The Bridge of Aspiration

"I’m an addict.
Ballet is my morphine."

Six months after the death of her father, Erin Weir's mother commits suicide. Orphaned, she is taken to London in a bid to escape the guilt-ridden village of her childhood.
There seems to be no way out of the cycle of depression she's plunged into but then she discovers ballet, a gift that may be powerful beyond anything...


24. 12 Years Later

I stand on The Bridge and look down. My tutu shelves around me, feathery and magical. It’s only a practise tutu but it feels like a promise of greater things to come. I remember briefly a pair of sanctified shoes hung between two pink tutus in a shop window. I remember a Scottish town and a small shop and a man who help my hand in his without knowing how much I longed. I remember a man who loved me and saved me and killed me and he held my hand.
I stroke the costume. I feel like I’m coming home.
Floral Street is grey in the early darkness and only a few people bob down the river of street. I can’t resist lingering a little here, on The Bridge, on my bridge, and I pretend to check the ribbons of my point shoes so that I can stay a little longer on this unknown pedestal.
Sacred to the dancing world but meaningless to the rest of the planet.
I almost think that I can see myself, a broken girl in the street, longing for this place. I imagine her standing there; small, bedraggled, and downtrodden by the weight of her grief. She is turning her eyes upwards to drink it in. She sees the bridge framed against the grey sky and her heart starts to race but whether with fear or excitement she doesn’t know.
I rise up briefly on my pointes, knowing I should move but unable to uproot myself.
Here I am; having conquered the goal that I set my heart on aged eleven. The girl in the street looks up at me, knowing she has to stand here and check the ribbons of her pointe shoes. She knows she has to dance.
I think perhaps that is how you end up on the Bridge of Aspiration; by knowing that you could never quite be complete if you didn’t stand there.
That’s how it worked for me, anyway.

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