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Can I Take A Menu Home With Me? not a question one often hears at Karma Kitchen. :) But the 70-ish year old woman asking was so sincere, I had to learn more.

Turns out she was visiting from Sweden and wanted a souvenir to take back. Not for herself per se -- she didn't even come to dine, she was just walking by and stopped to read the menu out front. No, she said she simply wanted to have something to show her neighbors that Americans weren't "all about red, white, and blue," that there was a beautiful, compassionate side. It's hard to describe her presence in words -- very serene, very satisfied with life, and clearly moved at what was going on in that little restaurant in Berkeley on that Sunday afternoon.

I told her giving a laminated menu away wouldn't be the best option, but invited her to come in and have a look at the kindness table. There we saw a copy of the book Peace Pilgrim, and I told her she reminded me of her. Yes, she said, I try to be that in my own way. Moving to see the kind of beauty that space attracts....

--CJ on Jun 1, 2011

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