Only from the heart can you touch the sky -Rumi
I found dance after some very difficult years of being bullied, teased and tormented. I found dance at a time in my life when it seemed like there wasn’t much I was good at.Dance changed everything; it opened my heart and gave me the ability to express myself without words. It allowed me to work through emotions I didn’t know how to process.
Dance gave me freedom and the ability to feel my way through life – leading with my heart instead of my head. I was so excited to go to class. I couldn’t wait for school to be over. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I was going to be a dancer.I had found my purpose, my gift, and now nothing was going to stop me from manifesting my dreams. I was willing to give it everything and work as hard as I needed to. Something was alive inside of me and I was not going to let it die. I went to class every day and toiled for hours.
I was determined to get on the performance team. I was so close, maybe 6 months away when my mom sat me down and told me the news. “Marisa we are moving to Boise Idaho and we’re leaving in a few months”. Oh God was I devastated. I thought it was the end of the world. I finally had some amazing friends, a life I loved and something I was really good at. The little world I had built for myself was gone in a flash.
I was 13 and angry as hell. I looked all over Boise for a competitive dance class that would keep my dream alive, and I’ll never forget walking into the best one I could find only to realize within 15 short minutes that my dream was gone. How on earth could I become a professional dancer with these pathetic amateurs?
The disappointment was rough on me. There was nothing I wanted more than to dance my way to the top and here I was in fucking Boise Idaho of all places with no one to help me get there. So I did what any angry 13-year-old would do! I rebelled!! I started doing drugs, hanging out with kids my mom hated and ran around getting into trouble.
She took my dream away, so I made sure she knew how mad I was. My poor mom! I don’t know how she dealt with me back then. I was a total nightmare. But she is such an amazing, strong woman. Not only did she love me at my worst, she was always around to pick up the pieces!
I almost got kicked out of school for incessant skipping and I think my mom was at her wits end when it all shifted. The shutter fell on my passion for bodily movement and channelled itself into capturing the fluidity of life. Photography saved me!. It really did. It allowed me to move towards a purpose again. Express without words and this time in a way that gave me more control, more variety and more finesse!
I don’t know what I would have done without photography. It’s the eyes to my soul and I am thankful every day that I have discovered the joy of clicking that little button when I did. Dance taught me to feel with my heart. Photography taught me to find echoes of those feelings all around and present them for the world to see.
And both pursuits really drove home the lesson that without passion….there really is no other way to touch the sky.
Here is number 1 of my touch the sky series