Aquinnah: Ready to retreat


Happy New Year, one and all. New Year’s Day is the last holiday of the Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, New Year’s trifecta, which can be restorative and celebratory or exhausting and demoralizing, depending on your family and your state of mind. Although I enjoy the holidays, I am always glad when they are over, as I inevitably overindulge on holiday treats and tire myself out with presents, cooking, and preparation. I feel ready to retreat into the winter darkness that falls over the Island after Jan. 1. While there is so much light and festivity during the holiday season, the losses of the previous year seem to stand as a negative to a photograph behind the lights, and make their presence known. With the loss of people you love, that absence can be felt extra keenly over this season, with its focus on family and togetherness. There are gaps in the holiday table and elders who have gone on. There is also (hopefully) a recognition of the impermanence of everything, and a gratitude in being present for it. This New Year’s will not come again, it will only happen once, and then it too will pass into the next day.

The Aquinnah library is open today from 2 to 7 pm. They will show a movie for kids and serve pizza at 5 pm. This is a great way to get your kids out of the house, post-holiday, and put them in front of someone else’s screen. The kids’ craft on Saturday, Dec. 29, will be slime making from 11 am to 3 pm. The library will be closed on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Pathways Arts will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3. Check out their website for programming the week they reopen at

The Yard has some great winter programming coming up. Amirah Sackett will perform at the PAC at MVRHS on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 pm and 7 pm. Amirah is a Muslim b-girl out of Chicago, a break artist of great skill. She is the director of an all-female breaking ensemble, We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic! The Yard will also host a public dancing event at the Chilmark Community Center on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 pm with Red Baraat. They are a group of South Asian bhangra dance hall diaspora performers. Both performances sound intriguing, and will bring a different cultural perspective from what we are used to here on the Vineyard.

I have more information (thanks to grandmother Diotima) on Janis Vogel’s baby girl, who was born on Dec. 6. She was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, with her father, Ivo, and both her grandmothers attending. Her name is Zima Kate. I cannot wait to meet her,; I’m sure she is perfect. Happy belated birthday to Claus Smith, who celebrated on Dec. 20. Claus is now 11 years old,. I probably will not even recognize him the next time I see him, because he’s growing up so quickly, he’s like a small man. Happy birthday to Lang Gerhard on Dec. 28, and to New Year’s Day baby Jen Christy, who celebrates Jan. 1.