Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Unleash that Inner Lion!

I’m a proud, stubborn, arrogant (mostly in my head), defiant, brash Leo. I’ve had long moments of messianic complex and deep valleys of humiliation (also mostly in my head). But as I continue to struggle with these extremes of who I am, I was inspired by this horoscope for the new year for Leos of every stripe. It’s from my favorite weekly horoscope site and I wanted to share it. As an often generous Leo (although not in the typical and traditional sense of the idea) I urge everyone to take up a bit of the king of the jungle mantel and incorporate it into their 2009 undertakings.

Leo: How much of your animal essence is in captivity, and how much is running free? Is your inner lion able to wander at will through places where it feels at home, or is it trapped in a confined space it would never stay in if allowed to choose? Keep coming back to these questions during 2009. It will be an excellent time to spring the great cat in you from conditions that make it pace in neurotic circles. (

Love and Hugs!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow in the East Bay!

Well it won't let me freaking show you the picture, but it SNOWED IN BERKELEY LAST NIGHT!!!

Check out this picture and article in the San Francisco Chronicle of someone cross country skiing in Tilden State Park in the Berkeley Hills.

Who'd a thunk it!!

Love and hugs!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Human Connection and Intimacy

Occasionally I have to go to the Nature Conservancy’s office in Sacramento for a meeting and I happily take Amtrak to get there. Today was one of those days and as I boarded the train in Sacramento to come home I looked for a quiet space to ride the train home. I ended up in a compartment with an older looking white man, wiry, with a little something odd about him, but not threatening. As I sat down a few rows from him a young man came into our small area and saw the older man and asked if he could join him and the older man said sure and even moved into a set of seats facing the kid to talk better. The young kid was Asian with an accent and I could tell from his energy that he wanted to talk with someone.

My first reaction was happiness that the older guy was there so that I didn’t become the reluctant target of the young kid’s talkative energy. And then I was surprised that I felt a little envy at the ease in which these two complete strangers with surface appearances that betrayed no discernable commonalities could so readily begin chatting.

And it turned out that they were perfect conversationalists for each other.

They began talking about history, ranging from Genghis Khan to Marx’s dialectic of history. I didn’t listen too closely because it was a lot of lecturing to each other back and forth but these two men were really enjoying each other’s company, picking up conservation after one went to the snack car or the bathroom. I was quietly amazed.

I think part of my amazement stems from the fact that since packing up my life (and selling or giving away much of it) and moving to Berkeley 5 months ago, I've spent a lot of time thinking about my relationships - to my family, friends, and lack of romantic ones – and my own pursuit of human contact and intimacy. I’m at a point where I question if I’d recognize intimacy if it bit me on the nose. I don’t seem to know how to discern if someone is romantically interested in me, just being polite or simply passing the time. With the new people that I meet at the kitchen I volunteering at, I’m just getting people’s initial surface story of who they are, where they’ve been and what brought them to the kitchen and it will take some effort to go deeper.

As I get older I realize people already have their intimate relationships – romantic and friends – and they’re not looking to expand. I can understand this as much as it frustrates me; people and intimacy take effort and time to build and develop. But as someone who feels like she’s starting over, I still find it really baffling that I’m halfway through life and I don’t know how to do this. I try not to dwell on how this happened and try and move forward with trusting that I do know how to do it, I’m just overanalyzing it. But it is a strange place to be in mentally. I’m hoping in sharing it with the blogosphere that I can let it go.

Love and hugs!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homesick for the Prairie

I knew it was bound to happen, after all it happens in every relationship; the honeymoon is over with me and the East Bay. In short, I miss Minnesota, specifically Northfield.

Pictured above is the Cannon River as it bisects Northfield, and just to the right out of the frame of the photo is Just Food Co-op. Big sigh. I miss it terribly. Even though the current high and low temperatures are pretty freaking cold – 23 is the high, 10 is the low – I still miss the place. The small-town feel of it, the fact that I would recognize and know so many people coming into the co-op. The fact that everyone would be bundled up. And the even bigger fact that despite the cold and the bundling up, tomorrow night most of Northfield’s 17,000 residents will come out for the downtown celebration of “Winter Walk.”

Winter Walk is the annual downtown business association’s attempt to get people to shop the historic downtown for the holidays. Last year, Just Food participated and what that meant was that the Clydesdale Horse Drawn Hay Wagon ride stopped at the store and took on and let off passengers. We had a fire going in a grate outside the store and kids were getting their faces painted inside the store. There was about a foot of snow on the ground and it was very festive! I was dressed as an elf with a Santa cap and all, and several times I lead carol singing over the P.A. as shoppers joined in or just smiled in appreciation. It’s a wonderful memory.

So I’m missing all that – the security of a full time job, the knowledge of working for a good cause, and a sense of community. Here’s hoping that will be forthcoming in my new home!

Love and Hugs!