Chilmark: Holiday decorations, Potluck Jam, book sale, and Music and Light concert

—MV Times

“Whatever I do, I want that impact to lead to joy. I want the impact to lead to somebody being uplifted or healed. That’s a real thing. That’s a very real thing.” —Jon Batiste, “American Symphony”

“You’re meant to return from the hardest moments of your life stronger and braver, and more of a warrior for what you’ve been through. I don’t wanna have tough skin. I want to feel the things that are happening to me. The terrible things. The beautiful things. I want to be open to it all.”  —Suleika Jaouad in “American Symphony” 

Welcome, 2024. 2023 was hard.

After dropping into gatherings, I drove up around Chilmark and Aquinnah looking for lights. It was an annual tradition to take the drive on the last day of the year with my father. Dad had only a pinhole view, so I was in the habit of narrating what I saw, and he was in the habit of interrupting with a literary quote or remembered story about the people. This year my mini poodle was my compadre. I talked to him and laughed.

Thank you to all who put up decorations we could see from the roads. They were lovely. Debbie Hancock’s office in Menemsha sported a winter wonderland. Beetlebung Farm was festooned with lights. The Larsens’ peace sign glowed. The tree sparkled through the window of the church, and the quiet lights in Julie’s windows glowed. The drive-on dock sported a lobster pot tree and sparked memories of Capt. Everett Poole. The Texaco had lights inside and out. I love the new cut-out trees. Thank you, Katie and Marshall Carroll. I adore the iconic small tree at the end of a little dock and lights on the house at the top of the hill overlooking the harbor. Coming down the hill toward home, the quiet white lights on the old Menemsha School followed by the joyous lights at Pat and Joanie Jenkinson’s warmed my heart. Thank you.

The 61st Potluck Jam was wonderful. I feel so much gratitude and admiration for Alex Karalakes. Seth Cooperrider mastered the sound. Anthony Esposito played with so many bands it was hard not to think of him as a part of the infrastructure. Daniel Waters took photos and performed on stage. Small children ran laps. No one was crabby. Emmett Athearn and Atlas Zack gave us a preview of the New Year’s Day release on Spotify. Check it out. It was nice to see Sam Low also taking photos. The talent is almost as astounding as the goodwill. I was glad I stayed and had a chance to help put things away.

The Chilmark library has some wonderful books left from their sale, and they are now free!

Pathways at the Chilmark Tavern reopens with more writers, music, and art.

This Sunday, Jan. 7, at 5 pm, they are offering music, poetry, light, and supper at the Chilmark Community Church on Menemsha Crossroad. The acoustics in the sanctuary are lovely. The lineup includes Sean McMahon, Adele Dreyer, Violet Southwick, Donald Nitche, Missis Biskis, Warren Doty and the Loon Lane Players, Kestutis Biskis, and more.

Let’s keep joy going.

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