“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
I had this piece of wood. I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…
It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio. It was a Saturday, my favorite day. I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision. There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…
And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood. she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt. i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing. i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there. i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling. at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait. I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish. then i just started painting. When she emerged, I was her. She was me… the dancer inside me. She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was. But there was some sadness in her eyes. i named her Daisy.
i have danced on and off my whole life. Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good. I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void. In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80. For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs… just no dancing. I was surely never going to dance again. i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.
It seems Daisy came into my life just in time. She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing. I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer. i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way. Each plie, at my own pace. Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose. I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing. it would heal my body. it would heal my spirit. and i might even wear a bikini again!
Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy. My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again. I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more. Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated. Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves. But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her. What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her. And now she is free. Still a little sad sometimes, but free.
p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels. I just liked the quote. (-:
Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”? Did it effect your life in some way?