Monday, March 14, 2016

Stearn's Warf After the Rain

Some places guarantee magic, one of them is Stearn's Warf. I went there chasing a rainbow, but when I arrived, it was gone. Instead, I was greeted by frigid wind that whipped my hair and spun me into a dizzying swirl. It wasn't just the wind that spun me, it was also all of the life unfolding around me. There at the end of the Warf, surrounded by ocean on three sides, I found people, birds, clouds, waves, surfers, boats, and more, much more, all moving and changing second by second. And in that, I snapped photo after photo as if in a trance.

I dove into the images head on, participating in what I've come to know as the "sport" of photography. And as it goes, when one becomes so engaged, time disappears. It wasn't until my hands became so cold that I could no longer bend my fingers, that I realized I had been out there for two hours. Even though my hands and face were frozen, my mood had not contracted -- I was exhilarated. Too cold now to continue taking pictures (or even click the shutter!), I retreated to my car. There, I rubbed my hands trying to thaw them out. When that didn't happen quickly, I reluctantly decided, it was time to go.

Gripping the wheel with lobster claws instead of hands, I started the engine and began to back out of my parking place -- that's when it appeared, a partial rainbow, glowing over the mountains. It felt like an affirmation. As if nature was bestowing a gift. "You brought yourself here, Aneet, searching for a rainbow, you immersed yourself completely in everything around you. Just to let you know your ardor didn't go unnoticed, here, accept this reward, this nod to acknowledge the needle eye of your attention."

PS: Just to let you know, if you're on a computer, you can have a nice slide show by clicking on an image (preferably the first one), and then going to the film strip that appears. By clicking on a photo on the film strip, you can stay in the frame and continue clicking to receive a full show of large images.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Two Haiku for the New Year

Practicing Newness

on this first day

of twenty-sixteen


Sunbirds flutter

around nyjer seed sock

a Mozart ballet


It's lovely to see you all here in this New Year.
I plan to return with a new post on March 15th.
Until then, wishing you a sparkling New Year.

Blessings, Peace and Love,

~   Anitra

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Do Da Days and a Photo Montage of Recent Sights

Sunday, the most perfect morning of the week is here. No gardeners blasting leaf blowers, no carpenters pounding hammers, no tree trimmers with shrieking saws. Only a couple of crows protesting the silence, and a rogue commuter rounding a curve on A.P.S. Highway.

Why is it

in my imperfect life
I keep bumping into perfect.

The lack of space

the unstructured room

without a closet

the chores -- endless they seem -- and convoluted:

tasks folding into tasks:

unraveling tangles, loosening knots--

and then

I breathe a pocket

of electric air

and a sudden joy

washes through me

for no reason,

just the precious musk of this day

inside a world riddled with chaos

but beneath it

and around it

light --

pure light.

Dear Lovely Viewers,

Welcome! It's so good to see you again. I want to wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving. And these days between now and the 15th of January (when I will return with my new post), including Christmas and New Years, I trust you you will find and discover light.

~    Anitra <3 nbsp="">

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

These Days . . .

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
                                                                                               ~  Seneca

Now is what drives me. The way each morning arrives new. Opening my eyes to the clean slate of the fresh day. This is what I live for, the essence of the moment: slowing the hours down to rich substance. Not simply chores to be crossed off a list, or chasing after a clock, but lolling in the dynamic air.


Not letting the sounds of distant traffic from the freeway down the hill rattle me, but letting them become white noise, a resonance akin to a forest waterfall.

And fall crisping leaves; and falling in love with what is; and falling away from what was; but not forgetting the brilliance of days gone.

Remembering the lights, the craft, the art of performing. My true love, where I gave myself completely to what mattered more than anything. Acting. The art I learned in childhood from my actress mother, but discovered truly for myself at age sixteen, and vowed then to forever keep it in my life.



Knew there was nothing better than this magic art of transformation, of becoming another. Of studying not just people and how they spoke and moved, but the psychology of life itself. What could be more worthy, I thought at age sixteen, while pacing the boards of the theater during my high school play.

And today, it still whispers -- at times even shouts.

But I'm lucky to have stepped off the track, become more seasoned, and in my September, found something deeper. An essence, a heart beyond the old delicious art. Life itself my breakfast, and the air within me and around me, alive and resonating like a smile.



Hello, hello lovely friends. Welcome back. Happy to see you here. The season is in flux. In the midst of record breaking heat with humid hurricane drifts, we are moving toward a new wave of 2015 and cresting the hill toward the New Year. Over the next couple of months, I want to wish you all luminous days. 

I will return in two months, near Thanksgiving, on November 15th. Until then -- savor.

