Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

A New New Year

Although January 1st is the official start of the New Year, having been a student or teacher (sometimes both at the same time) for most of my life, September feels more like the time for beginnings. School starts, a new season unfolds, my schedule is rearranged,  the days become noticeably shorter.

During August, I close my studio for my annual “refresh and renew” vacation, when I allow myself to wile away the time in a rather unstructured manner, contrary to my usual disciplined routine. I suddenly enjoy a slowing down, letting my mind wander to where it wants to go, releasing my body from the need to always be doing something!

A thoughtful statement about our society’s anxiety about time: “Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present”. (Alan Watts). Even during my “time off”, I was cursed with the uneasy feeling that I was not getting as much done as possible.

How did we come to this – the “tyranny of time”? “Unoccupied time” seems a thing of the past. Even in our leisure we are working to make the most of every second.

So I made a pact with myself. I would not worry about practicing my voice, or keeping up with my yoga or washing the windows. Instead I would have coffee or lunch with my friends, go to a movie, take the time to chat with a neighbor. What a pleasure to sit on my front porch and let the minutes go by without my heart pounding, my mind awhirl or looking at my watch.

As I begin this, MY “new year”, my resolution is to resist the “acceleration of just about everything”, where the “difference between urgency and importance” can be lost in the flurry. I do feel refreshed and renewed: my voice rested, my body working at its’ own healthy pace, my mind not so jostled with “stuff I need to do”. I am staking my claim to live in the present.

James Glieck. Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything.

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