“Death pushed me to the edge, nowhere to back off. And to the shame of my fears, I danced with abandon in his face. I never danced as free. And death backed off, the way dark backs off, a sudden burst of flame. Now there’s nothing left but to keep dancing. It is the way I would have chosen had I been born three times as brave.” ~ Mark Nepo
Her name is Brooke Lorimer. We worked together in upstate New York at a sculpture park called Storm King. Before I knew she had scoliosis, I positioned her in front of a metal sculpture to work with her. I was just concerned with creating beauty and integrating shapes.
When we started talking and she told me about her condition, my heart opened and the sculptures suddenly turned meaningless and far less interesting than her story. After I learned that her spine was mostly metal, I said, “No more metal.” We wandered off into the meadow and art was created.
I asked her to write a little paragraph about her journey. Here is what she sent me:
The quote by Mark Nepo represents my journey with scoliosis.
During my journey from being diagnosed, to having my second surgery, a lot of other things went on in my life that had a profound impact on me. Because of all these experiences my heart has been blasted open. I feel as if I have been given new eyes, as my heart broke open and washed with experience.
It is a path that I would not have willingly chosen, and yet I would not change one thing.
I have a respect for my body that was not present before my surgeries, as well as a respect for others bodies. My surgeries allowed me to connect with the core of life, with heart. I feel as if I am humbled enough to connect with others around me now. I have learned that any experience can allow us to connect with our hearts and the hearts of others.
Mine was through scoliosis, divorce, death, heartbreak. Anything that breaks your heart allows you to embrace vulnerability, which as Brené Brown says “is the birth place of joy, and creativity.”
My spine is now mostly metal, but I have never felt more human.
You can find Brooke here.
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Latest posts by Robert Sturman (see all)
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- Yoga Meets Art — Create a Life You Love. - August 4, 2014
- An Unexpected Meeting with a 9/11 Survivor. - May 23, 2014
- The World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher Turns 95 Today. - August 13, 2013