I wanted to slosh through Upper Linear Park to see whether the buttercups have come back — but the storm clouds blew in between one minute and the next, and I still have photos to put on the pages.
The 2017 BTW Summer Magazine is on its way. It’s more than 200 pages worth of June to September events, stories and roundups, and I’ve been gathering them since April.
It’s always like this, preparing for the summer. It’s a time warp and a high revel. On the first warm night when the peepers are out, I’m listening to the score of Ragtime as I look through Barrington Stage Company’s season — The sound of distant thunder / suddenly starting to climb … It was the music of something beginning, / an era exploding, a century spinning … and it’s sounding eerily timely.
I see Children of a Lesser God is coming to Berkshire Theater Group’s Mainstage,
Sarah, revolving around a young woman who has been deaf from birth and loves the buoyant expression of her sign language. And I remember talking with Joshua Castille last summer, the day he taught me the sign for I’m listening.
He looped thumb and fingers and lifted his right hand to eye, and he told me he would usually hold the gesture to an ear — held to his eye it gave intensity. I see you with my ears — You have my attention.
That seems timely too. Summer overflows here with possibilities — it’s uncontainable — and I’m paying attention, because we have so much to pay attention to. Newly written comedy and drama unfolds at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and folk singers I’ve listened to all my life are turning up at Tanglewood, and the newly opened Turn Park is livening a quarry in West Stockbridge with wry, fantastical sculpture.
Sparks keep flying, and I keep blowing on them and calling to friends and family to feel the glow. Michelle Dorrance is bringing tap dancers from around the world to Jacob’s Pillow in July, and I’m riveted, because I saw her perform in March with Toshi Reagon and Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. They were living percussion, improvising to contemporary music, and as vital as a heartbeat.
That night after the performance I met three young dancers from three different countries who had come up from New York to see the show. They had come four hours north to a mountain town on a dark night, because it had that kind of pull.
All this stretch of mountains has that kind of pull for me, and all year round I find the kind of delight that propelled these three to come here. It’s true any time of year, but it’s even more true in the warm season, when the lines blur between inside and out, when cafes open into courtyards and people come to visit from around the world.
Summer here is serendipity time when I get out into it. Will you come with me?