Music’s playing on the lawn at dusk (July 7 newsletter)

Music was playing over a room full of voices — how long since we’ve had enough people in a room to sound loud? How long since people danced informally by a table full of bite-sized blueberry cheesecakes and had to come close to hear each other talk?

When I walked into the opening of Hostile Terrain 94 last Friday in MCLA’s Gallery 51 and finally saw the artists’ work, after more than a year of waiting and planning, summer seemed finally to be here. I stood quietly looking up at Trinh Mai’s life-sized charcoal drawing of her husband, Hien, as he looks steadfastly out into the room.

Bright birds sit on his bare shoulders unafraid, quiet messengers, and arrows surround him — Trinh made them and fletched them by hand, and I think of all of the pain and the courage and endurance we’ve seen in the last year.

And now the show is open and we’re gathering here with her work and the Sanctuary City’s prints … Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow and the theaters are open, and music is playing just about every night. This week I’ll letting the events speak for themselves. I’m going out to listen.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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