my gift to you…

my gift to you…

FLOOD RELIEF

for body, mind & soul

Thursday, September 29, 2012

Route 9, Marlboro, Vermont

5:30 pm

Klimt, visipix.com

Like the Little Drummer Boy, I’ve humbly asked, “What can I give in the face of so much devastation?”

But the best I’ve had to offer is my presence; which pales in comparison to those with hammers and shovels and know-how.

Physical labor has never been my passion.  But I do like to move. To music. And I could offer that to you.  And it would feel good. And you would leave restored–body, mind & soul.

The first class of my fall YogaDance session at Marlboro Elementary School on the miraculously restored Route 9 is Thursday, September 29 at 5:30 pm; and I’d like to offer that class as a gift to all of you.

There’s nothing you need to bring, except for maybe a water bottle. You can dance barefoot or with clean, non-marking soles (like sneakers), and you can dress comfortably with layers to peel off as needed. You don’t need any skill or experience, and basically the music does what it needs to do– inside of each one of us.

What I bring as the instructor (besides a rocking sound system) is what I offer in my writing–deep presence to what is alive in me and what is alive around me–in you.  In this way, I create a soundtrack that is always eclectic, bold, soulful, soothing–and just plain fun.

I begin with something quiet, maybe some classical cello, and then move into blues or jazz or funk before opening into something really powerful–rap, world, rock; and then shifting again– into the sweet sounds of the heart, before really ramping it up with something energizing and FUN.

As the hour ends, the music turns inward again–with a ballad perhaps; and then we sink into final relaxation with notes that transcend thought.

This is what I’d like to offer you. To all those touched by flood, murder, and all manner of trials.

If you’d like to come just show up–or drop me a line with questions or anything else that comes to mind.  (See form below.)

Details:

  • FREE Community YogaDance Class
  • Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm
  • Marlboro Elementary School gymnasium, Route 9, Marlboro, VT.
  • Bring a water bottle, dress comfortably to move, dance barefoot or with clean sneaks.

Absolutely no charge. This is my little drummer boy gift to you. Given freely. In the hope that it will serve all who come.

Pass it on.  The space is expansive, and so is the heart of the people in Vermont.

Kelly Salasin, September 2011

For more about YogaDance, click here

or ask a question/RSVP below:

Surrendering Summer

Surrendering Summer

Auntie Fran at the River House, all rights reserved, Lila Salasin, 1970

Ask around and you’ll find that I have a hard time surrendering summer, and that’s putting it mildly. As soon as we pass the Summer Solstice and the days begin to grow shorter, my pond cronies tease me about the sun dropping behind the mountain a minute earlier each night.

As flirtatious June heats up into toasty July and then releases into cooling August, true friends hush others when words like “autumn” or “school ” are spoken in my vicinity; while others openly mourn along with me.

But this year is different, at least this morning–midway through September. Today, I am willingly relinquishing my rules for prolonging summer (and I am almost welcoming the changes the new season brings.)

Maybe I’ve evolved. Or maybe this is just an intermission of enlightenment, and tomorrow I’ll be back to my old ways–chasing after summer with flip flips or pond dinners and alternately taking her departure personally.

It may be that I’ve had my fill of sadness this summer–from my son’s diving accident at the pond; to my best friend’s collision at the beach; to the loss of innocence at our community Co-op; to the devastation that rocked my state.

I don’t want to spend any more time being sad. I feel so much appreciation and love and tenderness; and in the grace of that flow, even I can surrender summer.

Kelly Salasin, Marlboro, VT 05344

What Soothes You

What Soothes You

“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

visipix.com

I had the opportunity to connect with a renown naturopathic doctor friend of mine, who just happens to live locally; and we touched on the stress people are feeling following the floods.  A light bulb went off when she said that this can manifest in different ways–even in physical injury.

I excused myself from the small gathering and called home right away. My youngest answered the phone and brought it outside to his father who was chopping wood.

“You know how Aidan has been hurting himself so much lately,” I said. “Maybe give him a little extra attention tonight. It could be fallout from the floods.”

My doctor friend also touched on nutritional and supplemental support for post traumatic stress, which hadn’t occurred to me, and I wondered if the Co-op might put together a end cap display of products for that. Between the murder and the flooding, they could use the extra support themselves.

