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Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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05.15.05
Returning to Ballet

It has been five months since I last attended ballet class. Yesterday I returned for the first time since I started the chemo regime. I cried when I saw my ballet teacher because it was rather emotional to return to the place you consider the house of love. Ballet is very much a practice of living in the moment. With ballet you have to be in your body completely, feel every nuance and gesture to perform the task. You cannot have your mind wandering in the past, nor the future. It has to be in the present, and you have to be living it to understand the mantra of your inner ability. Life is a collective agent of our memories and experiences, but to truly live, the only moment that matters is the here and now. To focus on the past, or to glance towards the future is only a ruse or disguise for what we are avoiding. What really matters is how we choose to live this moment. Coming out of the dense thickening of my own recent past, what I have learned is to remember the moment that I am living. Even when I was sick from the chemo, the moment was more apparent than ever. That moment had to be there in order to know how to move forward in wellness and with the knowledge and power of my own being. So when I was in ballet class yesterday, with the incredible support from all the dancers in the room, I made it through barre. With physical difficulty I focused my mind on my body and what it was doing, how it wasn’t functioning all that smoothly, but overall I focused my mind on what my body did remember to the best of its ability. Driving home I cried once again because being in my body at barre, to be moving and living it was an awakening of joy—knowing I am working my way to what is most important: my life as a survivor.

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