This I Believe

hannah - Miami Beach, Florida
Entered on May 30, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity
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I had always been a skeptic. I was raised in a particularly traditional household, especially considering my so-called progressive, enlightened hometown of Santa Cruz. I felt proud of my Jewish heritage, but also quite pleased that I understood religion less as dogma, tales of miracles and fate, and more as stories of revolution, morality lesson, and the history of civilization.

Despite it all, I was indeed, agnostic—well actually more of an atheist. I described our time on earth as just that. And although I guess I wanted to believe, I did not have any proof. I was not disturbed by my position, it simply was.

Eventually, my path led me to NY City, and to Juilliard. I thrived in this Urban Mecca, dancing and studying hard each day, exploring the city at night, changing, growing.

My senior year I was rewarded with the opportunity to dance “the Lady in White” in Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels. It was an honor and a challenge. The work had taken four years to secure, would be staged by Yuriko, then-Director of the Graham Company, and was to be danced (as all our shows) to live orchestra.

So there I was. All in white. Alone on stage. As dictated by the force of a great artist before me, I began to move, to turn, to whirl, feeling much more like a little girl than the “stately almost saintly” figure I depicted. I couldn’t find front for a moment, usually so dangerous for a dancer in performance, but somehow I didn’t mind, and as the rising sounds of the orchestra filled my ears which had already lost their equilibrium, I continued to spin, breathing in, feeling absolutely glorious.

Then, the most remarkable thing happened. For the first and only time in my life, I felt the presence of God. And as before, I was not disturbed by my position, it simply was.