Monday, January 14, 2013

Back from the Blue

Beneath this wide-angle view of the Goleta Slough, I ponder . . .

What can I say about this blog? That it has been a remarkable accident? Perhaps experiment would be a better word. That I messed around in Blogspot, simply to explore what a blog entailed. I clicked on a couple of icons, and out of curiosity, downloaded a photo. After that, I added a bit of text, and before I knew it, there it was: my first post.

I suppose I could have deleted it, but obviously, that was not the case. Something about what had just happened felt right. Taking photos has been integrated into my life since the Sixties, when I shot mostly black and white, and had a darkroom in my service porch, where I developed film and made prints. Writing began in high school, when my first essays and poems were published in the school paper and the literary magazine.

But this blog . . . this blog.

Usually, I write something, or achieve something after creating a detailed plan and with a strong intention, and then I go about taking the steps (action) to realize my goals. As with all of us, some of my goals are realized, and others never find the light. It's so rare for me to create something without intention, just by bumping into it -- serendipity would be the fitting word -- but that has been the story with "Santa Barbara Sketches." And now, with 115 posts, and more than two years behind me, here I am, and here we are.

At the moment, I'm looking at two factors. One is that my illusive assignment, which I intend to tell you about one day (and hopefully sooner rather than later), is not complete. Not only is it not complete, but it has been expanded. This means that I will (in many ways, regretfully) need to continue with my break. This will bring me (us) to March 15th. The other factor is that this blog feels somewhat complete (at least at this juncture), and I feel disinclined to keep stretching it out into one endless string of posts. Doing that feels messy.

Like a poem or a canvas, there comes a time when a piece or a work is finished. I'm beginning to see this blog as a completed segment, like a book, perhaps the first installment in a series; or a journal of impressions: "Twenty-four Months in the Life of Anitra and Company." I hesitate to set this idea in stone, especially as I will need to be away again for these next three months, and my perception may be very different when I return.

On another note, a number of images have arisen over the past few months, that I'd like to share, but I will need some time to organize them. My plan is to publish some of those photos here, next Tuesday, January 22.

And so, my Dear Readers, now that I have briefly come up for air, like a porpoise from the shell-laden bottom of the sea, I need to say again, how often I think of you, and how, even when not writing this blog, you continue to enrich my life. I want to send many blessing your way, and the energy and bounty of a full and smiling heart.

Sincerely Yours,     ~    Anitra

***In summery: Before I head back to work for another three month stint, I will make another post next Tuesday, January 22.


  1. Hi Aneet,

    It's truly amazing to me that not too long ago(or so it feels)you had stated that it would be interesting to see where we would all be and how our lives might change by your next post for Jan 15th. Well, low and behold, here we are. How time flies by.

    Your words are very inspiring on how you plan your work and then work your plan. That's a great part of success. Sometimes we start something on a whim and then look where it goes. From your blog,a connection was created between yourself and people who always wanted to know more about you. It's nice to know that I was able to somehow in life on some level be able to connect with you,and your blog made that possible. I thank you for that.

    Tonight my best friend Roger called and told me that he saw you on the "Banacek" episode. That's one I never caught.

    Aneet,I wish you all the very best on your assignment and looking forward to Tuesday's post.

    With warm regards,


    1. Jonathan,

      It's lovely to hear from you. Your comment makes me feel a bit like the title of this post: blue. The truth is, I love doing this blog. It does fit my lifestyle in so many ways, and I so enjoy getting to know you and the relationships that have developed here. It's very hard for me to consider changing this, but I have to be honest with myself. All I can say is that life is never static -- nor should it be. I have to roll with it and see where it takes me.

      Meanwhile I appreciate your insightful words, and thanks for that piece of news on "Banacek."

      Until Tuesday, fond regards, ~ Aneet

  2. Dear Anitra,
    And here we are... January 15th has arrived and you've returned. My hope is that, come March 15th, I've a slightly early birthday present (I am a child of the equinox) and learn that you shall continue, if only on occasion, to share the wonder that you find in life with this lovely blog. I've had my own crisis of faith in blogging and putting around with pictures these past months but I think I will keep on with this. We do what we do because we are who we are.

    I do hope you continue. There is much selfishness in this hope because each installment of your blog brings me the gift of a new perspective on life in general and a wonderful lady whom I consider myself privileged to have met via the magic of electrons and technology.

    Life is never static. This is a truth I find reinforced with each passing season here west of the 100th meridian and south of the 32nd parallel. Those who don't know the desert think of it as unchanging. But rains in February often bring different flowers than rains in April or July. And I suspect you will tell me that your beloved ocean is the never the same.

