When we knew love…

Another last day of February, and with March comes thoughts of my mother, because shamrocks; but of course, then Valentines Day brings her too. (Aren’t shamrocks made of hearts!)

When Casey fell in love with me, I was as I am now. This is who I am, I said. My heart has been broken. I have already loved deeply and lost tragically. I don’t want marriage. I am afraid of surrender. I am on guard. Always.

That seemed okay for him.

“I’m lucky,” I wrote at the end of our first month together, the very first words I wrote to him in a card.

And then I added: “You’re lucky too.”

Maybe he lacked higher expectations. Maybe I did.

Or maybe what we had in common was our sense of Love as something higher.

We had two boys by the time we came upon this tune. It was winter. It was dark. There was darkness inside and between us.

Her. Voice.

The way she says: Pain. Tears. Heart. Met ours. Even our boys wanted to listen again and again.

The forgetting is the hardest part except that in the forgetting we don’t know what we forgot.

The forgetting makes it hurt less. Helps us surrender into day to day life without the extremes of love, promise, passion, wildness, hurt.

But what about these tears? A piece of good music. A painting. A play. A film. A passage. The light. The silence. A certain smile. Even the air.

There must be, beneath memory, beneath thought, beneath recognition even, a deeper current of being, reminding us of what we once knew.

The moment beckons, but we turn away, anesthetized from what it is to be whole.


Or maybe that’s too high an expectation.

Maybe showing for these moments is what is most true.

The lie

My husband and me–21 & 23–just back from shacking up for the winter in Steamboat Springs. Ray-bans & Pink Bolle’s. April, 1987.

In between a rocky (& unfaithful) 7-year relationship with my high school sweetheart and a delicious shacking up with a 20-year old who still shares my bed–31 monogamous years later, I had a brief foray into unleashed sexual freedom. It spanned about a year’s time, and began in the last weeks of my senior year at college when I no longer had to sublimate my sexuality to sustain societal status, ie. concern myself with reputation, repercussion and relational expectations.

In addition to a med student, a team captain and a ship’s engineer on the ferry from Ireland to France, I initiated sex with a handful of men who had pursued me for many years.

Alas none but the Irishman and the med student (who was cheating on his fiance) could sustain an erection.

I began to question my sexuality.
My personality.

Was a woman only to be demure?

Was I missing an aspect of femininity that was necessary in bed?

Why did the Irishman want to marry me after an hour in his berth beneath the port window? Why did so many men want to attach themselves to my strength, my soul, my flesh?

All along I had been told that men wanted sex without strings.
It was a lie.

Thanksgiving roles

When I first met him, Casey was deep in his passion for all things Native American which made our move to Colorado all the more attractive.

On one of our earliest Christmases together, I gave him a Play Mobil buffalo from their Native American series (to keep the child alive inside); and on another Christmas, my sister gifted him a small set with another buffalo and two figures.

Years later, as new parents, we had saved up enough to buy #3870–the entire Play Mobil Native American world.

We take it out every Thanksgiving. Still.

Early on, however, I was disappointed at the few roles afforded me. While there were several male figures, adorned with headdresses and horse companions, there were only two female figures in the entire set: a woman and a child. (Oh, wait, we’ve just checked: the child is a little boy.)

At the time, I searched in stores, but there were no other women to be purchased. Thus, I spent my time tending the fire and the child, preparing food in the small wooden like bowls, and gathering berries in baskets.

I actually preferred this to riding the horses out into the wild desert, and besides that my long skirt was solid and thus I couldn’t mount the horses.

No matter though, because it’s been some time since I’ve been asked to play (my boys are 22 and 17); which led to me to consider this morning whether I might want to lend the set to neighbors until there are grandchildren in our home.

But then it occurred to me that my neighbors have daughters and what will they glean of the absence of women (and children for that matter.)

Maybe they too will come to forget that they once loved to ride into the mountains when they were girls.

Turns out the Chief’s headdress is removable and I’ve asked my son to check to see if it fits on her head.

And to our surprise.
It does.

August Wedding~Potluck

I gave up my book and my health to the month of August, to my sister’s wedding, to my roots rising up from the sea and arriving in the mountains, en masse, consuming me, until I’d forgotten why I’d left, who I was, and where I’d been heading.

It’s been more than 3 weeks since they’ve retreated, and still I am combing bits and pieces out of my hair, like seaweed, after an August swim.

I loved it as a kid. Not to eat. Never. To lift up from where it had been drying in the sun and the sand and press between finger and thumb.

Too wet and it would squish.
Too dry and it would crumble.
Just right and it would, POP!

What seaweed remains on me has long gone brittle
or is so mushy as to be unworthy of an attempt at popping.

I could complain about the weather, beautiful from the depths of my feverish days on the couch, and now that I’m standing again, dark and dreary and so cold.

But there’s Houston. And friends with cancer. And the White House. So what does my weather matter.

Still, it’s Tuesday, the last Tuesday before school steals summer, so there are cookies at the Farm Stand up the road.

Chocolate chip.

