Stance and Freedom

By Julia Cost

I am thinking about this word, “stance”.

I am thinking about stance in relationship to perspective, and perspective in relationship to proximity, and proximity in terms of distance from my own normal life/ throwing most everything I normally do out the window and living someplace else for a while, doing different things and meeting different people.

Then, from this mess that is far away from home, but is in fact, a messy new home, what is my stance?

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity these past close to six weeks to live many different types of experiences than the ones that have become “normal” for me in San Francisco. During this period, I created a new piece of choreography through my first true 50/50 collaborative choreographic process (with dear friend Rachel I. Berman); performed for the first time in over a year; taught dance to people who used to teach dance to me; created a choreographic work on high schoolers for the first time; attended an incredibly challenging painting intensive which upended everything I know about painting technique, and traveled to three US states I had never been to.

I am writing this on my final day of this adventure before heading back to SF, and to say the least, I feel a bit different. Pummeled, aerated, hung upside down, sore in new places, wide-eyed, wildly excited about new things, admittedly falling in love with a bunch of new people, ideas, and places.  I have been processing everything intensely, churning information around and around, comparing and analyzing experiences, distilling essential lessons, extracting new dreams. I have also been shocked and stilled into broiling unrest about some things. Many things that I had hardened as “the way” to do things have softened up into wet clay. Places that were not on my map of possibilities are now vivid and glowing. And the massiveness of everything that is unknown to me seems that much more phenomenally massive.

As I write this, I am thinking about the idea of freedom. How can we have a stance that feels free? From my current perspective, the stance I had before this adventure now seems like it was seeing only so far, narrowly thinking about possibilities for the future. From my current stance, I feel a strange freedom, and I am almost afraid to admit it for fear that it will shrivel upon its recognition. I am thinking about freedom as simply the ability to change. This is the most overwhelmingly joyous thought to me right now: anything can change. I fear how I will retain this feeling, and then I remember that loss is change, and change is the point.

I write this while sitting in a car watching trees race by in states I have only just encountered, feeling turned inside-out and weirdly comfortable with that, and hungry for so, so much more.

How can we find more ways to be free? How can we remind each other and ourselves of possibilities beyond what we know?

4 Responses to “Stance and Freedom”

  1. Anonymous

    Julia, I think you are describing living–we should be mindful every day of the opportunity to be free to change. But we should also be mindful that change should be for betterment of self and others. A living stance!

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