    Thank you for the gift of Anitra.


    1. Hello Louis,

      It is lovely to hear from you once again. I so enjoy reading your messages and posting your thoughtful and interesting comments on my blog. Your last sentence in your first paragraph, 'We do what we do because we are who we are,' really struck a note with me. This simple statement says so much.

      I enjoy thinking of you writing and creating your art, and discovering the abundant and diverse beauty of your desert. There is much sustenance to be found when one is open to it.

      My good wishes to you Louis, ~ Anitra

  3. Hi Anitra,

    I’m not a regular contributor (yet anyway, hopefully), only discovering your blog in the past couple of days. So is it fair for me, just a newbie, to write “RATS!!!”? I’ve only gone through part of your blog and so far all your perspectives are fascinating. I envy the regulars that found your blog months ago. You’ve been so kind and thoughtful and encouraging to everyone. You must be a warm and genuine person.

    The selfish part of me begs you to come back, to continue your blogging because – hey, I only just found it! Your blog is so unique and refreshing, weaving artistry into daily life. It’s reminded me to look beyond the obvious, to absorb and appreciate more. The unselfish part of me knows, though, that we all must do what we believe is right for the moment.

    I hoped to ask you a few of questions along the way but it sounds as if you need to focus elsewhere at least for a bit. Good luck with your project and I’m anxious and curious to find out more.

    So, in summary (to borrow your line): please, Please, PLEASE come back! If you decide not to though, THANK YOU for sharing a part of your world and showing there’s so much depth to you. I can only surmise from your blog that it seems life has been good to you and you’ve been good to life. I hope that’s true and it continues.

    Alan W.

    1. Hello Anitra,

      Thank you for asking about me and welcoming me to your blog. There are many interesting people here.

      After a career in high-tech, I'm retiring this year. I married a fantastic lady over 30 years ago and she's the best part of my life. Looking west from my window, if I stand tall and tilt my head just right, I still can't see the Pacific Ocean. I'm not sure but I think the mountain range is getting in the way. Perhaps the range being in Colorado also has something to do with it. We love the crisp, refreshing outdoors here and enjoy the energy of live plays and music as often as we can.

      I first visited Santa Barbara over 35 years ago where a relative, a professional artist, lived for a short time. I still have the watercolor he did for me as my own personal "Santa Barbara Sketch".

      You took time to post a picture of the Goleta Slough and I didn't take time to comment previously. I think it's interesting that you captured the people in the distance. Too often I wait for people to clear from view but I see that leaving them in the frame causes one to wonder about them and brings another element without being overwhelming. Was that your intent?


    2. Hello Alan,

      Thank you so much for sharing about yourself. Text is an impersonal medium, and it's nice to get a sense of who you are. You appear to be heading into a new era, and from what you've shared, I'm sure you'll find great value there.

      As to the photo of the slough, yes, the people were left in intentionally. I too try to avoid the visual static that people usually create in a nature photo, but I think that one needs to stay open. As you observed, people also can personalize a picture, especially if they happen to be well placed. Animals and birds too can bring energy to a scene and lead the eye through the photo in interesting ways. I'm glad you pointed that out.

      One small thing: I had to delete my comment above, as I referred to you as Louis. Gosh, well, it's not the first time I have thought one name and written another.

      Meanwhile, Alan, I'm so glad you have enlightened us a bit about you. Sending my good wishes, ~ Anitra

    3. Hi Anitra,

      I took no offense on the name switch so hope you didn't delete the message on my account. Good advice on leading the eye through the photo. I will try to think of that.

      Take care.


  4. Hello Aneet and happy 2013 to you!

    Your post is quite profound. It gets me thinking about what I want to accomplish this year and what I need to do in order to reach those goals.

    Your picture of the Goleta slough is another reminder of how lucky we are to live close to the coast. A couple of Sundays before Christmas I took a walk down at the Hermosa Beach pier and it struck me that even on a chilly day, the beach is still a welcoming and tranquil place. No matter where I end up living in the future, I certainly hope it's close to the coast, whether it be here in southern California, the Pacific Northwest, or Hawaii.

    Thanks again for sharing your beautiful photos and inspiring words with us all. Next month will be two years for me that I joined, and it's been so much fun exchanging ideas with you and the other readers.

    Best wishes and warm regards as always,


  5. Hello Dear Joseph!

    It's so good to hear from you. I see that you too are facing new directions. No matter how hard we try, we can't avoid change. I know that whatever direction you take, it will be a learning experience, and as we all know, it's so important to value our journey.

