Vintage photos and performance by Madeline “Sahji” Jackson.
She freed herself, letting her soul take flight;
Uninhibitedly, she danced,
Moving gracefully in the twilight.
… And on that night she danced with death, but never felt so alive.
With tears in her eyes she dusts off her old satin ballet slippers.
In darkness she gracefully dances once more;
Pointed toes grace finely polished wooden floors.
She is not broken;
She is not too old;
She is not cast away.
If she had danced in front of an audience they would have cried.
She composes a wonderful poem with her movements;
Her ballad is beautiful; my god, it’s beautiful.
In silence, only her movements can be heard;
She dances to the song in her heart.
Fluid movement; She flows … she is a river.
The twinkling stars give thunderous applause.
The cold desolation of the void encompasses me. The utter blackness of it depresses me and wounds my spirit. I will not let it feed on my distress. With tears flowing from eyes of anger, and with bare feet, I will dance. I will cry out from the abyss. Wildly and in uninhibited rage, I will dance in silent darkness.
In tempests, we shall dance.
In the midst of the deep sea, we shall dance.
In fire, we shall dance.
In floods, we shall dance.
In the face of fear, we shall dance.
In endless sorrows, we shall dance.
In our darkest days, we shall dance.
In the throes of death, we shall dance.