Valerie has given me the honor of writing this week’s and next week’s columns. So bear with me, please.
When people ask for a description of the Island, folks who have only visited or have never been here, I begin to describe each town and its very different personalities. Having only lived here for 41 years, summers for 23 and year-round the rest (you do the math, I can’t), I know I’m a wash-ashore, and can only speak authentically about Chilmark. And what I feel consistently is the word “acceptance.” This town, from day one, welcomed my weirdnesses. I never felt as if I had to dress differently, drive a fancier car, turn off my Christmas lights in August, mow my lawn in perfect lines, restrain from using my favorite four-letter words. You all have been unjudgmental, and I am grateful that I live here every day. I feel strongly that the thing that’s missing, that is keeping people in the real world from feeling safe, is that they don’t have community. I have my library and my Post Office and my fish market and my chocolate connection. So thank you to Valerie for giving me the chance to have gratitude out loud.
A quick story before I give you the Chilmark news: A few days ago I tripped and fell on my knee in the garden, groaned a little, and went into the house to assess the damage. I went right to the arnica and squeezed out a clump when the phone rang. The woman on the other end asked about the writing workshop I teach, but instead of answering her I told her I had just fallen and was putting on arnica. No, no, she said, I’m a physician, and you need an antibacterial cream. I said Oh, OK, thanks, and laughingly told her she would have to deduct her fee when she sent in her deposit for the class. That night I was with my precious grandson, Eli, who is almost 7. I told him the whole story of how I had fallen and the coincidence of a doctor calling just when I needed medical advice. Now here’s the reason I’m telling you this story: Eli, aged, I repeat, almost 7, says, “Gramma, arnica is for bruises, not abrasions.” Abrasions! The child said ABRASIONS. A testimony to his parents, no doubt, but still, I didn’t know the word abrasions until Thursday.
Now for the news: H.T. Chen and Dancers taught with the Yard’s education program, “Making It,” working extensively with the Chilmark School students on a study of early Chinese settlers in America and their role in building the nation. Enjoy the dances choreographed by Chilmark students and H.T. Chen and Dancers in performances on Friday, May 19, 6:30 pm at the Yard. Suggested donation is $15. For more information or to reserve seats, call 508-645-9662.
Anne Cook has been one busy artist. Join her for a reception of “Color in Motion: Pastels and Oils” at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse Art Space on Saturday, May 20, from 5 to 6:30 pm. The exhibit runs through June 8.
On Wednesday, May 24, at 5 pm, hear Carolyn Stoeber discuss the PeaceQuilts project at the Chilmark library, followed by a display and sale of artisan-made items and one-of-a-kind original folk art quilts by women in Haiti. Learn more about PeaceQuilts at haitipeacequilts.org.
Congratulations to Chilmark General Store owners Jennifer LoRusso and Joel Glickman on the birth of their daughter, Emi Abigail Glickman, born on April 27, 2017 in Boston. So happy for all of you.
Free Pizza Nights on Tuesdays at the Chilmark Community Church continue through June 8; all are welcome to enjoy some good company, beginning at 6 pm. And if you get pizza from the Chilmark Church, it’s not fattening.
Have a great weekend, y’all.