The same breath behind our words and the same life rhythm in our language
infuse the movement of our bodies and find wordless expression in dance.
When I was seven, I took my first ballet class, bumped and bloodied my nose on the wooden barre, and fell in love with dance. That day, I discovered a beautiful and challenging realm of music, movement, and storytelling; a way of speaking without words.
As my mother took my hand to walk me out of the studio, a thought as clear as morning dew dropped into my mind: “I’m gonna’ do this when I grow up.” I just had to learn how.
And I did.
After years of hard work, passion, and perseverance under the instruction and mentoring of fine teachers, that childhood dream came true. Some disappointments and many achievements had molded a ballerina who was blessed to perform in the U.S. and in Europe.
Then time and an injury forced me to face the dreadful question, “What now?” The world of dance was home to me, but I would be leaving its stage.
What happens to the dreamer when the dream must be abandoned?
I was fortunate. A fresh ambition waited in the wings: Writing.
As a kid, I read voraciously and never lost the habit. Early on, I was bitten by the writing bug. Having read Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women,” I could imagine myself tucked away in a garret like Jo March, writing thrilling tales of adventure and romance.
That childhood fancy played in the background while I reached for my ballet dreams. Waiting patiently backstage, it was fed a steady diet of well-crafted stories and novels, from classics to contemporary works.
I grew to appreciate the telepathic power of words—their ability to transport the author’s vision to the reader’s mind’s eye. In turn, that vision could transport the reader to another time and place.
When the time came, the writer in me stepped into the light. Just as with dance, there was a great deal to learn about the craft, and the learning will never stop. But I love the process; the mining of imagination for thoughts and visions uniquely mine, then weaving them into stories to give to the reader.
Now I dance with words. Music is my muse. Here’s one of my favorite sources.
As a writer, the pursuit of excellence is as important to me as when I danced. It’s a hope that echoes the words of Karen Blixen (a.k.a. Isak Dinesen):
“Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me a chance to do my best.”
As always, comments are welcome. Why do you write?
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