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News

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

The Los Altos Police Department received a call from a local resident reporting a suspicious vehicle in the area of Lockhaven and Stonehaven drives in Los Altos at 9 a.m. Monday. The resident, who reported that his mail was possibly stolen, provided ...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show


Courtesy of Bev Harada
Chi Am Circle members, from left, Gerrye Wong, Sylvia Eng, Pearl Lee and Muriel Kao flank Larry Chu Sr. at the Jan. 31 event honoring the club’s 50th and Chef Chu’s 45th anniversaries.

Chef Chu’s restaurant in Los Altos ho...

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Comment

Freedom's just another word: No Shoes, Please

It used to be that the word “freedom” held exclusively positive connotations for me, but now it’s really become a mixed bag. It all started in 2001 when President George W. Bush asked the question he felt was on the minds of most Americans regarding ...

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Special Sections

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts  classes, events and tours

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts classes, events and tours


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Scenes from Filoli: The historic estate in Woodside is a welcoming sanctuary for visitors. The grounds offer a rotating display of seasonal flowers, a tranquil reflecting pool and paths that wend through the 16-acre Engl...

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Business

Stock volatility still confusing

The market opened down more than 100 points Friday but by noon rose more than 130, the form of volatility that quickly draws investors’ attention. By week’s end, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial aver...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

CHRIS A. KENISON

CHRIS A. KENISON

Feb 13, 1945-Feb 6, 2015

Resident of Los Altos

Chris was born in Georgia and moved to Oklahoma as a young child. He grew up there and moved to California in 1965. He developed a strong work ethic from his grandparents and parents. He attended the...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

'Park' in the hills

'Park' in the hills


courtesy of Foothill Music Theatre
Dot (Katie Nix) imagines her dream job as a follies dancer in the Foothill Music Theatre production of “Sunday in the Park with George.” The play runs through March 8.

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Su...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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The creative process: Something to muse on

I learned an old thing in a new way recently, that when applied could be transformative for anyone who struggles with harnessing creativity – and taming the ego. Here’s the thing: “It’s not about me.” Success – or failure, for that matter – doesn’t have to define you.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert (see the book review below) gave one of the most insightful TED Talks I have ever heard, discussing the origin of inspiration in creative writing.

Gilbert was motivated to find a way to understand and contain her surprising success after penning the best-selling memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” (Viking Adult, 2006), without succumbing to the doomed realization that her best work might be behind her. She looked to history for the answer and discovered a way to do her work but detach herself from the outcome. She found her muse.

I encourage you to listen to her 18-minute TED Talk on her creative process. It is a delightful yarn and can be applied to many areas of life. (Visit ted.com and search for “Elizabeth Gilbert: your elusive creative genius.”)

The heart of her insightful presentation is that prior to the Renaissance, it was common knowledge that writers and artists received their words and plots, paintings and carvings, from a source outside of themselves. The Greeks referred to this helpful presence as a “daemon” and the Romans called it a “genius.” A more common reference in our day is that of a “muse.” These inspiring “others” got much of the credit for the creative works of that era. The author or artist was simply the conduit. This worked perfectly, alleviating the mere mortal of the angst he or she might feel in pursuit of exceeding his or her greatest work or at the prospect of being crushed by a lackluster performance.

Then came the Renaissance, when suddenly the human being became the center of the universe and any magical assistance from outside was dismissed. You no longer had a genius, you became the genius. The malleable human ego was constantly being judged and always found wanting.

Moving forward, our artists and writers frequently came to a sad demise, often at their own hand, because they could not contain their successes or failures. Our fragile human psyches were not designed for this kind of pressure. Gilbert describes it as “trying to swallow the sun.”

“Maybe (artistry) doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you,” she said. “But maybe, if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished … it starts to change everything.”

I’m just saying … not to brag, but I have always known how tragically deficient I am on my own. My dear mother did not try very hard to divide me from my imaginary friends, who still today are a source of great entertainment and wisdom in my inner landscape. I am never quite alone in that way.

Now, if you will excuse me, my daemon/genius/muse is telling me to button this up before everyone wants her attention. (She just can’t take that kind of pressure.)

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit sharonlennox.com.

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