Month: February, 2017
I’ve always been on a search for grace.
Grace in who I am, what I am doing, where I am, and especially in what I’m photographing.
Over the last few months of photographing dancers and connecting to the love I have for the beauty of form and movement; I am remembering where I first found this grace that I’m so fascinated with.
I first found grace on a Saturday night, in a warehouse, on the dance floor, in the heart of San Francisco when I was 16.
I don’t think I can count the amount of times I’ve spent dancing the night away. Literally dancing the night away. I mean walking outside with sunglasses because the sun is rising, it’s too damn bright and I have been dancing since 11pm
Oh my… did I love raves. I started going to raves in the 90’s in San Francisco. I was raving in the best time ever to be a raver. At least in SF! A costume, plenty of mitsubishis, and a good alibi… is all we needed to have the best night of our lives.
I’ve never forget the night of my first ecstasy induced rave adventure. We told our parents some lie (sorry mom) but we had too. We couldn’t tell them we were driving to SF, going ot an underground party, taking ecstasy and yes, totally going to have the best time eveeeeeer. Right!
Angie got away with everything, we never needed to say anything her her mom, so naturally we told our parents we were staying there. We got all dressed up, jumped in Lindsay’s sexy new 4Runner and headed off to the city.
It was a 45 min drive in and we took a pill on our way. It was my first big underground party in the city. I had no idea what to expect or what to be scared of. Go big or go home, and no fear was my motto at the time.
As we walked in the door, loud bass shook the walls, a laser light show beamed above me, and music starting pulsating through me. It was a gigantic warehouse, so many people dancing, crazy stupid loud bass, this was fucking nuts and I was elated.
Then like a monster wave slamming into the back of your head from out of nowhere, it hit me. I grabbed onto the wall to keep from falling down. Oh wow, what is this, what is this crazy feeling, holy shit balls… is this real? Am I in heaven, did heaven just hit me smack me in the face with a ton of bricks.
Music became something different for me that night. Music became god to me. I felt god inside of me, I felt me. My heart broke open and I became suspended between two worlds. Something inside me changed. Every cell in my body was vibrating and pulsing. My heart was exploding with joy, and I had a deeper understanding of who I was in this world.
When I am on a dance floor, feeling the music, I feel connected to my higher self. I feel like my soul is rising and grace glowing and expanding inside me. I can’t imagine not knowing that exists inside me!
Chase grace. Live Grace. Show grace. Repeat…
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
I never truly believed in fate until your lips touched mine and convinced me otherwise – Michael Faudet