Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Finishing the Canvas

It has been an unbelievable journaling year for me, thanks to Joy Zimmerman’s terrific idea for 2022 – to design and create our own canvas. I took up the challenge and not only did I thoroughly enjoy myself, but came to realize that this task propelled me to plumb the depths of things I didn’t take time to register.

From my initial declaration of an impending unfolding of Chapter Two (or Three), through the struggle to remain optimistic and resilient (a huge challenge these past few years), to the annual need for regeneration, my foray into canvas building sent me into unexpected realms of time and space and a conscious awareness of moving terrestrial plates!

When this year began, I had not an inkling how momentous it would prove to be for me. In July I decided to close my voice studio on December 14th after 46+ years. While not a sudden revelation (more like a slow percolation), it none the less was not specified on my agenda for 2022. It is now after that date, and I am pondering what possible canvas project (if any) to take up in 2023. Not for the first time during my morning meditation in bed, has a possible idea emerged out of the gray mass of my brain, in the form of the 2 word phrase (do 2 words make a phrase?): New Things.

On the evening of my final teaching day, I was engulfed in an exhilarating sensation while succumbing to a most spectacular culinary experience, at the behest of my last student of the year. During two hours of fantastic food and mind enhancing conversation, I suddenly felt as if I was molting an old skin, revealing a shimmering refreshed me doing new things (or maybe going back to doing things I used to take pleasure in doing). And while 2023 has not yet arrived, I am already accumulating my list of “new things”.

In the meantime, I’m maintaining my random sporadic strategy, letting the chill of the season and the grayness of the skies carry me into an unhurried settled existence. The final holidays of the year seem less and less in focus as nature’s dormancy takes center stage.

So here I am, December, last month, last canvas, and yet another year will soon begin, tacking on bits and pieces to my self-made portrait. I did not really begin with a completely blank canvas (who does?) – too much past imbedded there, but I look forward to mining my inner universe and reestablishing my outer world. In truth, my canvas will not truly be finished until I am no longer here. But until then, I take great pleasure in wielding my brush or pen into infinity.

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