Chilmark: Linda Fischer, League of Women Voters, First Light Cafe, and Christina Montoya

—MV Times

Undeterred by the horrid wet, wind, and cold, vast patches of daffodils are blooming along the roads in Chilmark.

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of my father’s death. I will no longer be able to say, a year ago we… We bathed and dressed and walked him home. Seeds from his plants sprouted beautifully and on sunny days are making the trip out to the greenhouse. It was a delight to find the garlic patch he planted has volunteered more. I miss him and have learned to clarify my thoughts at times by passing ideas and questions through his way of thinking, wrestling them to a satisfying conclusion and delighting in the process. I wish he was alive and I am so grateful to have focused time to finish co-writing a novel after 10 years of research, and for Sunday school at the Chilmark Church.

The program for the celebration of life for Linda Fischer at the Chilmark Community Center was gorgeous and included the following:

”This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatsoever I can.”

“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for the moment; and want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

The first quote is from George Bernard Shaw’s play, “Man and Superman” (1903). The second from a lecture he gave some time before 1907.

The center overflowed. The comradery, photos, food, flowers, and tablecloths were perfect. But the heartfelt stories were the kind of resonant experience that only comes when a life that personally touched many is celebrated by equally resonant souls. Holding all of them in the light with gratitude.

Linda was a beacon. She is one of those who help us become who we are meant to be. She showed me how to engage with gusto, laugh heartily, sharpen my radar for the absurd and wonky, and say no with a smile, unapologetically engage, and pause to acknowledge those moments when you feel lucky to be alive.

I want to thank the League of Women Voters and Deborah Medders for expertly moderating the Chilmark voter forum. Having someone walk you through the ballot and hearing from candidates without the winner and loser aspect of a debate is informative. Well done to all who showed up, asked questions, and at the end grabbed their chairs and helped put them away.

I want to give a shout out to Jenn and Del Araujo for the First Light Cafe at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven. It is operated by their business, Aquila. Their Aquinnah store will open in May. They are also at the YMCA. And for those of us looking for places to work from, the museum setting offers yummy treats, fabulous views, and great spaces to write and read. Thank you.

At Peaked Hill Studio, for the next four Saturdays, April 14, 27, May 11, and 25, 4 to 6 pm, Christina Montoya is offering a somatic movement workshop called HIPS, that she created for women, trans women, and female-identifying people.

Christina writes, “for those of you that are new to the term ‘somatic movement,’ simply put, is bringing awareness to movement, with the intention of focusing more on the internal experience of the movement, rather than the external experience. Focusing on how the movement feels, rather than how it looks.

“In the HIPS workshop, we will do just that. Using the hips as the core of the experience, but ultimately connecting with the whole body. We will use breath, sensory awareness, subtle movements, releasing movements, opening movements, strengthening movements and stillness. Some movements will be gentle, others more challenging, but the constant will be practicing with awareness, presence and curiosity.”

You can register by sending her a direct message on facebook, or an email at You can register for one workshop, all four, or anything in between. Single workshop: $25. All four workshops: $80.

Let us, “Live by the Foma that makes you brave and kind and healthy and happy.” —Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” — and say no when you need to.

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