Unlike my friend the doctor, I didn’t watch the flood come across the road and into my house; and unlike my new colleague at work, I didn’t see it take out my entire road. I also wasn’t there at the Co-op Tuesday morning a month ago when a shot was fired inside.

And yet, I am emotionally and physically spent from August as if I had been everywhere.

What do I need, I ask myself.  What would soothe me?

…some soft music, a cup of chai, time walking with a friend.

It was ten years ago this month, when I had to rock myself into letting go of the heartbreaking strain of 9/11.  I walked my dirt roads, soaked in the changing colors, and restored my sense of self and place.

May we all find what soothes us as we rock ourselves into the changes life brings.

Kelly Salasin, Marlboro, VT

To read more about the devastation in Vermont, click here;

or here, to read more about the tragedy at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

Weak in the Knees

Weak in the Knees

detail, Turner, visipix.com

I can’t concentrate at work. Each day I am more tired.  And even though I am eating right, getting exercise, spending time in quiet, I’m feeling the toll of so many days of angst.

Today, I drive through West Brattleboro, for the first time since the flood, and I am surprised, and almost sickened, to see edges of black top missing, dangling into run off, yellow line and all.

I haven’t been on Route 9 since the days I walked it with dozens of other neighbors to take in the devastation; and this neglect of Western Avenue leading to Route 9 brings the trauma of that pilgrimage back.

“Road Closed,”says the sign at the base of the road, and so I turn my car around, and then  roll down my window to check in with another driver who looks perplexed.

“What am I supposed to do?” he says.  “When I came down from the college to go to the store, that sign wasn’t there.”

“You know the back way, don’t you?” I ask. And he shakes his head ; so I say, “Follow me.”

I always feel better when I help someone. It gets me out of myself, and channels my grief into something that moves, instead of puddles.

It hadn’t occurred to me when I decided to head toward Route 9 that I was avoiding Ames Hill. Though I’d driven back and forth on it a few times already, I had always been a passenger–like I had been the night that we tried to make it home to Marlboro during the flooding.

Ames Hill was nightmarish then, with only a single, rugged lane, flanked by deep caverns beneath the jagged edges where the road had been eaten away.

Once we made the decision to proceed, there was no turning back or pulling over; and if we abandoned our car, which I would have liked to do, emergency vehicles wouldn’t have been able to get through.

But I wasn’t thinking about any of this. I was making sure that the young man in the van with out of state plates was following me–past Lilac Ridge with the bright sunflowers, and around the turn to head up toward the Robb Family Farm where the cows used to moo.

It was then that my body began to re-live the tension of that nightmare ride home, even though there was a boy playing ball on the lawn in the afternoon light instead of a car dangling over a deep ditch in the dark.

I noticed my stomach tighten, without any thoughts, and I realized that my body had some more letting go to do, even if my mind didn’t.

I tried to get onto Route 9 this morning too, but there was work going on, and I didn’t want to interrupt it, so I turned around and took the long way again.

As I passed the post office, I realized that it had been days since we fetched the mail, and so I stopped, and heard how Marshall spent three hours trying to get to work last week, and finally headed back home to Brattleboro, where he took a long walk with his wife, and saw all kinds of unusual things in the water: propane tanks bobbing, an actual car, and even a house, upside down, floating like a boat on its attic.

Perhaps we need to get my friend Susie and other artists to create a large canvass upon which we can all release what we have seen.

Another Lisa took a trip down the Augur Hole yesterday to help Peggy move back in, and Lisa’s stricken face said more than any words to describe what it was to see that road missing, and the wide, rocky stream bed that was now it its place.

I haven’t been to Wilmington, but having lived there for several years, I feel a strong kinship to that community. I can’t imagine what it must be to see the devastation downtown.

As I climbed the stairs to second floor office this morning, my legs were heavy with this grief–and that of Texas, and of Japan, and I noticed that the flood had carved out much more room inside of me for compassion, and that it was taking more energy than I was used to giving.

And then there’s today’s murder at the IHOP in Nevada which brings back the grief of our own killing at the Brattleboro Co-op; which is a sour place to end this post, leaving me weak in the knees.

And yet, as I come down MacArthur Road, past John’s place, and Jason’s apple trees, and Gail’s berries, and Robin’s sky, I notice that the sun, though hidden by the clouds, is shimmering its way through in a perfect offering of light.

Kelly Salasin, Marlboro, VT

For more on Irene and VT, click here.