Sincerely,    ~     Anitra

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer's Light

Summer's Light is Different

softer, muted
sunlight sifting through haze.
The crisp mornings of winter
with their bold hard colors
are erased
and replaced with dusty pastels.
And in the evolving light
I carry luggage
of my years
here, in California:
my frolicking childhood,
my roller-skating teens,
my mothering twenties,
my realigning thirties
and the decades
leading up to now--
a time
when I've come to love
open space
and the freedom
to cull quiet
and the beauty
of living
beyond thoughts.

This early morning
outside my French doors
a breeze
waves the tendrils
of a pepper tree
and the rising sun
wraps leaves with tinsel.
Only the birds are stirring:
tweeting, chittering, cooing . . .

It will not last.

Within the hour
as the sun oozes upward
leaves will lose their dazzle
and soon after, the day
will break open,
and I will enter fully
this summer day.

Ambling along a sidewalk
on Upper State Street--
or perhaps in the heart of town--
wearing a T-shirt and jeans
my blood simmering,
my mind extracting thoughts
of where I'm headed
and where I've just been--
I will step off the curb
into a crosswalk
on a street like Figueroa
and notice
the green light
shining like a knuckle of hard candy
and beneath it
red numbers
for pedestrians
of the seconds counting down:
8, 7, 6, 5, 4,
and in that moment,
I will forget my mental chatter
and notice my footsteps pattering on the pavement
not that different from a drumbeat
on a Miles Davis soundtrack
or the soft shush
of brush scrapes
swishing on cymbals,

and I will realize
this day
of July 11, 2015
is swathed
in silk.

Welcome back you beautiful people. Wishing you all a summer of peace, joy and treasured moments. I will make my next post on September 15th.

Hope to see you then,    ~   Aneet

Friday, May 15, 2015

Farmer's Markets For Real

Before I go into the details of my new diet, farmer's markets and my three-day getaway to Santa Ynez, let me toss in this April sunset.

And now, after that appetizer of tinted sky, here's the rest of my story. I've been on Dr. Mark Hyman's Ten Day Sugar Detox Diet (similar to the Paleo Diet) for the past nine months. After catching his special on PBS, I decided to try his protocol. It's tough and rigid: no sugar, no wheat, no starchy carbs, no dairy.

Being thin to begin with, keeping my weight up has been difficult. But the diet balances my blood sugar and makes me feel more energetic. This has inadvertently led me to shopping at our farmer's markets. In the past, visiting a farmer's market was something I did for the joy of capturing colorful photographs: grapefruit and radishes piled in picturesque stacks; jars of honey with sunlight illuminating their burnished nectar; orchids too and multi-colored bouquets of ranunculus, carnations and roses sparkling in plastic bins.

My new habit of shopping at farmer's markets began unexpectedly on a three-day getaway to Santa Ynez. There, one afternoon, after exploring the winding roads of Figueroa Mountain and enjoying the pastoral landscape of Santa Ynez Valley with its oak dappled rolling hills, I drove to the heart of the city, and proceeded down highway 246. There I ground to a halt and wound up going nowhere in a traffic jam. It turned out that the congestion was due to the Solvang farmer's market. Rather than sit in my car with a trusty Chihuahua staring at me with large amber eyes, and watching the stoplight change from red to green and back to red again, I decided to park, stroll through the quaint streets of Solvang and peruse their farmer's market.

At the market I was smitten by a box of ripe tomatoes shimmering in the afternoon sun. Without a nick or flaw, and in a rich shade of vermilion, they may have been the most beautiful tomatoes I've ever seen. I purchased three of them, and when I returned to Santa Barbara two days later, I was already regretting that I'd bought so few. I inhaled those tomatoes; soft and succulent, they were the nightshade version of ambrosia.

Once home, I began to dream of them and wonder how I might find more. This urge took me to our Santa Barbara farmer's market, and set me off on a new quest. There, I found fine tomatoes, but no match for the godly globes from Santa Ynez. In the meantime, I also found exquisite veggies straight from the fields still damp with morning dew, and I began to realize that it makes sense -- now that I eat so many vegetables -- to choose from the freshest and the sweetest.





Then there are the live musicians playing everything from bluegrass, to classical, adding rhythm, melody and beat to the experience. There are toddlers too, nibbling on juicy apricots, and a whole scene unfolding before me with its myriad photo ops -- which in between bagging my veggies and filling my rolling cart -- beckons the black little camera slung over my shoulder to join the festival and click.

Stay healthy and happy my delightful friends -- savor your days.

I will return in two months on July 15th.

Until then, my warm regards,     ~    Anitra