From Thanksgiving to Gift Giving


As we approach the winter solstice we also wrap up a successful autumn term and recall a host of reasons to give thanks. Some of the many highlights include a capacity crowd at Follen church for Irish theologian and poet Pádraig Ó Tuama, a glorious return/revamping of our fabulous and joyous Children’s Community Chorus under the direction of Angela Carpenter (who will be performing a free concert with the chorus in January…flyer here), after-school Mandarin classes for children taking place at Elementary Schools in collaboration with New Legacy Cultural Center, our second LCE All Student Private Music Lesson recital organized by Annina Hsieh, a unique jazz fusion concert featuring Lewis Porter and Min Xiao-Fen, and a host of classes and events in topics ranging from The Real Work with Adam Gopnick, and The Art of Mindful Seeing with master Zen/Chan teacher Gilbert Gutierrez, to Zumba with Ami Stix!  I also give program thanks and deep personal gratitude and remembrance for the life and teaching of the brilliant, local, and influential Jungian analyst and authorJohn Ryan Haule (pictured above speaking for LCE at Follen in 2018), and my colleague Rick Clerici who taught many courses on sleep and dreams at LCE over the years. Both masters of liminal space, dreams and the heart…and both deeply missed. Thanksgiving also for the one and only David Ferry who we hosted on a number of occasions to present and read for the Fiveash Legacy Lecture (pictured above reading for LCE at the Depot). A translator of Horace, Virgil (and others) and a poet of the heart who asked in his poem “In Eden”, Where will we go when they send us away from here?

We are grateful to receive an amazing donation of a Roland electric piano to our music program, given by Jenny and Tom Smyth in honor and memory of local musician, educator and mom, Margo Shea who lived by the motto, and always encouraged people to “Share Your Gifts.”

The winter term and the new year ahead arrive with strong plans and promise, and a full listing of online and in person classes and events. The summer children’s Lexplorations program planning is now underway for an opening registration day in early February. Winter LCE catalogs will be arriving in mailboxes this week and LCE gift certificates are wonderful ways to give a gift of experience and knowledge. And please be sure to visit our friends at Maxima Book Center in Lexington for more holiday gift ideas!

The fall/winter holiday progression from Thanksgiving to a season of Gift-Giving seems especially fitting in the educational realm, where the job at hand is always to gratefully pass the torch of learning and the energy of life around and along in order to share/give gifts of en-lighten-ment.

We hope to see you in class in 2024!

Craig Hall, Director

Ancestral Lines


It’s as when following the others’ lines,
Which are the tracks of somebody gone before,
Leaving me mischievous clues, telling me who

They were and who it was they weren’t,
And who it is I am because of them,
Or, just for the moment, reading them, I am,

Although the next moment I’m back in myself, and lost.
My father at the piano saying to me,
“Listen to this, he called the piece Warum?”

And the nearest my father could come to saying what
He made of that was lamely to say he didn’t,
Schumann didn’t, my father didn’t, know why.

“What’s in a dog’s heart”? I once asked in a poem,
And Christopher Ricks when he read it said, “Search me.”
He wasn’t just being funny, he was right.

You can’t tell anything much about who you are
By exercising on the Romantic bars.
What are the wild waves saying? I don’t know.

And Shelley didn’t know, and knew he didn’t.
In his great poem, “Ode to the West Wind,” he
Said that the leaves of his pages were blowing away,

Dead leaves, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.

Source: Poetry (January 2012)

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