The Many Gifts of…

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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The Many  Gifts of…
Photo courtesy of Lloyd Sax A pensive Gio surveys his exhibit at the Artists Matter Gallery in Topanga. It’s not his first time, nor is art his only talent.
Sometimes production week comes easily and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t and the Muse has gone on vacation and nothing springs to mind to fill blank pages with words and pictures, the empty space takes the Muse’s place and creates a vacuum where the unexpected jumps in. The timing is often at the last minute, but always in the nick of time. It keeps us on our toes and, nevertheless, it’s a gift that happened twice to manifest on pages 6 and 7. “The Many Gifts of Gio” materialized after the church service on Sunday when Lloyd Sax, owner of Artists Matter Gallery in the Topanga Creek Courtyard, told me about eight-year-old Gio who is exhibiting and selling his paintings there through June. I missed his opening on May 5 when Cecilia Noël was performing for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. There! In the “Old Center!” Imagine! Cecilia Noël! Gio has been painting since he was two. But there’s so much more to his story. It will tug your heartstrings, for sure. (Page 6) The other unexpected gift was a phone call on Saturday night from Chris Conway. He wasn’t scheduled for another story for his Cannabis series until next time but he called to say he had a spring planting article that he had to get out of his head. With two blank pages looming, sure, problem solved. (Page 7) Every single effort that goes into the bi-weekly making of The Canyon Chronicle behind the scenes, the people we don’t see, is a gift, too. Other things in our Chronicle gift basket include an account of a talk and book signing that our travel writer, Linda Ballou, gave at the Sages room a week or so ago. I rarely get to go to book signings but I admire Linda and her work. The gift here was hearing her tell her personal story behind writing her historical novel, “Embrace of the Wild,” which I love. (Page 4) Topanga Days is honored with Valerie Walsh’s T-Days cover and Kathie Gibboney’s Corner of the Canyon (Page 11) is a sweet reminiscence of youth in bloom... in Topanga. With TCC VP Nonie Shore’s help, we put together a logistics guide (Page 5) to help revelers safely navigate during the T-Days weekend. We also have to mention the perks of being a TCC member... like half-price tickets. We’re grateful to Alisa and Kent Hill for another gift, following up on the success of Butterfly Day. They brought our attention to the polinator plant projects they pursue year-round through schools and communities like Topanga, with beautiful, sustainable native plant installations. It’s another volunteer opportunity where it’s fun to get down and dirty for a good cause. (Pages 8-9) Columnist Paula LaBrot puts her thinking cap on again and asks, when we’re all so technologically connected, why are we lonely? Good Question. Good discussion. (Page 10) Finally, we dedicated a full page to upcoming events, half of which is events at Theatricum Botanicum in this, its 50th Anniversary Year. Now that’s a big gift. Not every little town has a world-class repertory theater in its back yard. (Page 14) Lesson of the Day: Don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
Flavia Potenza

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