28 June 2008

william bouguereau: evening mood

lucky girl

Lizards keep crawling into my window air conditioners, and I hear them: getting chopped up by the blades of the fan.

Choppity-chop-chop. It's not a happy sound.

This sound often wakes me up early in the morning, and I say a prayer, especially when the sound goes on and on... and on.

Florida lizards are so common, it's easy to take them for granted. They sun themselves on the sidewalks, hunt by the light on porches at night, make love in the grass and on palm tress.

They lay tiny eggs in the moist, cool earth of my potted plants.

They scamper away as you approach them, but sometimes there are so many on a sidewalk or trail that it's difficult to not step on them.

But this is beyond the pale. I lay in my safe, soft, coupled bed, listening to the sound of the moment of death for one of God's creatures. I can only hope that death came quickly.

And on those thoughtful mornings, I am once again reminded of the fragility of our shared, universal life.

I start counting my blessings before my feet hit the floor, and think, what a lucky girl am I: born human, with eyes to see, and love in my heart. 

And I vow to try to share my love and my luck with every living being I meet, because tomorrow never knows.

Tomorrow I may crawl into an air conditioner.

william h. hunt: lady of shalott


Not an empty

Just a space

With room to move


The slightness

The intimacy

The holding still


Dare to breathe

A breath of this

To someone


I am beyond the sadness

And well into rejection of

Always being the strong one


Any minute now

I may just

Make a move

26 June 2008


(photographer unknown)

quote: carl sagan

We are one species. We are starstuff.

i smell rain

The night is light upon me:

I awake wrapped in dreams.


I smell the rain

Before I open my eyes.


I hear the birds

Before I walk outside.


I breathe the deep

Before I start my day.


This simple gift:

A gentle arousal, and


The time to awaken to

A new dawning,


And another chance

At grace.


(photo by signe)

24 June 2008

quote: aesop

After all is said and done, more is said than done.


As a flower to me,

This beautiful, weary day.

Thinking on the

Crux of our complex dilemma,

Crossed stars, and

Everlasting-wondering what-if.

Strolling hand-in-softly-hand,

I have eased into those clouds,

Seeking the comfort of any sanctuary.

Held deep within His grey-blue sky,

My poignancy comes and goes, but

My framework remains,

Strengthened and emboldened,

And I lift my heart, singing, sighing,

To thank God for that.

22 June 2008

grey sky beach

(photo by signe)

carlos nakai: shaman's call


Sometimes you are asked

To step outside of yourself

And become something greater than you are

Or what you perceive yourself to be

The sum of your parts suddenly

Adding up to more than

What you started out with

That morning

When you left your house

And you were still the same then

But you are different now

Reaching and breaking

All those rules that

You had so carefully

Constructed for yourself

See how life bends and

You’ve become

The sum greater than the whole

The earth greater than the sun

The sun greater than the sky and

The sky a never-ending possibility of further

quote: nietzsche

Without music, life would be a mistake.

18 June 2008


Slow to arouse, slumbering giants,

Shrouded in ice and history.

Lifespan so wide, we cannot

Perceive the distance.


Footsteps preceded our own,

But it is we who walk now,

Veiled in trees and fallen leaves,

Trembling earth beneath our tiny feet.


This is not waiting;

This is being:

As the earth rolls,

Mountains create their own lifetime.


Turning ever on and upward,

Pacing the breathing and

Our steps, grounded

On this gentle awakening.


As a whale rolls in water,

And eyes directly the sky above,

So the mountain turns face up within,

To measure our progress upon her paths.


(photo by signe)

16 June 2008

quote: earl mac rauch

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.


It is a soft return,

Treading lightly on stone paths, and tripping over happiness.

See sly, shy Joy and her companion, Wry Understanding, stepping out from blossoming azalea bushes and crepe myrtle trees,

Striding down the indifferent path, marking intention with every step and smiling at gone.

15 June 2008

frederic lord leighton: flaming june


Although born

Of heaven's domain,

I am currently

Earthly-wise and


So I go spinning

Out my morning door

Into dawn's reflection,

Like light on water.

This day gifted,

Unnumbered remaining.

quote: john cage

The first question I ask

when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is:

why do I think it's not beautiful?

And very shortly you discover,

there is no reason.

14 June 2008

j.w. waterhouse: lady of shalott

pachelbel: canon in d major

too much all at once

The day after

The night before

Only departure remains

I watched the shift

From a distance:

Paths converging, then diverging

I extended myself

But you took the circle with you

And all I can do is

Walk around the perimeter

No longer belonging

To any part of me

Only naming some nameless sorrow

I cannot touch or remember

Wandering dazed as if

You might come by

Any screaming lost moment

My job here is gone

I turn to my own way

Too much all at once

12 June 2008


(photo by signe)

samuel barber: adagio for strings

recipe for kindness:









Green growing things and



Letting go

Growing up

Learning to look at your own behavior as opposed to judging others

Loving yourself

Forgiving yourself

Forgiving others

Loving others





Oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, puddles




10 June 2008

vincent van gogh: flower beds in holland


I am the stuff of raw,

Unschooled and untamed.

A venturing wild child,

Making every move and mistake.

Unbehaving like a lady,

Flinging naked and unsightly,

In full view, without shame,

And lacking the ability to embarrass herself.


Unweaving the carefully woven

Crust of society to my own liking and

Instructing myself to my own bidding,

I honor no one but God and love.


Under whose rules shall I bind

My earthly nature and

Whose laws would you apply to me?

You are simply too scared to unbehave yourself.


I am a God-given being of joy

And lightness to behold and

I shall rejoice in my gladness, dancing daily

My loose wonderment under these celestial skies.

07 June 2008


I have journeyed,

And sometimes arrived,

Stepping over your tired questions.

There are no awards for intensity;

Would you please relax?

You’re dismissed.


If you don’t wake up soon,

You’re gonna miss

The Whole Thing.

I have rules about

This sort of thing,


Try this next time:


my father

Henry Santiestevan. The pioneering Latino journalist and labor organizer headed the Viva Kennedy and Viva Humphrey campaigns in 1968. That same year he became the founding director of the National Council of La Raza. He is one of the many nearly-forgotten California Latino leaders featured in the Search for a Civic Voice.
(photo by Jack Maschoff; courtesy of Stina Santiestevan)

delibes: flower duet (lakme)

grasshopper (schistocerca americana)

(photo by signe)

05 June 2008

night rain

I couldn’t sleep last night – it was raining! Delicious drippy wet stuff, falling all around. Had to rush out of bed and onto my happy porch.

Frogs were chirping like crickets and even the birds woke up, shifting and tweetering in their night-time bushes.

The Drought-Breaker has arrived, and brings with Him the source of goodness and life, while He softly sings the rain song. (And if you listen closely, you can hear the flowers singing harmony).

In the morning, everything and everyone is smiling, remembering the secret of the rain the night before.

Breathing Deeply, Living Moment, Nightly Rain.

03 June 2008

the love and the measure

I am shining down and down,

Striking a balance between

The love and the measure.


Swinging between joy

And that bright light,

Patiently awaiting my own arousal.


Illuminated brightly and

Illustrating every moment,

Calling down my brilliant path.


When faith awakens,

And truth becomes you,

Compose yourself, and breathe surrender.

01 June 2008


(photo by signe)

r.i.p. floyd

This weight belongs to those of us

Left behind

As you are called home

To our Father’s gate

Carried on angel’s wind and

Shining like the stars

I never thought

I would never see you again

Too pale a word

To say goodbye

God rest your soul and

Sing now in heaven’s choir

The story of you and

Bless the ones you love