New Month, New Friend, New Fun

Rabbit, rabbit! As a girl, I said this first thing on the first day of the month to ensure good luck. It was more for fun than anything. I suppose I believed in that superstition about as much as I attested to Santa’s existence until I outgrew magical thinking.

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So it’s the first of a new month. September is a time of beginning for me. I celebrate a private new year on September 6. No, it’s not my birthday. It’s a date of reclamation, a way of honoring myself on the anniversary of my assault. That date used to bring grief, and I focused on the damage it wrought. A colleague in graduate school once said, “You know, Kathryn, you need to stop celebrating this negative anniversary.” He was right. So I decided to make the day special for myself. I journal about my strengths and blessings, do a twelve-month tarot reading to establish themes for the next year, treat myself to something nice, and pamper my body. The last bit is very important. My body is a sacred place, though I’m the first to admit that I’m not perfectly consistent in my treatment of it as such. After the rape, though, I disconnected from my body for several years. One of my acts of tenderness toward myself in recovery was to get weekly massages (from an intern, since I was a student at the time) for a year. I sought a male massage therapist so I could reintroduce myself to safe touch from a man. It was integral to my process. Since I’m new here, I don’t know of any massage therapists; otherwise I’d probably get one.

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I’m feeling better today. Siona can take credit for contributing to my improved mood. We had a wonderful talk. Two hours passed seamlessly. I loved talking with her; I experienced the mental/emotional connection that is so essential in my life. I felt at home with her and in the cafe, Mission City Coffee Roasting, which has wi-fi (woo hoo!) too. She also gave me ideas, lots of ideas, of places to explore.

One of those places was the San Jose Library, specifically the MLK branch. Oh my! It’s huge. Because it’s part of the San Jose University system, it offers a panoply of services. There’s a café, a children’s center, literacy center, and bookstore. Then there is an education resource center, reference and technology areas, lecture rooms and computer labs. The library has 1.5 million holdings, 400 public access computers, and 500 laptop ports. My only lament is that parking is scarce and not cheap.

Another showcase library that’s basically in my back yard is the Santa Clara City Library. The new building opened in April, I heard. It’s 80,000 square feet of state-of-the-art design. They offer much of the same as the SJ library on a smaller scale. It was incredibly busy the day I went.

So I have two brand new library cards, which I shall use liberally. Why am I so excited? Well, I worked at the Syracuse University Library for ten years. When I was little, I played pretend librarian. In my twenties I labeled the spines of my books and organized the fiction by author’s last name and non-fiction by subject. These days I track my 698 book library with Books for MacOS X, a nifty free program by a devoted Apple user. Yes, I am a library geek. And Siona shares my passion for libraries as well as other things.

Thus begins a new month. It’s good, very good.

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