I refuse to watch as more than a billion women experience violence on the planet. I’m joining V-Day on 02.14.13 in a global strike to demand an end to the violence.
(Note: 1 song each day, for a total of 11, culminating on V-Day.)
#2 Come Ye, Nina Simone
#3 Love Your Vagina Song
#4 This is to Mother You, Sinead O’Connor with Mary J. Blige & Martha B.
#5 I Ain’t Movin, Des’ree
#6 Wings, Little Mix
#7 Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield
#8 The Lord is my Shepherd, Bobby McFerrin
#9 TESTIMONY, Ferron (Women’s Work)
#10 Behind the Wall, Tracy Chapman
#11 Wide Awake, Tuck & Patti
BONUS TRACK: Second Wind, C.J. Luckey, featuring Lisa Salasin Noffsinger
~Playlist created by YogaDance Instructor Kelly Salasin, Southern Vermont; on Facebook at: Yoga & YogaDance with Kelly Salasin
ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.*
ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY
ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION
ONE BILLION RISING IS:
A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being
In the New Year, I will begin offering yoga classes in Marlboro (Vermont), most likely at the Meetinghouse School. This first effort will be short, small and women-ly :) Maybe 8 participants for 8 weeks. Dates, day & time to be determined; and this startup session offered by donation.
In large part, I’ll be exploring/playing with my teaching style/voice/format. Asana (yoga postures) will be integral, but with a focus on “consciousness” more than “form.” Readings, poetry, music, journaling, sharing, meditation, breathwork and mantra will most likely find their way into our time together. Because of my preference and bodily mechanics, the physical demands and instruction will be relatively gentle (to moderate.)
If you are new to yoga, we will be learning from each other. If you are an experienced yogini, this will be a session of deepening awareness. If you are mainly interested in the physical benefits of the practice, this may not be a fit for you; though you may be surprised at how intentions open and expand. My ultimate desire is that we form a “sangha” (a community of life travelers) who lightly support and allow each other–to be.
If this initial invitation resonates with you, please let me know, and I’ll keep you on a notification list.
A series of ongoing YogaDance “Circles” and “Retreats” for Women is taking place through spring in Southern Vermont.
Both the “circles” and the “retreats” include YogaDancing through the chakras~with music and movement especially aligned with the season.
The Moon Circles take place in the evening and include brief ritual and meditation as well as dancing.
The Wheel of Life Retreats take place in the afternoon with expanded ritual, meditation and communal art.
Take a look at the upcoming dates to see if you’d like to be a part of the energy of women gathering with movement and ritual.
Space in these imitate gatherings is limited so advance registration is necessary.
~Full Moon Circle, Thursday, February 17, from 6:30 to 8 pm.
~Spring Equinox Retreat, Sunday, March 20, from 1 to 3:30 pm.
(Waiting list only)
~Beltane Retreat, Sunday, May 1, from 1 to 3:30 pm.
(Waiting list only)
~All offered by donation~
Yours in the Dance!
This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2010–with 25 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 124 posts.
The busiest day of the year was January 7th, 2010 with 497 views for the popular (and unpopular) post An “Un-Tribute” to My Alma Mater.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, capemaycountyherald.com, en.wordpress.com, christmasjokes.wordpress.com, and emptynestdiary.wordpress.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for kelly salasin, summer solstice blessing, annoying bird sounds, annoying bird calls, and kelly salsin.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
An “Un-Tribute” to My Alma Mater January 2010
ABOUT KELLY March 2009
Resurrecting WCHS (Part II of An Un-Tribute to My Alma Mater) January 2010
YOGADANCING! March 2009
Touching the Heart of Childhood~ a visit with poetry teacher extraordinaire~ Ann Gengarelly January 2010
In gratitude for readers, subscribers, visitors and even annoyed comment-ers.
Kelly Salasin, January 2011
Powers of the South, the Summer, I come to you in prayer
In the midday light without shadow,
I thank you for lessons for growth, passion and relationship.
I pray to be with the sacred fire of the South
in a transformative way.
I ask for courage in this place of action and change;
I ask that my will be guided by right intention
and that my medicine be good
under the bright sun.
Let my idealism come not from self righteousness
not from arrogance.
Powers of the South
I pray for the soul’s awakening to love
and for the vigor of youth to be within in my sacred dance.
May I express through every aspect of manifestation
the joy and grace of life’s vitality.
May I fully live!
Join an gathering of women
on the morning of the Summer Solstice
Monday, June 21, 2010
in Southern Vermont.
