Chilmark: Wellness, Nancy Aronie, Music & Light, Saintly Suppers, and Slow Stitching Circle

—MV Times

I’m looking for the light.

I found it Saturday night at the Chilmark Potluck Jam. I found it in a reflection in a puddle. I found it in the warmth of the woodstove. I found it in a smooth pebble. I found it in the voice of a friend.

Last week more than one of those I love received a parent’s worst nightmare phone call. I wish I could smash their sorrow under the heel of my boot. I wish I could gather it up and bury it in a flower garden. I wish I could put it in a backpack, take it out to sea, and throw it overboard.

I wish and I know I can’t.

Grief takes time and there is no timeline and the stages don’t come in sequence. No one can grieve for us. There is no right way

I’ve tried to make sense of the terrible events that keep piling on. I can’t.

I tried pushing away my grief and it seeped back in.

Allowing the sorrow to climb onto my shoulder while I look for glimmers — moments that bring me joy or peace — brings relief.

I found glimmers while reading in Alain De Botton’s recently published, “A Therapeutic Journey: Lessons from the School of Life”:

“A well-functioning mind recognizes the futility and cruelty of constantly finding fault with its own nature…A healthy mind knows how to hope; it identifies and then hangs on tenaciously to a few reasons to keep going. Grounds for despair, anger, and sadness are, of course, all around. But the healthy mind knows how to bracket negativity in the name of endurance. It clings to evidence of what is still good and kind. It remembers to appreciate; it can — despite everything — still look forward to a hot bath, some dried fruit or dark chocolate, a chat with a friend, or a satisfying day of work. It refuses to let itself be silenced by all the many sensible arguments in favor of rage and despondency.”

Be kind to yourself. It is life-changing to notice what supports my mind and to start protecting and nurturing it. Often when it feels like I can’t, I notice I could and I did.

We are resilient.

Kripalu canceled Nancy Aronie’s workshop due to frozen pipes. Lucky for us she is offering to host the same workshop in her cozy cabin. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 9 am to noon. The price is $199. Call or text Nancy 508-274-4286. Email

Every year I look forward to the brunch talk and question-and-answer time at the Black History collaborative event presented at the Oak Bluffs library by the MV League of Women Voters, MV NAACP, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and the M.V. Museum. This year features Bonnie Boswell, MIT graduate and executive producer of the Powerbroker Reporter and host of Bonnie Boswell Reports on PBS, chronicling the disproportionate mortality rates in our country. It includes a discussion with Attorney Bryan Stevenson, and Pastor James Lawson, a Civil Rights activist. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Oak Bluffs library, from 10 am to noon.

Writing can be isolating work and Kate Feiffer is asking to hear about our projects for an Around the Writers’ Table column in the MV Times. Please post here and/or email her at

Please join the Chilmark Community Church on Sunday evening, Feb. 4, for offerings of music and light. Starting at 5 pm for musical offerings, a reception, and to close out the evening — Mark Lovewell and Molly Conole’s Sundays at Sea Facebook live concert. Frank Lovewell designed a wonderful poster for the event. I think he captured it beautifully.

During the season of Lent, the Chilmark Community Church will offer Saintly Suppers on select Tuesday evenings in February and March. The first, Feb. 13, honors St. Joan of Arc, woman-warrior patron saint of New Orleans, with a Cajun and Creole Mardi Gras Feast.

I am looking forward to slowing down, creating, and connecting with neighbors and friends at Pathways Arts Thursday afternoons 1 to 3 pm for the Slow Stitching Circle with Rebecca Gilbert and Connie Hyde. Basic materials will be provided to create a cell phone bag. The intention is slowing down, good conversation, and creating in the light of zero waste. Perhaps you have an item of clothing that can be repurposed? A favorite button? Some special beads? Bring them along!

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