    What you say about the ocean is true. It changes us to be beside the coast. This is the case with any natural setting, be it a forest, the mountains or a lake, they all have negative ions and truly effect the body and the mind.

    Wow, Joseph, two years! I am honored by your presence here, and I thank you for all you have contributed to my blog. Your sharing and candor have enhanced this experience for all of us, and the photos and information you have sent my way have been so useful and appreciated.

    You know I wish you all the best :)

    My warm regards, ~ Aneet

  6. You were, without a doubt, the hottest women in television for a boy growing up in the 70's. Phenomenally sexy.

  7. Dear Anitra

    The feeling of completion... isn't it a topic that has astounded or awoken the curiosity of both artists and audiences throughout the ages? Like with a painting. It is suddenly done, and when so I enjoy it, and thereafter begin painting a new one. It is, as if the painting already existed before it was painted, and now, it just is like that, as it was "meant to be". Perhaps blogging has got more art to it, than I first assumed... :)

    I have looked through some of your older posts, and I can see, that it must have been a very special and unique time. Not only just for you, but for your readers as well! I remember when I personally found your blog, and I couldn't believe the goodness of it, of that it actually was you. As I can read, I am not the only one feeling amazed - and a bit sad if it will all have an end ;-)

    It is very special for me to be able to tell you this, as I have said before, about how I first discovered you through "The Big Bird Cage", and how wonderfully it felt, to be able to reach beyond what apparently seemed as an impossible distance and as an impossible act of communication, and healing, to be heard by you and written in return. Wow. Your loving and kind words reaches me, at a level I can't really understand. For everyone of your kind replys, I have felt my heart expand almost out of my capacity.

    I would like to share something with you, hope it is ok. Today has been a special day to me... it is my 26 year's birthday, and I am happy to have such a special person in my thoughts right now. This morning I woke up, and felt surprisingly peaceful. There I was lying and thinking, how wonderful and practical it would be to have a bike, so I would be able to bike my way to work. A few hours later my friend, who is one of my flatmates, and I, went to shop groceries for my birthday get-together. And there it was. This night some person had decided to throw away, not only a wonderful bike, but also almost perfectly new computer flatscreens, amongst other things. So guess who just had a couple of extra birthday presents?? Funny how things can seem to fit so perfectly together. Free things are just so welcome, since I've been studying for some time now, and graduated just two days ago, where I also held a speach in front of a lot of people! So now I can finally go out there and do a lot of kind and hopefully helpful nursing ;)

    When I found your blog, it seemed as if it was (almost) too good to be true, and not only did I get very surprised I also got very happy for your messages.

    With kind and grateful intend, Michael.

    I am writing a book, where I will collect stories, experiences or advices from insightful women about how they have perceived things, in order to help young boys and perhaps also girls gain an insight into that of being a man, woman, appealing, and so on. Will you help me with a few pages? I am asking you since I have been amazed at both the deep compassion and love, that I can sense through your words and between the lines, and because of your special heritage and background. I believe a woman of your special appeal to men over time has been given some very unique and very valuable understandings, experiences and ways to see things, although I am only asking about your unique understanding and not something more than this. It is, as it is with the hermeneutic and phenomenological approach, through the subjective meeting with phenomena, that we gain insights and understanding. With your blessing, I can send you a couple of more questions, or a more detailed description of the project.

    1. Michael,

      Welcome to my current post.

      You say many profound things, and in a unique way. As you are in Denmark, perhaps some of it is in the translation. Your post is very interesting, but a bit longer that I prefer to publish, since long comments get a bit to wordy for most people to follow.

      Your birthday gifts were quite miraculous, and I think the universe must be rewarding you for working hard and living well :) And oh, by the way, very happy birthday!

      You have more congratulations due, as you are also graduating with your degree in nursing. This is inspiring.

      As for your request for my help with your book, first, I want to say that I think you have a fine idea. When you first contacted me, on my "Seventies Snapshot" post, you asked me for advice, and I was glad to take the time to express what I thought there. As you see, I am very pressed for time. So much so, that I need to postpone making regular posts here on my blog. It is not possible for me to go any further with your project, when I barely have time for my own. But I can see that you have much intention, and a great quest for knowledge, and also much good luck on your side. Therefore, I trust that everything you need you will find.

      It's enjoyable hearing from you Michael, and thank you for sharing with us. Due to the pace of this blog, I'd like to request that your comments be a bit shorter in the future.

      Sending you my good wishes, ~ Anitra

  8. Hi Anitra, and "Company",

    Happy you're back, and I'm looking forward to whatever Santa Barbara Sketches evolves into.

    I love the cosatal pics - it;s a bit different here on the opposite coast in NJ, but alot of people are working to restore that vibey beach environment that we all seem to be drawn to.

