.
It’s painful for me to think about, to process, and difficult to write…but I feel that IThe circumstances and story are SO expedient, and SO important for us, as Middle Eastern dance artists, to think about and understand.
We sat together at a table close to the band, as the room filled to capacity.A feast was served: many tables full of mouthwatering appetizers were brought out first.Fire and Embers Recently, I had a poignant, sad, joyful and profound experience.I’m still working on processing the whole thing, through a range of emotions which are still startling me with their depth.He was a virtuoso musician, the oldest brother in a family of Armenian traditional musicians, who played in clubs in and around Boston, Las Vegas, and California.