Chilmark: Retreat on grief, night of jazz and songs, seaweed collages, and poetry workshops

—MV Times

Losing your father is hard, even when his death was peaceful and after a long life. Dad left a large library. I love to read, and thumbing through “The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume III: 1957-1965,” edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn, and Lois More Overbeck, I came across this letter Samuel Beckett wrote in November 1963 to his friend, the New York theater director Alan Schneider, whose father had died.

My very dear Alan,

I know your sorrow, and I know that for the likes of us, there is no ease for the heart to be had from words or reason, and that in the very assurance of sorrow’s fading there is more sorrow. So I offer you only my deeply affectionate and compassionate thoughts, and wish for you only that the strange thing may never fail you, whatever it is, that gives us the strength to live on and on with our wounds.


On we go.

May 6, 1 to 7 pm, Native Earth Teaching Farm, at 94 North Road, Chilmark, is offering a mini-retreat exploring grief. The event will be facilitated by Marcia Conlon, Kathleen Rouleau, Rebecca Gilbert, and Anna Marden. Join them at Native Earth Teaching Farm for a day of composting grief and planting seeds for the future on Saturday, May 6. This mini-retreat features a series of facilitated activities in the garden and the hoop house to help attendees get in touch with their grief. The group will explore and process grief by engaging in the arts of meditation, conversation, self-reflection, and celebration; as tears are praise.

All are welcome, regardless of their background and experiences of grief, whether it’s the death of a loved one, climate grief, or cumulative losses. Please bring a journal, a pen, snacks, a water bottle, and a wide-mouth jar of water. Dress in layers for the weather, as they plan to be outside whenever possible. Light refreshments will be served. Optional shared potluck meal at the end of the night. Sliding scale registration cost: $75 to $100, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds — they welcome creative exchange and bartering.

Please email and/or Marcia at for more info and to register.

Friday, April 28th, 7-9 p.m. Pathways for the Arts celebrates the end of its winter season at the Chilmark Tavern with ”A Night of Jazz and Songs,” featuring the Jeremy Berlin Trio, with Tauras Biskis and Eric Johnson, Shelagh Hackett, Gordon Healy, David Hannon, Jessie Leaman, Vivian Male, and Becky Williams. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

At the Chilmark Library, 522 South Road, from April 29 to May 31, Kathy Poehler’s “Seaweed Collages” will be exhibited.

Also at the library, on Wednesdays May 3, 10, 24, and 31 at 4:30 pm, “Poetry Drop-In” with Donald Nitchie, a workshop consisting of in-class writing exercises using poems as models. All levels and abilities welcome. Donald has led various types of writing workshops on Martha’s Vineyard. He began offering his popular “Poetry Drop In” workshops in 2018. His poetry collection, “Driving Lessons,” was published in 2008. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invite. Free. Sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. 508-645-3360.

This week, the Rev. Charlotte Wright returns to the pulpit of the Chilmark Community Church, on Sunday, April 30, at 9 am, with special guest musician Seán McMahon.

The Menemsha Fish Market is open seven days a week. Stanley reports they are starting to get some local lobster. Dragging season is around the corner, and boats based in the harbor are starting to get prepared. Soon we will see fluke, sea bass, and some fresh local squid.

The geese and ducks are pairing up, and it’s time to get outside and enjoy.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,