The Solstice Dance is open to ALL women, ages 5 and up, by donation. Skill & experience irrelevant! ( If you can take a brisk walk, you can YogaDance.)
This is an hour of music & movement that will serve you all week long--in body, mind & soul. Dance barefoot, dress to move, bring your water bottle.
centrally located on Route 9 in Marlboro, VT
(just minutes from surrounding southern VT towns)
I remember the exact moment that I became a grownup. It was on a playground in a suburb outside Philadelphia, and I was only twenty-one years old. A six-year old, named Danny Goldstein, was to blame.
I’d spent the better part of my youth avoiding “growing up” because I knew that I didn’t want any place in that serious world of adults. In fact, at 13, when I could feel childhood slipping away, I made a tearful pact with myself to keep the magic alive.
In some ways holding onto my youth was easier for me than other teens because I came from a large family. Spending time with little ones kept me young–and busy–which shielded me from having to grow up too soon. The first time I was “asked out,” I let my youngest sister answer for me. At two-years old, her answer was always, “NO!”
Just before I entered high school, my father took me on a date to the movies where the closing song became my personal crusade: “Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth to be Young at Heart.”
The years passed though and soon enough, my interests began to change. I started dating and driving and other teenage things. My best friend and I were always on the lookout for markers of our impending adulthood: the first time we drank coffee, the first road trip, the applications to college. “Now we’re real women,” we’d say, never believing it was true.
By the time I were in college, my high school sweetheart starting talking marriage. M. was two years older than me and was more than ready to join the real world—as an accountant and husband. BUT I hadn’t even chosen a major yet and couldn’t see myself in any role that required panty hose, heels and the title, “Mrs.” The day that he took me to look at rings, my hands began to sweat and I refused to get out of the car.
My fear of growing up took on such mythological proportions that even my youngest sister captured it in song. At 3 years old, she spontaneously adapted a Peter Pan tune for me, singing, “You don’t want to grow up. You don’t want to marry M.”
As my relationship with M. deteriorated, I decided upon elementary education as a major. Now I never had to grown up!
…Enter my semester as a student teacher. As seniors, my roommates had only a handful of classes a week while I spent all day—every day– with first graders! As my friends tossed aside books and headed out to parties, I made lesson plans and called it a night.
After two weeks in the first grade, I found myself stealing naps on the milk-stained rug at recess time. With ten weeks left to go, I began to doubt that this was the career for me.
It was in my last fateful days at Penn Wynne Elementary that my own youth was abruptly stolen. I arrived early to school that morning and just as I crossed the playground and stepped onto the blacktop, little Danny Goldstein, who wanted to be a paleontologist when he grew up, rushed at me with those irretrievable words:
Ms. Salasin! Thank goodness a GROWNUP is here!
My world stopped. My ears began to ring. I looked around the playground for the grownup to which Danny was referring, and found only–me. I stumbled through the school doors and down the hall, wondering how it had happened. How had I become a grown up when I tried so hard not to be?
For a couple more years, I pretended it wasn’t so. I turned my back on teaching, frolicked at the beach in the summer, back packed through Europe in the fall, spent a winter as a ski bum in Colorado, and at 22–made a pact with a lusty bartender to avoid credit, mortgages and marriages till at least the old age of 30 when we’d marry each other if we hadn’t found anyone else.
My frivolity caught up with me long before thirty however. After seven years of waiting, M. proposed to someone else! I didn’t think it would matter, but it did. I put up a good fight—humbly lost—and in the process, grew up. My life of fun suddenly became stale. Marriage and mortgages were held at bay, but I moved in with a man who swept me off my stubborn feet, and I even started substitute teaching.
The day that I was offered a full-time job, I cried as if someone had died. But to my surprise, once I began teaching, I was happier than ever. Within a few years, I wanted my own kids–and a house!
Though the realization that I was a grown up came in a single declarative sentence spoken by a six-year old on a playground, it truly didn’t happen in a one moment. The “grown-up” thing creeps up on you over time and never stops clobbering you over the head: like when you sign on the dotted line for 30 years; or when your closest friends tell you that their marriage is ending; or when your teenage son plays your old music, and you find yourself yelling, “Turn it down.”
