MY BIO

Hey, thanks for visiting.   

Here’s the most exciting thing to know about me right now:   

After finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia August 7, 2001, I struggled to find accessible and applicable help on how to live well with illness.  I was determined to prove that wasn't an oxymoron. That's why I created Wellspring Stones, an online venture designed to help women deal with chronic disease and create a life of ease and joy and meaning.  As a life long learner and an avid reader, I assiduously explore ways to help alleviate suffering. 

What else?  

I can throw a fun party without much preparation. I'm wicked good at charades, particularly for those with accents.  (Just as my friend from Venezuela how I acted out the movie, Her). I aim to be a closet romantic but concede that’s not so buried in a closet because I love novels and the turn of a great phrase especially if in poetry.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

My mission is 
to create space
for change.

I value the life of the mind, believe what’s past is prologue, and that the pen is a tool that can, when wielded effectively, confer immortality. I know this because I know the minds of a lot of dead writers. I value imagination.  

I graduated Vassar. And law school. And a masters in creative writing from Johns Hopkins. Yes, I’m collecting initials after my name, since none have changed before my name. Oh and I have a RYT, too. That’d be a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance.  

My truer than true cliché is my belief that yoga saved my life. I don’t care if its a cliché. Because it did. I believe in yoga’s power, and that’s why I became a yoga teacher. That was harder than law school. 

Yeah, my mom didn’t believe that either.

Here’s why: yoga training is a face plant into life scariest truths: vulnerability and uncertainty. And I grew a courageous, nuanced and powerful kind of strength, very different than the force of law.   A whole new world opened up before me, and then in me. I grew to value the vitality of the body. 

I live in Washington DC, partly because I love discussing politics with the smartest cab drivers anywhere. They can debate not only because they listen to NPR all day but often have advanced degrees from universities in other countries. I learn a lot - information is in the air here and the currency. I value learning.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

I love the arts and politics, and my first job after college was at the Congressional Arts Caucus (back when Mapplethorpe made public funding of the arts hard). And I also love PBS and adored working there using my law degree to guide producers to conform to the very narrow (not very dynamic) set of laws ruling the use of public money. The best part about working there were the committed, super smart people I worked with and the ability to borrow screening tapes to watch programs before broadcast. Loved that!  

Born in Evanston, Illinois, I grew up in Summit, New Jersey, a small town high on a hill overlooking New York City.  I studied at a Catholic girls school with some awesome nuns, danced ballet as much as I could and read historical novels the rest of the time (by Norah Lofts, Anya Seton, MM Kaye, Jean Plaidy and the like). At one point I planned to read the fiction section of my town’s library. I got up to author Madeline Brent.  

I plan to live a good, long life.  I'm favored to have the best friends ever.  Including a bigger and better group of Vassar grads than Mary McCarthy! And lucky to have a great family with the most intelligent, most talented, and most beautiful 9 nieces and nephews anywhere!  I love and miss you mom, and dear aunt Monica and my first yoga teacher, Savitri. Thank you for all the mama blessings you still share with me. I hope to continue to honor your legacies.     


I PRAY

May you live in safety.   May you have peace and joy.  May you have physical happiness, health and freedom from pain.   May you live at ease, without struggle in your daily life.

namaste and love,
Cassandra


I LOVE

  • movement and dance. And music that moves me to dance
  • the beach - especially if it’s empty except for me because I love
  • skinny dipping in the sea
  • disappearing into another world of a novel
  • the depth, wisdom and beauty of being my age, feeling like a rich, flavorful wine. 
  • Vermont because I love mountains and because I've been going there since before the summer of Watergate.  

 

  • sitting comfortably in silence next to someone I love.  
  • landscapes because I love possibility.
  • laughing to the point of tears, when my cheeks hurt
  • poetry and exquisite expression.  I'm a sucker for a good quote
  • books, particularly if they are printed on paper and I can feel and smell them.  For some reason they have a tendency to invade my home, stacked up.  

SOME RANDOMS

  • I believe tone and tenor of voice matters and that singing should be more socially acceptable besides in showers, pews, clubs and concerts.
  • I won my first writing contest when I was 12, at my local library.   I wrote up one of my dreams - about an elephant walking down the NJ Turnpike.   I won a copy of the children's novel, The Phantom Tollbooth.  Not kidding!  
  • Despite my fierce independence, I served as captain of Vassar’s synchronized swimming team.
  • I throw great parties where everyone wants to go home afterwards and have sex.  (Yes, before Megan Draper had the idea!)
  • I'm taking guitar lessons again and am amazed by how much I forgot from when I was playing 4 years ago.  
  • When I refer to the turn of the century, I am more often then not referring to the the turn between the 18th and the 19th.  

If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you:
I am here to live out loud.
— Émile Zola, Writer