- Stefanie Cohen
Someone Turned Off The Salt
I hope this finds you well and in connection. For those of you in the U.S., I also hope you've made your plan to VOTE, and to be heard in this one, fundamental way.
I grew up in the Northeast, along the Atlantic Ocean. My relationship to this large, fluid body, when I got to experience it right up close, included scrambling along its rocky coast, dwelling in its grayness, and above all, breathing in the stark smell of salt in the water and air. Salt on my skin. Salt in my mouth, Salt in my nose.
Later, as an adult, I moved to the Midwest - a shocking 20 years ago this summer. I relocated to Michigan, whose borders proudly hug four of the five Great Lakes. And when I have waded or swum or hiked along their coasts, while I have (slightly begrudgingly) offered respect for their vastness and beauty and even their danger — learning of the thousands of shipwrecks at the bottom of Lake Michigan, alone — I have always had this unsettled feeling. Something is not quite right in this picture. My body knows full well that this is no ocean.
Someone turned off the salt.
Throughout this past seven months, among a wide range of activities and interactions, I have experienced many similar experiences of disorientation. The sense that precious communication and information through touch and closeness is absent. Is lost. My body feels off balance in my interactions. My mind scrambles to fill in missing pieces.
So, for me, as for the others I've moved with, our task has been to lean hard in to virtual practice. To research it fully with our bodies. To embrace the strange benefits as well as the limitations of the technology. To nurture connection whenever and wherever it can be planted and cultivated.
To turn up the volume on intimacy.
Through our Authentic Movement groups and individual somatic sessions, when held virtually, what we’ve lost from not inhabiting the same space with one another we’ve often gained through witnessing one another moving in our “own” spaces. Among our own objects, art, beloved belongings,…. even alongside the furry members of our households. Seeing each other and being seen in relationship to these elements and beings has supported us to bridge the distance, at times. To add "salt" back in to the scene. To amplify our empathy. To soften our screens.
In this momentous (and contentious) fall I want you to know that there are opportunities for you to be seen, to be heard, to be held, and to connect, in community.
I offer individual client work, both virtually and (safely) in-person, to collaborate with you in listening to your body’s guidance. I continue to facilitate a virtual Friday morning group for folx with prior experience in Authentic Movement practice. I'll also check back in soon with announcements about upcoming (spatially-distanced) in-person groups at Light Box in Detroit, including a workshop: Meditation Movement for mamas, next month, with my friend and colleague @Peace Makita.
Please, reach out to connect and receive the support you need. We are interdependent creatures. The world needs ALL of us to show up in the fullness of our being.
Finally, I’m excited to share our new website and an upcoming performance that my partner Corey and I have been making that explores all of these themes!
We are honored to be included in “9 Hour Interludes”, a four day, online, live-streamed performance exhibition featuring dozens of national artists, and created by four wonderful Detroit-based curators. Information follows here about “Between. Reflections.” our contribution to the exhibition, which we will perform live, THIS Saturday, October 24th, at 4pm.
Sending you all much love and support,