Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City


Last year I read a wonderful book called The Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven. And although I knew there would be sadness towards the end (there was), the relationship between the fox and the author stood strong against the inevitable cycle of life we are all prey to. One of my favorite take aways was her desire to be a verb. I really liked this idea and saved it for just this moment to write about it

Now I admit, I had not seriously considered a specific verb, I just found it an appealing notion. But the hour of necessity is upon me and so as I scavenge through our voluminous & vibrant language, it occurred to be I could be more than one. Maybe a different verb every week or month or even seasonal. So I began to circle through several possibilities that might fulfill this purpose.

There are action verbs and verbs of being. The –ing words of our language ( the -ly ones are adverbs). Learning a foreign language has better equipped me to recognize these grammatical distinctions in my own (apologies to my wonderful sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Lundgren who tried to teach me these things).

Picturing (ah ha! A verb!) myself in a variety of scenarios, I meandered through memories: sailing on clear blue waters with the wind in my face (a Native Michigander, I have several of these-it is a state surrounded by and filled with lakes); learning how to make sauces (I DID NOT learn this from my mother who is more famous for putting every type of fruit and vegetable in jello); walking dogs on crisp autumn days; writing on my front porch waiting for dusk (two in that sentence!); celebrating with family. Drinking wine, laughing with friends, napping, reading and beginning my bedtime regiment earlier as the days become shorter. There are also the not so “active” verbs, like reflecting, thinking, sensing. Existing in silence. Hoping in struggle. Loving in adversity.

It is late summer, hot with triple digit temperatures that keep me sequestered in my home. I venture out early mornings and late evenings when the blistering sun has ended its day. So I also become verbs like sweating, dragging my feet, dressing as scantily as possible without causing alarm in public and taking pleasure in my solitary confinement, breathing in the silence, traipsing through my house, watching life through my window as it listlessly moves on.

I am almost at the end of the page and I have yet to really carve out a reliable conclusion. It’s more through composed (a musical term) than articulated in an orderly fashion, though it is punctuated with many verbs. But then again, it does mirror my life at the moment. The wanderings of thought on balance with the “doing” of daily tasks. I guess, really, the most important verb for me right now is living.

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