Mariane "Mare" Leon
May 2023, preferred pronouns: they/she
BFTA was an awakening for me. I've always seen myself as an introverted artist seeking opportunities to nest, write, or draw. I'm constantly craving a moment of creative refuge in my day-to-day life, but BFTA gave me a space I didn't need to escape. I could wake and wander as I pleased, nourished by delicious meals. (Shout out to Chef Felicia!) I didn't have to care for myself in the same ways for the first time in a while. I could lean in fully to my practice and move at a pace that was just for me. Words poured out onto pages. I confronted many corners of myself that had been lost in the hustle and bustle. I played in the grass like a child and listened to the rain all night before waking to sunrise yoga touched by morning dew. It was a privilege and activation. I am so grateful to have been inspired by the buzz of silence, surrounded by music and literature that spoke a sacred language I had nearly forgotten. I sincerely thank the team for managing this program through a pandemic and cultivating a home we could all rest in. I'm looking forward to the future of BFTA and living with the intention it has sparked in me.