Chilmark: a week of words straight from the heart


We have risen, risen with glorious morning light licking at the horizon, the ground melting under our feet, driven over edges of ice breaking into mud, dirt turning to a cloud of dust as we head for home. This was a week of words straight from the heart, from Martin Luther King to soul after Monday-night soul at Pathways; Tuesday afternoon at the West Tisbury library, 10 poets gathered around Fan Ogilvie sharing light in the semblance of our affliction; then Tuesday night at the MV Playhouse, Arnie Reisman let poets share a night out, with blueberry pie and something warm to drink; this is a place of old stories passed down, played aloud, painted, sung, from community gathering space to shelter from the storm, places we artists make each other safe, our home. It feels good to be up and out again.

We just got our car back after three months at Angel’s put-it-back-together-shop, after a month of driving with a trunk open to the elements. We give thanks to detailer Mike Araujo (508-696-0725), also a lieutenant in the Oak Bluffs Fire Department. He even found a car key that had been lost by a visiting friend in September!

Our hearts go out to the family of Malcolm Campbell, whose loss is a ripple that will be felt always on this Island. I met him in my early years on a ferry ride home from Woods Hole. I had my dogs Coco and Zero on leashes on deck, he commented about the dogs, and we got talking, and he told me the story about how Chilmark Chocolates came to be as a present from his daughter to him in his retirement, and that he wasn’t interested in the business at that juncture in his life, but how much it had meant to him that his daughter had done this from her heart. It was one of those crossings that made me feel welcome and the possibility of this place I still call home. With that said, enjoy a chocolate again when Chilmark Chocolates reopens Saturday, Jan. 31. Malcolm and his wife Jeanne have served on the board of Featherstone Center for the Arts, and will always be in our hearts during the annual fall Chocolate Festival, not only an artistic marvel, but simultaneously delectable, while giving us a social history of chocolate through sharing pieces from the Van Leer family collection. Malcolm and his wife have given anyone willing a sweet taste for life, and we thank you for reminding us.

Don’t miss the first seed exchange, and learn about seed saving and germination testing, on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 1 pm to 3 pm, hosted by the MV Community Seed Library, free at the West Tisbury library.

On Sunday, Feb. 1, join Land Bank staff for a 1- to 2-hour tour of Toad Rock, a preserve in Aquinnah overlooking Squibnocket Pond and the Atlantic. More at; for directions, call the office at 508-627-7141.

If you are on-Island, plan to attend a special town meeting at 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center on Monday, Feb. 2, where voters will be asked to take action on a “complex and expensive plan, hammered out by a specially appointed town committee, to preserve the Squibnocket Beach parking lot and access to the Squibnocket Farms subdivision in the face of continuing erosion.”

This week the Chilmark public library will present The African Queen, John Huston’s 1951 movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, on Friday at 7 pm. Come in for chowder on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at noon and enjoy Great Expectations, a 1946 movie starring John Mills, Valerie Hobson, and Tony Wager.