When I take a good look back, I can see that “growing up” is something that started long before I’d even come of age. The seed of that transformation was planted and watered through a series of childhood losses:
the day my cat “Licorice” didn’t come home;
the day I realized that people die–even parents and kids– not just pet turtles;
the day my father put me in charge of making sure my mom didn’t drink anymore;
the day my Nana Lila and her three best friends were killed in a car accident;
the day my parents split up and all my sisters turned toward me;
and the list goes on…
The truth is that I held onto childhood for too long because too much of it had been ripped away from me too soon. And although I still have that 13 year old inside–promising to hold onto the magic– I have a grown up inside now too. She can’t believe she’s 45, but I wouldn’t give her up. I need them both, just as I need my three-year old and my eighty-year old, and everyone in between.
Over time, I’ve realized that the secret of staying “young at heart” isn’t about holding on to your youth, it’s about continuing to grow—up and out and all around.
Kelly keeps it “young” from the Green Mountains of Vermont. She welcomes your comments and conversation below. She also highly recommends the dvd, Young @ Heart (You’re Never Too Old to Rock) featuring Northampton’s remarkable “senior” rockers! Coldplay, The Clash & Hendrix will never sound the same!
Extra~ How Not to Act Old in 2010
It occurs to me that this subtle sense of vindication isn’t an entirely “appropriate” response to the news that my Alma Mater is closing. Which makes this piece, part confessional/part research, as I ask, How can I hold animosity toward an institution I left 29 years ago?
Which then begs the question, How can I be that old? No matter though, because all those years fade away when I think back on my days at Wildwood Catholic High. And there I am, 17, in a pink Handi-Wipe uniform. I wasn’t even Catholic.
When it came to choosing my highschool, my parents disagreed. Neither wanted me to attend their respective Alma Maters. My father could not imagine sending his first daughter into the wilds of his own public high school experience (at Wildwood High), and my mother couldn’t imagine inflicting her experience at Catholic on anyone else. (She had abandoned her childhood faith when the Church refused to marry her, pregnant, to a Protestant/Jew.)
But when it came to choosing my high school, my father–and the subject of French–prevailed. Wildwood High didn’t offer French III and Catholic did. (Of course, what they failed to mention upon my registration at Catholic was that although they offered it, I wouldn’t be able to take it as a sophomore which was the intention.)
Though it’s come up briefly in other places, I’ve never written directly about my highschool before–and I’m a little nervous about it. Of course, it’s easier to bash something or someone upon death. And personally, I think it’s healthy to do so. A little Razor’s Edge makes the separation simpler.
And to be fair, lots of “good” took place within those walls for me: I met my first love and had my first kiss. I summoned up the courage to try out for the school play. (Thank you Peachy, FTT & the cast of Pippin.) I excelled in the small art classes. I toyed with honors. I recited the Canterbury Tales in Middle English (I still remember them!) And most importantly, I met some of my dearest friends–with whom I am STILL friends. (Take that, Mrs. Coughlin!)
So what is it that leaves me strangely satisfied about the school’s closing? Is it simply a case of Alice Cooper’s, “School’s Out for Summer” with a twisted emphasis on the line, “Schools Out Forever!” And who can resist the lyrics, “School’s been blown to pieces! No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.”
Or does this sense of smugness smack of something hidden, some “slight” left unresolved?
Was it Sister Henrietta standing at the top of the stairwell after lunch, confiscating each of our illegal cardigan sweaters and stowing the whole pile of them in her office?
Was it Breslin throwing chalk at my head for falling asleep in English? Or Sister Paul Mary for slapping me after I asked a “stupid question”? (She was my mom’s Biology teacher too.)
Was it that Sister Eileen singled me out instead of the boys when they nudged my desk ever so slowly out into the front of the room until I banged into hers? (Thanks Keith & Porto!)
Was it the detention I got for scratching my name into the wooden auditorium seats during the weekly Mass? Or the “C ” I got in typing because I wasn’t a jock or a cheerleader? (I’ve only recently learned to type without looking.)
Was it that Father Hodges cleverly mocked my Protestant indignation over kneeling for the Rosary– by crowning me May Queen? Was it his hair shirt or the Irish Pub songs he made us sing? (“Oh it’s, no nay, never, no nay never, no more, Oh I’ll Sing the Wild Rover…”) Or Sister Saint Jervase’s unusually strong affection for the bust of Shakespeare?
Maybe it is even deeper yet… Something beneath the surface of institutionalized authority. Something that extends beyond my singular experience…
I wasn’t one of the students being made fun of by the teachers after play practice. But upon hearing them, I learned that not all adults had the integrity I expected of myself in coming of age.
