My grandmother, Natalie Jane Williams, was my best friend growing up. She lived in our renovated barn on our property and i’d spend all my days there, eating cookies, wrapping myself in large pieces of fabric, and working on art projects. She was a very talented artist, always busy with this or that project. Nevertheless, she would always drop what she was doing to help me make my next doll or some other impossible project. To me she is classic beauty, she is ethereal wisdom, she is pins, needles, watercolor, and npr; books on tape and glue; milk and paintbrushes. She inspired 6 years of ballet; encouraged a deep passion for a beautiful, timeless art. When I look at my feet, I think of her.
One night a few years ago, my kitchen windows were illuminated by red and blue lights; two policemen standing at my door. They had come to inform me that my grandmother was hit by an oncoming truck while she was turning into a gas station. She was Lifestarred to the hospital where she lay in a coma; a vegetative state of body and mind. A week later, my family gathered around her bed as we watched and felt her last breath; each of us subconsciously matching the rise and fall of our chests with her’s, realizing we’d go for seconds without breathing.
Shortly after her passing, I stopped dancing…I just didn’t have the heart for it anymore. I haven’t danced since (besides little things in the kitchen or an open space).
I haven’t greatly missed it until recently, when I moved to Austin, Texas, and began feeling her strong presence. I started to really see the strong tie I had put between my grandmother and my dancing and wanted to honor that in the best way I saw fit.
When another dancer comes onstage, you acknowledge them by bowing with one foot pointed in front of you at him/her, while you graze your leg with your fingertips starting from the thigh down to the inside of your pointed foot and up to the person.
I know I won’t be seeing her onstage with me, but when I look down, she’s here.
Scott Spencer (http://ssdoestattoos.com/SSdoesTattoos/Contact_Info.html) with Atomic Tattoo in Austin, Texas did an awesome job helping me find the perfect font as well as doing a great job tattooing it. Thank you Scott!!