There were many Bible passages that spoke to me. The sounds of the words and rhythms, the use of images; they were written in a way that stirred my heart and inspired me to keep reading and exploring the underlying meaning.
The first one that captured my attention was Psalm 30, verses 11 and 12. It was 1986. Each day I gathered myself into the rocking chair in front of my bedroom window. I placed the Bible on my lap. The year before I had read the whole Bible, now I was returning to the familiar rooms of its text, walking around in them again, discovering the deeper colors and tapestries I had missed before.
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness that my glory may sing your praises and not be silent. Oh Lord My God, I will give thanks to you for ever." Ps 30: 11-12
The reference to dance engaged me. Dance had been an important part of my life. I had taken ballet and tap as a child, modern dance in college. My doctors had encouraged anything I would find that stimulated my creativity. And during my early return to Warrenton after the hospitalization, dance had allowed me to reach out to the abstract in movement and space and find something to hold on to. My friend Robyn and I had joined a class in Warrenton where I began again to make designs in the air, to fly like the bird I could image myself to be, to sparkle among the clouds.
This reference to dance and so many others throughout the Bible connected me to something beyond the fearful life I had tried to escape. The use of metaphor, of dance as more than dance, of gratitude for life that inspired praise and singing offered a pathway to beauty, to opening up, to freeing myself and going beyond the bounds of a day to day life that had previously offered me little. When dancing, I was pulled out of my shell and into a realm full of beauty and possibilities. When reading the Bible I felt this realm was now home.
To be continued ...