It was also funny to be asked to release my boyfriend’s hand across the cafeteria table, “My dear couple, there will be no public display of affection,” while another girl was giving her boyfriend a hand job in the Library–or better yet, when the new teacher was screwing one of the students.
Admittedly, having my dress looked up with a shoe mirror by my classmates wasn’t nearly as bad as the humiliation endured by one of the smaller boys who was frequently stuffed in the trash can at lunch time or stowed behind the soda machine. (Watch out boys. He’s a Marine now.)
Or what about our very own guidance counselor, who told some of our “lower tracked” friends that they weren’t “college” material and that they shouldn’t bother applying– even to a community school? (Does anyone else feel creepy about the tracking system?)
What about how cruelly we treated one of our kinder, but odder teachers? I didn’t care to pay attention enough to understand Animal Farm, but I’ll never forget the way the teasing made me feel inside. (The term “passive colluder” comes to mind.)
When I look closely at my years at Wildwood Catholic, there’s nothing really terrible there. It was more of a Purgatory, a suspension of living—a forced “playing” of someone else’s game, before I could live my own. It’s probably true of most highschool experiences.
I appreciated the sense of “belonging” at WCHS. Like when the entire first track resorted to hiring the same math tutor (her condo was revolving door of seniors.) Or when we all chipped into the “Chem Pot” so that the poor soul who scored the lowest grade on the tests (which we had all repeatedly failed) would take home some cash. Or the ditties we prepared on our free period to make some abysmal teaching tolerable. I still sing, “B to the negative N, B to the negative N,” (to the tune from the Wizard of Oz.) That bright spot of a dull morning in the basement of the school was worth the pink slip that read, “Kelly is a constant source of disruption in class.”
One of the greatest covert acts of my lifetime was arriving late to school to discover an empty office with a pile of detention slips on the counter. Holding my breath, I shuffled through the pink pile, finding mine and stuffing it into the pocket of my dress.
Many more things happened at Wildwood Catholic that I never knew about. Like I didn’t know that I shared the cafeteria with a track 4 underclassman who would a decade later become my lover and then my husband and then the father to our sons, one of whom is in public high school now (and hopefully not reading this.)
Unlike my husband, I never experienced the infamous Senor Platt as a teacher, though he lost his life outside the restaurant I managed during the summers–which is now also gone.
I never understood why Mademoiselle Hodge distributed cookies during the SATs by serving one side of the aisle and not the other so that she was forced to make two round trips–just with the napkins. But I loved it about her– even more than her thoughtfulness.
And then there was the all time favorite, Mr. Stubbs, who was cool enough to manage the class and treat us like equals. Much to my initial discomfort, his wife insisted I call him “Sam” when we became teaching colleagues at Margaret Mace Elementary years later. We spent Friday afternoons together in the P.O.E.T.S. club (Piss On Education Tomorrow’s Saturday) and during our precious years together, he lost Sharon to cancer, and married a friend, and moved away, like me.
Maybe it’s the building that bothers me. The cross shape. I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face the day my parents brought me there to register. “This place still gives me the heebie jeebies,” she said, with a shudder, as we waited in the cold marble lobby for Sister to see us.
It was the first time that my mother had let down the mask of “adult,” and I saw her just like me… as a person. She learned to smoke there at Wildwood Catholic High, across the street, hiding from the Nuns. Maybe in some twisted way I blame them for that.
I guess despite my extensive probing, I haven’t figured out this animosity toward my dying Alma Mater. And so I’ll end with love.
Love for all those who have had their highschool belonging years cut short by this closing. Love for those who never did belong, though they may have ached to. Love for teachers, past and present, who gave of their time and patience to be there, and for those who now face an ending that rocks their world. May you find higher ground.
While I don’t share their walk, I have long admired the living Catholic faith among my old highschool and college classmates, and I can only imagine what a loss this type of ending is for them–and for their children. For that, I offer my deep condolence.
“Hail Alma Mater, Wildwood Catholic High!”
PS. Sister Patricia was wrong. That track 4 guy (that I married) DID eventually go to college, graduate with honors and become a highschool history teacher himself: Vermont’s own version of Mr. Stubbs :)
Kelly Salasin, WCHS ’81 is a lifelong educator and “recovering classroom teacher” who now shines the light of learning through writing, yogadance & life coaching.
Scroll down below to the comment section to join the “conversation.” Add the name of your highschool and year of graduation to your name if you’d like.
of related interest:
Facebook, The Mean Girls and Me (At 34 years old, I finally feel like a popular seventh-grader. How sad is that?)