West Tisbury: Congratulation Charter School Seniors

Beth Kramer is subbing for Hermine Hull this week.

This past weekend there were memorials honoring two important men who are dearly missed. There was a graveside commemoration for Jim Barrett on Saturday, and a gathering to celebrate the life of David Douglas at the Ag Hall on Sunday. I miss Jim’s wry humor and great restaurant stories (Anthony Bourdain’s pale in comparison), and David’s warmth and beautiful smile.

This weekend the library was full of music in the name of peace and also commemorating the Rosenthals. Pieces by Mozart, Franck, Shostakovich, and others filled the building. Thank you to the talented musicians who performed here and to the generous people who made these concerts possible. There will be many more concerts here at the library — please check out the library website for upcoming events, westtisburylibrary.org, and be sure to sign up for the library’s newsletter while you are there.

This weekend was also full of laughter and joy. Sunday afternoon was so special, sitting under the tent at the Charter School graduation surrounded by the laughter of running children and listening to the heartfelt speeches that the seniors gave, full of gratitude, love, and respect. Watching the younger classes bestowing the special gifts that they had created for the graduating seniors and how lovingly these gifts were received reminded me of how precious these tender moments in life are. What a beautiful community the Charter School is.

And speaking of joyful occasions, Nelia Decker’s son Max and wife Laura and their beautiful new son, Robin, came to visit. This was the best tonic that Nelia could have.

Don’t forget that this weekend is the first Farmers’ Market at the Grange. I can’t wait to see what lovely new concoctions have been put up for the market. I know that farmers are excited to harvest and sell their produce, and that bakers will be busy getting ready. Egg rolls, lemonade, scones, and salad greens! Please be sure to stop by and say “hello” to Douglas and Linda.

Another must-do event is the artist’s reception celebrating Ruth Kirchmeier at the library (4 pm on Saturday). Ruth’s amazing artwork is up throughout the library this month. She told me that she is so happy to have her own show. And we are so happy to be surrounded by her beautiful work.

This Friday, June 10, Tsering Ngodup Yodsampa will be at the library at 7 pm to discuss death and dying from a Buddhist perspective. Lama Tsering spoke here several months ago, and his teachings are accessible and profound. This event is a collaboration of the Bodhi Path and the West Tisbury library.

Next Tuesday, June 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the library will host Judith Lorei and Heather Massey presenting a program on “Green Burial and Natural Deathcare: Your Options, Choices, and Rights.”

As we’ve come to realize the importance of environmental issues in every area of our lives, we also need to consider the implications and consequences of choices that we have in deciding what to do with our body after death. Our final disposition can have a lasting environmental impact, and yet few realize that their values in life can be reflected in the selection of after-death care or their “final footprint.”

Few are aware that in Massachusetts, families have the legal right to care for their own dead at home, and to prepare them for burial or cremation. Nor do many realize that if burial is chosen, being placed directly into the grave, rather than in a vault or grave liner, is also an option, and one which allows for the natural return to the earth.

Judith Lorei is the president of Green Burial Massachusetts, an all-volunteer, statewide nonprofit organization, and a member of the Montague Cemetery Commission. Green Burial Massachusetts educates the public about green burial by providing presentations, showing films, and maintaining a website with resources. It provides advocacy for individuals seeking a green burial, and consults with city and town officials about how to incorporate green burial practices into their existing cemeteries. Ms. Lorei will explain how green burial is defined and how it can be accomplished.

Heather Massey is founder of In Loving Hands, a center for natural deathcare education on Cape Cod, providing consultation and educational services to individuals and families, as well as to medical and hospice facilities and organizations. She is also a facilitator of the Cape Cod Death Cafe and monthly Death Education classes in Falmouth, and the Living with Dying discussion group in Woods Hole. Ms. Massey will discuss the practical aspects of home- and family-based natural deathcare, funeral options, and the ways in which loved ones of the deceased are able to naturally honor and commemorate life and loss.

Ms. Massey is a volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts, and both women are presenters with the Natural Deathcare Collaborative. This free event is open to the public; all are welcome. For more information, contact Joyce Maxner at joycethevoyce@yahoo.com or phone 508-696-7248.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the annual Bread Sale, starting at 9 am on June 18, located on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, to raise funds for the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The VCOH was founded on the Island in the ’70s to raise community awareness about world hunger. Each summer the committee gathers on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, to sell pastries, cookies, breads, and muffins (including gluten-free options), the proceeds of which will remain on the Island to benefit families in need. Funds will go to organizations such as the Island Food Pantry, Serving Hands Food Distribution, Family-to-Family Holiday Meals, and Meals on Wheels. VCOH will accept baked donations from 9 am on, and monetary donations from 10 am. Please join us in supporting those in need on the Island.

Join other jazz fans to watch some short jazz documentaries and learn from the best, WMVY’s Dave Kish, at the library’s ongoing series, “Monday Night and All That Jazz.” Dave will be talking about Miles Davis and other greats on Monday, June 20, at 7 pm. This event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. This series is a collaboration with WMVY and the West Tisbury library.

I know that I have written about the library’s free Pilates class that is going on this month on Friday afternoons at 4 pm. Holy cow! I went to Judy Kranz’s class last week, and I think I can feel the difference (just waiting for Douglas to say that he sees a difference!). There is still room in this class; please call the library to sign up.

Join Julie Prazich to play at making your own original, one-of-a-kind prints on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 10 am at the West Tisbury library. Basic materials will be provided (paints, printing plates, printing paper, tools). Feel free to bring items from nature (leaves, ferns, flowers, even feathers if you find some). These will be used in the process. This class is free and open to adults and teens ages 12-plus.

Every year as springtime moves toward summer, the Vineyard has the most wonderful awakening of nature. We all share in the beauty of new leaves and other new growth. Julie uses the leaves, flowers, and feathers to celebrate the experience of the Vineyard. She makes monoprints with family and friends when they visit. Some examples will be shared at the class. She would love to share this experience with you at the West Tisbury library.

Come share your prose at the library’s monthly “Writers Read” event on Monday, June 13, at 7 pm. This event features community members reading short original prose pieces. Both fiction and nonfiction readings are welcome. Each reader is allotted eight minutes to read. Critique to follow reading is optional. Free and open to the public. Sign up to read in advance by calling 508-693-4307, or come and listen!

On Tuesday, June 21, at 7 pm, the library will host “Islanders Read the Classics.” This month’s selection is “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens. You are not required to read, or reread as the case may be, the month’s selection ahead of time if you want to attend, but for those who are interested in reading the month’s selection, books can be ordered from any of the Island libraries. These classes on the classics are free and open to the public.

“Islanders Read the Classics” has monthly speakers who have taught and have a passion for a specific literary work give a talk on a book of their choosing. This month’s speaker will be John Hough Jr. Each month, the program will be held at a different Vineyard library. IRTC is sponsored by The Martha’s Vineyard Times, Islanders Write, and the Martha’s Vineyard Library Association. For more information, email kate@mvtimes.com. Copies of “Bleak House” are available at the library.