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Storytelling Upon a Fossil Reef

Isle La Motte, Vermont, the northern most island in Lake Champlain sits on top of the oldest diverse fossil reef in the world, the Chazy Reef, once a 1,000 mile-long reef formed 480 million years ago along the continental shelf of North America when it was in the southern hemisphere where Africa is today. Linda Fitch, a very dear friend, started the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust to preserve over 100 acres of land with fossil outcrops and a quarry. Huge fossil stromatoperoids (colonial animals), gastropods, cephalods, and sponges are clearly visible on the quarry walls and in rock outcrops. Five years ago, the ILMPT opened a visitor center and last year drew over 3,000 people. There's something magical and deeply moving about seeing the fossils in situ, knowing that these animals once wafted and swam in tropical waters thousands of miles from their current location.

In addition to managing the ILMPT, Linda holds Sunday afternoon Tea Garden at Fisk Farm, her home, with concerts, and art exhibits in the barn. On display right now is artwork by Mary Coelho, author of Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood . . . remarkable water colors and accordion books centered on the theme of “Awakening from the Illusion of Separateness,” art that beautifully expresses vastness and deep connection at the same time. At Fisk Farm we're now calling her show the goose bump show because people often say (independently of each other) that they feel goose bumps creeping across their arms as they look at her work. The exhibit brings together art, fossils, the story of the universe, and music. Linda and Claire Durand, another dear friend, both professional musicians and I developed a storytelling performance about the Chazy Reef. See pictures. This is the first time I’ve done storytelling with musicians and I LOVE IT! The music adds so much color and mood and it’s great fun to practice and develop the work together. Through the story people easily see the reef in its relationship to the unfolding story of life.

Yes, I’m deep into writing another book, this one for adults. Will keep you posted.
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