Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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