January 27 2021 Edition
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By the Way
On the doorstep this morning I found an unexpected box. It was flat and brown and unmarked, and I opened it ... to find a tenor recorder made from tawny golden wood. Where else in the world can you wake up to stealth musical instruments?

It's a gift from a friend, the same friend who called me earlier this week to take a walk around the neighborhood and talk about old houses and diving timberdoodles and chestnut trees.

It was early dark, and the night was warm. We talked under the street lights and the shadowed maples and walked in lazy circles, spiraling between the road and the river, just to be outside. We met a Grand Pyrenees puppy and the neighbor keeping up with him.

These are tense days for many of us, and somehow they can hold spontaneous generosity.

People share hidden places. This weekend the farmer at the CSA where I have a share told me about a trail a few miles away that I had never walked before, and while I was looking for the trail head on Bee Hill Road I stumbled on the overlook above Williamstown Rural Lands when the hillside was bright in the sun.

So I am recognizing the tension and sadness and fear so many of us dealing with as November comes closer, and I'm feeling thankful right now for every exchange of discovery and time and attention. A book of poetry with a leaf pressed into it, marking a page. A yoga class on top of Mount Greylock, looking out over the tops of the spruces to the blue height on the horizon that shows the Adirondacks.

And they all begin for me when I ask to talk with someone, or they ask to talk and give me the chance to listen. — By the Way Berkshires

Stories

Soul Step 4H

A Rhythm of Resilience—Maxine Lyle's Step Show

In the pulse rushing through our bodies, the sound of our feet striking the earth, the cadence of our words ... rhythm is the language of Step — a percussive dance genre rooted in an African American history of resistance.

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Tara Franklin will appear as Norma McCorvey, the woman who was Roe in Roe v. Wade, in 'Roe' at WAM Theatre. Press images courtesy of WAM.

Roe and reproductive rights take a virtual stage at WAM

Late night in a pizza parlor in Dallas. 1970. On the radio, Janice Joplin is singing with rising chords and the raw edge in her voice to a man who will not hear her. Two women are talking. And a national movement is about to change.

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Events

Veteran director Wayne Wang presents the film Coming Home Again, based on the personal essay by award-winning Korean-American author Chang-rae Lee. Press image courtesy of Images Cinema.

'Coming Home Again' film @ Images

October 23 to November 5 — free live Q&A on October 24 @ 4 p.m.

Images Cinema presents veteran director Wayne Wang's the film Coming Home Again, an exploration of family, identity and inheritance based on the essay by award-winning Korean-American author Chang-rae Lee.

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Cream marbles a cup of No. 6 Depot coffee at the Great Barrington Farmers Market. Press photo courtesy of the market.

The Ecology of Coffee

October 25 @ 11 a.m.

Lisa Landry and Flavio Lichtenthal, founders and co-owners of No. Six Depot Roastery and Cafe in West Stockbridge, will give an interactive talk on the production, sourcing and cultivation of coffee.

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A hand holds out an open book in evening light.

Neil Gaiman and Marlon James @ Northshire Live

October 26 @ 4 p.m.

To celebrate the release of The Neil Gaiman Reader, Northshire Bookstore presents a virtual conversation with awardwinning fantasy author Neil Gaiman and Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James.

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A microphone gleams in the dark with points of light in the background. Creative Commons courtesy photo.

WordxWord: Word Salads and Just Desserts

October 26 at 8 p.m.

WordxWord will host a shared evening of poetry, Word Salads and Other Just Desserts, live on zoom: Poets will create a smorgasbord out of bruised fruit, green tomatoes and sour grapes.

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Fall color comes to Pine Cobble and the stacked cobbles of the Ledges in Williamstown.

Pleasant Valley Fall Volunteer Day

October 27 from noon to 3 p.m.

Mass Audubon will hold a free Fall Volunteer Day at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary in Lenox, trimming pathways and caring for native gardens, trails and boardwalks.

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A company dancer with Zaccho Dance Theatre performs in Between Me and the Other World, an hommage to W.E.B. DuBois. Press photo courtesy of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Souls of Black Folk — Community Read

October 27 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed and the Clinton Church Restoration will hold a virtual community read of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, with guest scholars and a conversation on themes in Black American life and culture.

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Williamstown, MA 01267