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Ocean & Love Themes


Broken Paradise


A Heart's Longing for Home, February 22, 2007

"Our heartache settled like fine dust on every stick of furniture, every corner of tile. It blew, like a silent storm out of the windows and blended with the moisture of the sea that seemed to be weeping with us. We took pictures with our hearts and minds, and the little time we had expanded into an eternity of tomorrows we would never have." ~ pg. 86

Cecilia Samartin's debut novel is rich with a love of sea and sand. The sweet idyllic life of childhood sweeps the reader into the poetic writing and magical world of houses with windows facing the sea.

The scents of sea breezes mingle with the taste of fresh guavas as two cousins emerge from their long summer to face a life of political turmoil. Alicia's romantic heart leads her to love and to remain in her country, while Nora escapes the conflict and struggles to find a new home in America.

This meditation on the loss of home and the longings for lost innocence makes this a book of salt water and tears. Cecilia Samartin's impressive powers of description invite you into an intimacy where small pleasures and secrets cross the waters in letters and one woman must sell her body while the other is determined to keep her soul. Broken Paradise is a completely captivating journey into the heart of longing.

~The Rebecca Review


Deepak Chopra & Friends - A Gift of Love II


Sensuous Celebration of Rabindranath Tagore's Poetry, February 7, 2007

"Those who met Tagore described him as one of the great souls of our age; Einstein considered him a sage. From what we learn in these poems, he certainly lived his own words. He kissed the infinite; he was not afraid to lose everything for love. In these poems he allows us to experience love with words and music that wash our souls." ~ Deepak Chopra

Poetry weaves itself through Adam Plack's sensual music in passionate whispers and fantasy worlds of past lives and future invitations. Unrequited love becomes rain with pattering feet and smiles of autumn. The lover, while mortal, becomes the world in her absence.

Visions of beauty, romance and passion create an world of mystery and exotic moods. Poetry escapes from pages and breathes through sweet vocal interpretations. Ancient echoes, jazzy escapes and electronic tribal fusion awakens a soul intoxication in "When I Kiss."

Deepak read many translations of Rabindranath Tagore's poems and then translated the poetry for our generation. The results are stunning in beauty. Deepak Chopra, Sinead O'Connor, Angelica Houston, Antonio Banderas, Marisa Tomei, Lisa Bonet, Milla Jovovich, Shekhar Kapur, Gina Gershon, Melanie Griffith, Jared Harris and Claued Challe mingle their voices with music.

If you have read Rabindranath Tagore's poems I think you will be impressed with these new translations. I remember the first time I read one of his poems and the experience was an awakening to poetic wonder.

Within these poems, you may find yourself wandering in India, Africa or Spain. You may become lost walking across clouds or seduced into the pleasures of the invisible.

"...we are drifting in different streams of the world
our lives would be carried apart
and our love forgotten
but I'm not so foolish that I would hope
to buy your heart with gifts"
~My Gift to You

If you are a hopeless romantic, this musical journey with poetry will make you heady. If you love creating moods, this is perfect while taking a bath by candlelight. I'd highly recommend something like "Dream On" from Lush and perhaps the Flying Fox shower gel and an application of Flying Fox Jasmine temple balm. This CD whispers: "Play me in the dark with the flicker of at least 4 beautifully scented champaca candles." I can recommend the Ergo Champa candle or the Ergo Passion Rose de Mai.

The poems presented here seduce with soul longings and entangle you in magical stories of love. The entire CD is breathlessly beautiful and a true gift of love to anyone willing to spend the time diving deep into this mystery. I can also highly recommend Deepak's book: "The Soul In Love."

"Say your last words in silence..."
~Flight to Freedom

~The Rebecca Review



For Love or Country Soundtrack...


5 out of 5 stars =   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 explains:

"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 supported.

“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, music.

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 U.S. Embassy.

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 really free.

A movie about Romance and Freedom everyone should see! Especially romantics and those who love Jazz.


I also enjoyed this book of passionate poetry: 

On Entering the Sea by Nizar Qabbani

A 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

~Nizar Qabbani

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 beauty.

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 Andalusian experiences.

I write
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 water.

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.

To peace...

~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 a fortress.

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 recipes include:

Shrimp Omelet
Chicken Fried Steak
The Chili Recipe - won two chili cook-offs
Ragout of Beef with Cranberries
Lighthouse Cookies
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...


Sea Glass


Seashells of the World


Healing Waters



Wind & Sea Avora Candle


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 Music

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 magical environment.


Silver Flute
Native Flute
Acoustic Guitar
Guqin - a silk-stringed zither, China's oldest stringed instrument

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 imagination.
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 Sunyata.

~The Rebecca Review



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