A recent trip to Berkeley started with a visit with my friend, Dahye. We had lunch at the Blue Barn Gourmet; quite yummy. I then met Moni (a.k.a. Dink, a name we call each other, from way back when, though I am not sure how it originated) in Berkeley, where she was attending a seminar, and where we caught up after seven years. We talked, ate, shopped, and moseyed the town. It was like I'd just seen her yesterday; it is a timeless friendship. Many beautiful sites were taken in, second only to seeing her beautiful face after so long!
In other news, I took public transit (BART) from the city to the airport. A big deal for me, the jittery traveler. Meanwhile, Moni tells me of her thoughts of taking the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alone. It cracks me up to think how different we are, yet how the same I feel we are. Do you ever wonder why a particular set of people become your friends? How and why our paths cross, we'll likely never know, but they are the ones that feed your soul and make life worth living.
And without gettin' all Adrienne Rich on you, (the following was pulled from this article) a landmark UCLA study suggests that when women hang out together during stressful times, the hormone oxytocin is released as part of our stress response. If I understand it correctly, it also encourages the two friends to perhaps add in a few more women to widen the group, which releases more of this hormone and further counters stress and produces a calming effect. I can only imagine things getting really rough and a bunch of women hoarding up, growing into a huge crowd. Ha! Sadly, for our menfolk, this calming response does not happen, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.
So much for keeping my posts brief. And, here are the pics: