= Escape to Freedom
FOR LOVE OR COUNTRY is based on the true story of
Arturo Sandoval who finally cooperates with the Cuban
government and even joins the communist party in order to
have the freedom to travel internationally. He was living
in a country where there was no respect for human rights,
let alone freedom of expression in music.
Arturo Sandoval is one of the most brilliant musicians
of our time and is known as a protégé of the great Dizzy
Gillespie. He was born in Artemisa on November 6, 1949.
Artemisa is a small town on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba.
He realized he was a trumpet player when he was eleven.
He began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve.
He is now known as one of the world's most acknowledged
guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn. As a Professor,
Sandoval has lectured internationally.
Filled with a virtuoso capability, he had an intense
desire to share his musical gift with those who share the
same love for music. Arturo Sandoval appears on the tracks
“Moonglow” and “That Old Feeling” in Rod
Stewart’s release “It Had to Be You: The Great
American Songbook.” His diverse style can be heard on
albums like Gloria Estefan's “Into the Light.” He also
has made a contribution on albums by Johnny Mathis, Frank
Sinatra and Paul Anka.
This movie emphasizes his virtuoso technical ability
and his specialty in high notes. He also is shown playing
the piano and is known for lyrically improvising a ballad.
He also had the privilege of creating and performing the
score for this movie. The story of his own life. He
"When the idea for the movie came up, I was happy
to be able to tell my story, but even happier to write the
film score," he says. "Music for movies has been
my life's passion, and this was my first and biggest step
in that direction........."
In the movie, Arturo (Cuban-American actor Andy García)
is thinking about defecting when he meets Marianela (Mia
Maestro). She becomes more important to him than freedom.
Their beliefs are on the opposite sides of the political
spectrum and yet their love binds them to one another as
they try to overlook their political differences.
Marianela represents family loyalty and the way people
who live in Cuba really think. It shows how Marianela goes
from being completely loyal to a dictator to having her
eyes opened to the reality of the situation. She falls
completely in love with this talented musician but fears
he may leave her like her first husband. Arturo has also
been married before and while he is willing to spend his
entire life with Marianela, she has her doubts and issues
with trust. She has been betrayed by the government she
“What I feel about you. I’ve never felt it before
… I don’t trust it.” –Marianela
This movie is at times so romantic. Especially the
scene where Marianela and Arturo are dancing and when she
wakes him up after he spends the night sleeping on a
grave. The scene overlooking the ocean is so pristine.
After performing with the Cuban Orchestra of Modern
Music, he was allowed to start a group called Irakere that
promoted a combination of Cuban music and jazz. In 1981 he
then leaves Irakere to form his own band.
He believes he has a gift to give the world and is
fighting a force that threatened to drown his true love,
After living with his wife in Cuba and starting a
family, he decides it is time to leave. He believes that
by defecting to the United States he is rejecting a system
that kills confidence and personality. Rejecting a
government that controls everything to the point that
people lose their desire to achieve.
The government finally tries to control Sandoval’s
music and his dream for greater artistic expression. While
on a European tour, he leaves for a secret meeting at the
Sandoval was granted political asylum in July 1990.
Since his defection, Sandoval has increased his classical
performances world wide including performances with the
National Symphony, L.A. Philharmonic, National Symphony of
Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh Symphony.
“This was such a blessing for me. I thank God
everyday for being here in this wonderful country and
sharing my music. This experience has been very rewarding.
I hope that our modest musical contribution here today
shows we stand united and strong and that we are America
the Beautiful.” ~Arturo Sandoval speaking of his
opportunity to share his music at the White House
Even Arturo says he would like to go back to visit his
homeland, but under a different government.
“Flight to Freedom” was his first recording
immediately following his defection.
An emotional movie about the desire to use your
God-given talents without repression from those who
don’t see beauty in the soul. This movie really is about
having a dream and finding your true purpose in life. This
is a movie about beauty and sadness with a happy ending.
Life is truly a dream for those who are free and yet at
times even if you are free, you can feel that you are in a
prison of yourself. There are times when a person feels
they have so much to give and they can’t find an outlet
for their gift to the world. In such a case a person can
at times risk everything for the freedom of expression and
the freedom to grow as a person, as a soul.
If you never follow your dreams, you might not be
A movie about Romance and Freedom everyone should see!
Especially romantics and those who love Jazz.
I also enjoyed this book of
On Entering the Sea by Nizar Qabbani
Tribute to Love and Life, May 5, 2005
I had thought your love would end my estrangement
but you passed like water between my fingers
In my eternal search for poetry infused with images of
water and passion, "On Entering the Sea"
appeared on the Amazon horizon. How I love this site and
the ability to locate life-enhancing selections of great
The poetry of Nizar Qabbani requires atmosphere and an
imagination willing to travel beyond the daily drudgery of
existence into longings for home, passionate encounters
and the mysteries of sensation. At times his poems have
echoes of ancient works that intertwine themselves with
modern complexity. His work celebrates the love of
country, women and sensuous images of coffeehouses and
to save the woman I love
from the cities of no poetry,
of no love
the cities of frustration and gloom
I write to make her a misty cloud
Only woman and writing
Save us from death.
As an introduction to Nizar Qabbani, On Entering the Sea
presents his work in a pleasing arrangement by translator.
While the introduction by Salma Khadra Jayyusi presents an
overview of the book, how I wished for a section at the
end to explain the details behind many of the poems. Would
this enhance my enjoyment or do the poems speak of moments
so profound, no other explanation is needed? It could be
said that many of his poems have a universal appeal and
need no further explanation.
While his words glow with a love for the female essence in
life and in women, he also explores thoughts of protecting
his home, lands he loves and a different perspective on
war and loss. "Posters" may be shocking to some
and yet it is a representation of how Nizar Qabbani sees
the world and wishes for peace all while declaring war on
pride. It is highly political and yet he delves into the
heart of freedom for all people. Although, I think there
are poems I have yet to read which apparently display a
more revolutionary approach, although this is not foreign
to poets the world over. I enjoyed reading Jerusalem:
Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh...
He experienced so much pain and loss and was very
controversial, especially in his hometown in Damascus
where he challenged cultural taboos. Too often I think we
as a society have condemned the erotic, all while longing
for erotic pleasures of our own. Nizar Qabbani not only
sets desire free in poems, he sets women free from
oppression. In "Diary of an Indifferent Woman,"
he writes as a woman:
I want to escape from my own skin
from my own voice, from my own language
and stray like the fragrance of gardens
I want to flee from my own shadow
and from all addresses
By the end of the poem he talks about crystal bottles with
dead butterflies and the images become revelations of
eternal struggles for independence and for the freedom to
love. During his teenage years, his sister committed
suicide, because she could not marry the man she loved.
Time after time Nizar Qabbani displays an exceptional
understanding of what it means to be female all while
revealing what it means to be a man. Insatiable physical
love and ecstasy from the sheer vision of a woman become
spiritual expressions of love for God himself. "The
Book of Love" is worshipful and timeless.
The name of my love.
I wrote it on the water.
I did not know
That the wind rushes by without listening,
That names dissolve in the water.
He also asks: "What is Love?" Then he humorously
explains how he cannot change the woman he loves for she
is "a storm trapped in a bottle."
Most of the poems are pleasing and passionate, but there
are poems displaying private pain and horror as love is
ripped from his hands by the ravages of terror. He
perfectly describes his grief in an unusual moment where
he is standing in the rubble of an attack and remembers
his wife and the cadence of her name.
As he finds her handbag in the rubble, we are convinced no
man has ever loved his wife this deeply, and yet the
universal message makes us realize how many have loved and
lost and longed for a woman like Balquis Al-Rawi. The
vision he paints of honey, jasmine moons, rubies and roses
will remain in my memory for as long as I love poetry. As
in many passionate poems, the feelings of the poet flowed
through me and appeared in tears. His poem about his
mother's death is equally poignant and we are left with
the scent of coffee, cardamom seeds and orange blossom
If you are a lover of world poetry, the poems of Nizar
Qabbani are essential reading. Through his poems you feel
the ancient longings of all people in all lands and in his
uncensored thoughts, we can truly experience life through
his eyes. I can only hope more of his work is translated
in the near future. The exciting element of his poetry is
often how he absorbs experience and then defeats his own
inner tyranny by writing exactly what he thinks to display
the beauty of truth. You will hear echoes in his writing
and realize how many contemporary spiritual teachers and
poets have been students of his poetry.
~The Rebecca Review
Waves & Sand
Cooking Lighthouse Style
History and 100 Contemporary and Historic Recipes,
January 28, 2006
In a past life I may have lived in a lighthouse or a
tower, because my dream is to live in a tower type
building with windows all around the top level. When I
think of a lighthouse, I have rarely thought about the
actual life of the people living at the lighthouse
although I'm always dreaming about living in one. They
look so isolated and lonely, but this book brings out an
entirely new perspective.
Recently I have been viewing documentaries on the subject
of lighthouse restoration and this is an excellent
companion to this new interest that seems to be calling to
me. I have been dreaming about running away to a
lighthouse and cooking delicious meals. This book is quite
the inspiration and recipes like Ginger Bread Pancakes or
Coffee Cake create atmosphere and a longing to eat
pancakes by the sea.
One of the lighthouses comes complete with resident
ghosts, another looks like a quaint little stone house
with an added light at the top. The Granite Island
Lighthouse is absolutely delightful and now the light has
been automated as is the case in most lighthouses in
modern life. There is a double lighthouse in Atlantic
Highlands, New Jersey that looks like a castle or at least
It is probably not surprising that lighthouse cooks had a
lot of time to cook, so recipes for making homemade potato
salad and split pea soup seem reminiscent of times when
cooking was unrushed and pleasurable. Other delicious
Chicken Fried Steak
The Chili Recipe - won two chili cook-offs
Ragout of Beef with Cranberries
Death by Chocolate Cake
Salt Water Taffy
Key Lime Bars
This book made me nostalgic as if I am longing for simpler
times and more time to make foods born of the bounty of
the sea and surrounding lands. Information about B&Bs
in Maine and stories about the lighthouses are a bonus.
Each recipe is accompanied by a story and that makes this
book memorable and collectible.
~The Rebecca Review
Dreams of writing reviews by the sea...
Healing Waters Review:
Earth Resonance Frequency, June 28, 2005
"In order to enhance a state of deep relaxation, we
have included within the mix of music and natural sounds,
the Earth Resonance Frequency of 7.8 hertz. This natural
frequency of the planet's ionosphere supports relaxation,
meditation, and "superlearning." ~Peace Through
Listening to this CD, reading poetry and soaking in an
essential oil/sea salt bath is a weekly indulgence. I love
the water sounds in Healing Waters and this CD always
induces a deep state of relaxation. There are ocean waves,
lush flutes, dreamy harps and flowing rivers. I love the
way the waves sound and the way the flutes create a
Guqin - a silk-stringed zither, China's oldest stringed
Sometime I fall asleep at night listening to this CD and
imagine I'm in an underwater bubble with fish swimming all
around. I have seen shows where they have underwater
hotels like this, but so far I've only visited in my
For a deeper relaxation experience, use headphones and get
into a warm comfy bed.
If you fall in love with this CD, also look for music by
Tom Barabas, Scott Huckabay, Singh Kaur, Daniel Paul and
~The Rebecca Review