There was much more to my 2012 than politics. How do politics and “everything else” fit together? Here’s hoping 2013 offers some clues.
Trav and I took several trips off-island, including four for Rally Obedience trials and one for Camp N Pack. In early November, at our last trial of the year, Trav finished his Level 3 title — a major accomplishment for both of us. He’s now ARCHX Masasyu’s Fellow Traveller, RL3, RL2X, P-CRO-III, RA, CGC.
He’s also Mr. January in Lisa Vanderhoop’s Vineyard Seadogs calendar. Where do we go from here? Not sure. Competing off-island is expensive, we’ve met most of our goals, and thanks to the pettiness of my town’s Parks & Rec committee (see my January 7 post for more info), we have no secure place to train off-leash. I’d like to try for the ARCHEX title, which requires 10 double Qs (qualifying runs) in both Level 2 and Level 3 at the same trial, but the expense involved is daunting. Our more immediate goal is to finish CRO (Cyber Rally-O) Level IV — only one leg to go — and start working on Level V, CRO’s top level.
Little Ducky hatched in May while my neighbors were away and I was looking after their menagerie — four hens, two ducks, two cats, and one dog — and died before my neighbors returned. First Mama Duck disappeared. Since no sign of a kill was visible on the ground, we suspect hawks. Little Ducky reappeared, but being so small and so unprotected didn’t have much of a chance. I found his/her little body on the lawn a day later. Being a witness to the short life of Little Ducky was 2012’s unexpected gift.
Sing Sing Sing
I’m not a musician, but music is part of my life, and I love to sing with other people.
I joined Jim Thomas’s Spirituals Choir this year. I blogged about our Union Chapel concert in July. By the end of its all-too-brief season in August, I knew most of the repertoire. Can’t wait for Jim’s return in the spring.
Singing together builds community. Local musician, singer, and dancer Roberta Kirn leads monthly drop-in community sings at the charter school. If I’m not otherwise occupied, I’m there. For the last several years we’ve done a winter concert, “Songs of Peace, Hope & Light,” at the M.V. Hebrew Center. One of the songs we prepared was Holly Near’s “I Am Willing.” In the wake of the school shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, two days before the concert, the song and the singing took on special significance and poignance. The Jasny family made a video and presented it to the people of Newtown. Here’s the link. Roberta teaches the chorus to the audience first. The song begins at about 3:00.
Musical community needs places to ferment, and Martha’s Vineyard had been seriously short of such places for years when the Pit Stop officially opened last February. Wonderful things have happened there, and possibly the most wonderful was the world premiere in August of May Oskan’s “rock opera,” The Ape Woman. Unfortunately, with the advent of 2013 the Pit Stop’s future as a grassroots music venue looks very uncertain. Living on Martha’s Vineyard is one long lesson in “You’ve got what you’ve got as long as you’ve got it.” Pace Joni Mitchell, we know what we’ve got before it’s gone, but with economic realities, especially the cost of real estate, in the driver’s seat, there’s not much we can do about it.
The Year That Is
How to make sense of all this, the gains and the losses, the nagging feeling that either I know too much or I don’t know enough?
2012 was a terrible year for so many people, but it was also a year of people coming together and raising power in all sorts of ways: electing Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate, creating The Ape Woman live onstage . . .
I come back, as I have so often in the past, to the last six lines of Adrienne Rich’s “Natural Resources” (1977):
My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.