If I was sick, say with the flu or maybe cancer, I would lie here, on the couch, like I did for a good long while this afternoon, and do nothing, except listen–to the sound of the breeze through the trees–like I once did for an entire summer of afternoons–the summer my mother lay dying, 300 miles away, my belly full with child, searching for my mother’s face in the leaves, for any sign of her wellbeing, and later, his mouth, on my breast–and instead of getting up and pushing through this hangover of family– an August wedding–too many hellos & goodbyes–in too short a time–instead of chasing away this deep fatigue, this ache in my bones, with food or caffeine or distraction, or even this here–these words I’m expressing–I would remain effortless, without choice, with only the rise and fall of my breath, and the sound of the leaves in the breeze, and my life, my living, and maybe even the world, would be better for it.


Except for my husband & son, I spend most every day alone on this hill, on 7 acres (a factor which puts me at risk for dementia, my grown son warns) which leads me to marvel at the number of visiting relatives that passed through these doors–between Thursday and Monday–just about 40!

Not only generations gather at a wedding, but ancestors too.
I brought my Nana’s bowl and filled it with garden kale.

(August 2017)

wanting free

 Jim McCulloch, 2011, all rights reserved,
Jim McCulloch, 2011, all rights reserved,

Sometimes i miss me the me i used to be–
the energy around me when i was still so unsettled,
in turmoil, searching, free…

sometimes i travel back in a dream,
or a song,
or into my my own imaginings…
trying to hold onto something that kept me alive–
the excitement, the passion
the unknown
the possibilities

not that i don’t love my life now
but the youth of it is missing
the openings are closed

casey lets me go where i need to go
doesn’t try to hold me back
understands, or at least accepts, my crazy mind
and hopefully knows that my love for him
Is the fertile ground of my life’s blossoms

but sometimes, i just want to be the

(july 1998, 34 years old, mother of a three year old)

Waiting for a second child…

low tide; photo: Kelly Salasin
low tide; photo: Kelly Salasin

I want…

I begin to write the words, I want to die in your arms

But Jehovah Witnesses knock at the door, asking, Will death ever end?

And our 3 year old sits beside me on the couch absurdly throwing popcorn into the air to catch with his mouth

I belly laugh at his lack of coordination for the task…

And yet, your arms remain
beckon to me
your full body, naked,
solace, comfort, love, passion…

If another year passes and another child is yet be conceived
will I realize the futility of waiting
for anything

All there is for us
is now

Your Knight in Tarnished Armor

Thu, 09 Nov 2006 10:21:33 -0500

From:  Casey Deane

To:  Kelly Salasin” <kel@sover.net>

This is probably not connected at all to how you are feeling emotionally, but

i must express it.  When you were reading this morning, when I came into

the bedroom, you looked elegant, youthful, sexy, atheletic, supple… it

was one of those moments where I wished I could sketch and draw… a

moment when a cast gets ripped from arms, and beauty overwhelms and inspires.

In fact, I really didn’t want to go to work today, but after seeing you

the inspiration to do something good in the world, to foster beauty,

insight, learning, made my heart pound; life seemed that much more

purposeful;  I wanted to feed the hordes, cuddle the masses, shed light in

the darkest places, part and calm the seas and shout from the mountain


It was like a peppermint patty experience,  you know when I eat…

I get the sensation…

Have a great day.

 Your knight in tarnished armor

2010 in Review

WordPress.com shared this summary The Marriage Journey.  Too bad I can’t get them to do the same for my marriage 🙂

Featured imageThis blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2010. There were 42 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 58 posts.

The busiest day of the year was August 22nd with 109 views. The most popular post that day was Sweet Spirit.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, kellysalasin.wordpress.com, dt1021.wordpress.com, en.wordpress.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gustav klimt, withholding love, basel switzerland, boecklin, and marriage journey.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Sweet Spirit August 2010


Grown Men Cry January 2010


82 Pages till Sex November 2009
1 comment


The Tragedy of Witholding Love December 2009
1 comment


The Forest of Love March 2010

Thanks for sharing the journey of love with me…

Kelly, January 2011

The Last Artifact

Here’s the last wedding artifact dug up during this, my twentieth anniversary week.

Though my fiance was not entirely comfortable with stepping outside the box, I dismissed the traditional wedding party gifts of cuff links and earrings for something that was very “cutting edge” in 1990:


I remember the evening that Casey and I spent in the mall video store (there was no other place to buy them at the time.) We picked out something special for the 21 people in our wedding party–including our parents.  It was so much fun finding a video to match what we knew about each person.

Here’s the list of purchases.  It will bring you back.  Some are still classics!

The Money Pit


The Breakfast Club

St. Elmo’s Fire



Top Gun

Empire of the Sun

Stand by Me

A Fish Called Wanda


The In-Laws

Inner Space

Midnight Run

Quiet Man

Finnian’s Rainbow

Charlie Brown

Little House on the Prairie

Winnie the Pooh

Gulliver’s Travels

Disney Sing-a-Long

This list makes me wonder… what would be a cutting edge, out-of-the-box, gift for a wedding party these days? Or what did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen that was original in your own day?  Your comments welcome below!

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