Bella Vida by Letty


The Art of Play

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” Diane Ackerman
Barbie goes to Puerto Rico Guayama 2008

Being an artist allows me to be playful and imaginative everyday of my life.  I would never want to do anything else.

foolery, happiness, humor, jest, joking, lark, pastime, pleasure, prank, recreation, relaxation, romp, teasing, amuse oneself, be life of party, caper, carouse, carry on, cavort, clown, cut capers, cut up, dally, dance, entertain oneself, fool around, frisk, frolic,  horse around, idle away, joke, jump, kibitz, kick up heels, let go, let loose, let one’s hair down, make merry, mess around, rejoice, revel, romp, show off, skip, sport, toy, trifle

Here’s a collage of photos taken of me over the past few years.  I’m running away laughing in St. Augustine in the top left; cracking up hysterically on the beach in PR on the right; getting serenaded at Plaza las America’s by Incubus’ Brandon bottom left; and lastly wearing Choco cat ears at the Hello Kitty bday celebration. Who knew I was so playful?  ;P

Do you have silly photos of yourself to share?  Go ahead and post your link in the comments.

“Punk is musical freedom. It’s saying, doing and playing what you want. In Webster’s terms, ‘nirvana’ means freedom from pain, suffering and the external world, and that’s pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock.” Kurt Cobain

“Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” Stuart Brown

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato


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“The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” Robert M. Pirsig
Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009

I can’t remember ever feeling more relaxed than at this mountain top.  After a day of hiking and exploring among nature I felt fulfilled.  My body wasn’t sore.  I wasn’t tired.  Sitting in a comfortable Adirondack chair with my feet propped up on a stone wall taking in the view was completely satisfying.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese proverb

Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009

I was in no rush to do anything or due to be anywhere.  
I was free to simply be.  
To feed my soul in contemplation,
To feed my eyes with the beauty of nature,
Fill my lungs with fresh air
and do nothing.
Free to do absolutely nothing.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Baba Ram Dass

Amicalola Falls, Dawsonville, Georgia Sunset 2009
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” William S. Burroughs
“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid

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Every turn is a New Opportunity

San Juan Puerto Rico 2008
“Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they’ll turn out. You’re curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you’re waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.” Randall Munroe

La Puerta de San Juan Puerto Rico 2008

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams, Jr.

La Puerta de San Juan Puerto Rico 2008
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” Epictetus

“A wise man turns chance into good fortune.” Thomas Fuller

“Fiction is a piece of truth that turns lies to meaning.” Dorothy Allison


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Favorite Places ~ Old San Juan Puerto Rico

“You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person.” Alec Waugh
Old San Juan Puerto Rico Sunny Day 2008

My favorite place on the planet is Old San Juan Puerto Rico.  I never tire of walking street after street. Each visit holds new surprises. If you end up walking with me you’re in trouble because I can walk forever.

I love the off balance sensation of stepping on gray worn cobblestone laid centuries before.  I love the mystery of following unplanned paths that will eventually lead me to the deep blue oceans edge.  There is no wrong way.  There is no getting lost. Taking the challenging uphill walkway past a music school I saunter to the pace of bomba which will transform to salsa, reggaeton or merengue as I continue onward.  At the top of Calle Cristo my eyes are greeted with an explosion of colors. On every facade is a festival for the eyes in a pattern eluding repetition.  My eyes feasting on colors like candies; pilon lollipops  pasta de guayaba, coco-pina, miel con almendra, ajonjoli, limber de parcha, papaya-lechoza and crema de coco.



Old San Juan Puerto Rico – rainy day 2008

Seeking relief from the sun or natures other elements the museums, art galleries and studios became my playground   Shops and boutiques display cultural treasures; local handmade arts and crafts. Admiring and appreciating every piece made on this island fills my soul with inspiration.  I feel a camaraderie with these artists. The commonality of artistic qualities and roots to the island is very comforting. I am less lonely knowing there are others like me.

I feel connected to this place with every swirling sound, graced texture, dancing vision and pleasing aroma.  I feel connected by family, by blood by DNA from the ends of my long curly black hair to the tippy tips of my aura. Every cell of my being has been switched ON to happy.


La Fortaleza – Palacio de Santa Catalina Puerto Rico – rainy day 2008


I get that sensation each time I visit my favorite place.

“How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you – you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences – like rags and shreds of your very life.” Katherine Mansfield

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Rainy Photographs of Puerto Rico

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” Roger Miller
Capilla del Cristo Old San Juan Puerto Rico 2008

I love pictures of the rain, rainy days, rain washed settings . . .
The clouds conceal the light leaving it’s affects on how color is perceived.
Dark clouds stir emotions like a warning of something coming inciting the feeling of needing protection.

Old San Juan Puerto Rico 2008

I love rain water reflections. Precious diamond moments when we see ourselves projected outside of our bodies. Reminding us that we are here. We are alive. Ceaselessly taking part in the endless chain of being affected and affecting the universe.

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery Old San Juan Puerto Rico 2008
“The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.” Joan Didion
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” Langston Hughes

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Watercolor Roses

“Truths and roses have thorns about them.” Henry David Thoreau

I adore roses. Roses are the special symbol of the mothers in my life. My mother has a lovely rose garden and I carry the sweetest memories from youth in my grandmothers garden.

My grandmother always grew roses wherever she lived. Spread all throughout the property in what seemed a random arrangement of colors and shapes. You never knew what you would find since she was constantly adding new varieties. The ones I remember the most were these huge leafy green bushes both tall and wide sprinkled about with sweet pastel pink roses. I don’t know what they’re called and I’ve never seen them anywhere else but in her garden in Bayamon Puerto Rico. I would love to plant some in my backyard.

The above photo is a series of four watercolors inspired by my grandmothers roses. This was a few years ago and I think only one has survived.

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.” Victor Hugo

“Love and a red rose can’t be hid.” Thomas Holcroft

“Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet.” Katharine Lee Bates

“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.” Salvador Dali

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