    Hope your new assignment goes well, and thanks for allowing me to be a small part of this 'company'.

    Peace and blessings!


  9. Al, hey, hey,

    Nice to hear from you again. It's interesting to know that you're from the East Coast.

    Glad you like the photo, and thank you so much for your good wishes. I am happy you're part of this 'company' :)

    My sincere good wishes, ~ Aneet

    1. yep, a Jersey guy here. Work and play in NYC too. I'm a little uncertain about what this summer's going to be like. Always spent alot of time on certain beaches (you'd probably be surprised how nice parts of the NJ coast are), but right now they're strewn with wood and all manner of hurricane flotsam. We have to get 'em ready, because come July I want to be out there with a good book and an ipod.

      Again, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. The quality of your blog shows the work you put in, and you create a wonderful, peaceful thing.

      your friend,

    2. Al, hello again,

      I have heard that New Jersey has some very beautiful areas, in fact, do I recall that it's a garden state?

      So sorry that you're dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, and that the cleanup and support has been lagging in gridlock. Surely hope you will see some progress and reap your July rewards.

      I appreciate your sharing Al. And thank you for your kind words.

      Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  10. Hi Anitra:

    Life always brings us changes and, like many of the folks who have posted comments over the years, I do hope that you will continue this blog. But, in the end, only you will know what will be the best path for you. I have very much enjoyed talking with you and seeing your fine pictures of a slice of California life. You're a very gracious and kind person to answer your many visitors, especially game show fans like myself.

    Speaking of possible changes, I'm trying to see if I can get a part-time or full-time job with a volunteer project that I have been doing for several months. I hope it will be successful and, if it does, it will definitely change my life.

    I wish you nothing but a great birthday and the best for this assignment. Your work and words mean a lot to the people who admire you whether it was your work on "The Price Is Right" (nothing against Dian, Janice or Holly, fine models, but I and many others would have loved to see you on for more years), movies or through your photography and poetry. May God bless you and watch over you during your extended assignment and hope to hear from you when you return.

    Marie L.

    1. Marie, hello,

      It's lovely to hear from you! Much time has passed since we last communicated. I surely hope that your plans turn out in the way you desire. That you're giving your time the cause you want to work for, is certainly a wonderful way to begin.

      As I mentioned before, I will be making another post on Tuesday to share a few more impressions and photos that have come my way during my break.

      I truly appreciate your kind words Marie. They bring back memories, and it amazes me that something that happened so long ago continues to live in peoples minds and hearts.

      I want to wish you a mountain of success. Take care Marie.

      Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  11. Hello Anitra,
    Welcome back and happy new year!
    Your Goleta Slough shot has warmed me here in frigid Boston
    Great pics as always but a little sad to hear you're gone again until March. Here's wishing you well with your assignment and I'll look forward to your return around St. Patty's day or so. Any chance on a repost of the shamrock shot that I missed out on last year? After all, you did tell me "something else is always waiting around the bend".


    1. Hi Terry,

      My computer is malfunctioning. Look below for your message.

  12. HI Aneet,
    Here I am once again,taking in all the beauty in your Photographs,and words.
    This blog has been a blessing to me,and for that I am Truely Grateful!
    If you continue with it,that would be great! But we all need to keep moving foward,and evolve.My Life has been enriched by the addition of my 5 year old Nephew.He has brought
    so much joy,and happiness to my life.Im now back in the Spiderman,Captain America
    super heroes mode which i thought were long gone.In Essence I just want to let you
    Know that you touched me in a very profound way.I wish you nothing but the best! I will think of you often.mean while im at Soccer practice.karate etc.sending you the best wishes for the future Roger

    1. Hello Dear Roger,

      What a delight to hear from you. Your words are always so interesting and filled with light. I'm grateful that you have shared with us about your nephew. Yours is a touching and heartwarming story.

      I do believe you were the very first person to share on this blog. It was exciting and profound for me to reach out into the Netherworld of cyberspace and to not only receive the first signs of life, but to receive the gift of your words about your grandmother. I will have to look up the name and date of that post and write them in my answer to your comment above.

      Sending gratitude and warm wishes your way, ~ Aneet

  13. Hello Terry,

    It's so good to hear from you. Glad you liked the photo. I wanted to share the clarity we've had this winter along with the vibrant color, and of course, the gift of the sea.

    You have an excellent memory. I am going to have to dig deep into my external hard-drives to try to locate that shot.

    Meanwhile, I want to thank you for your good wishes. With your lovely personality, I trust life is treating you well.

    May your year be bright and rewarding, ~ Anitra