Banner Photo

Selkie Girl by Jessica Shirley with kind permission
All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Peace of Wild Things


Three Baby ducklingspost by JChip8 on


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry ~

Click on guest photo to go to original site.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall by Lucid Dreams@Flickr Creative CommonsRise & Fall By Lucid Dreams at Flickr Creative Commons

"Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey."
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Haiku My Heart: Reciprocity

Reciprocity by fratch@flickrReciprocity by fratch@flickr

That which is of God

in me Greets that which is of

God in You (Namaste) 



Omkar N Koul (2003-08-10) (PDF). Modes of Greetings in Kashmiri. Indian Institute of Language Studies


For More Haiku My Heart go to Recuerda mi Corazon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sharing the Joy: May We Be Truly Thankful


For These Gifts of Curiosity

Fergus in a moment of ReposeContentment

I am ready for My Close-up Mr. DeMille Trust

012And Pure Joy

May We Be Truly Grateful! Happy Thanksgiving! May it be a Peaceful and Joyful One for All of You and Your Families.

Blessings And Light,

Noelle Renee.


For More Share the Joy go to Meri’s Musings! You will be glad you did!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving at Black Mesa

OkeeffeBlackMesaGeorgia O'Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie's II, 1930; Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; Gift of The Burnett Foundation; © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Perhaps the World Ends Here


The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

"Perhaps the World Ends Here" from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo.

Black Mesa, New Mexico—as it really appears


Black Mesa, outside of e San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico.


Happy Thanksgiving to All. May Peace Be in Your Heart and Around Your Table this Holiday and ever after



Joy Harjo (1951 - )

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo was born in 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Native American and Canadian ancestry. Strongly influenced by her Muskogee Creek heritage, feminist and social concerns, and her background in the arts, Harjo frequently incorporates Native American myths, symbols, and values into her writing. Her poetry tends to emphasize the Southwest landscape and need for remembrance and transcendence. She once commented, “I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors, to my home country, to all places that I touch down on and that are myself, to all voices, all women, all of my tribe, all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings. In a strange kind of sense [writing] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” Harjo’s work is largely autobiographical, informed by her love of the natural world and her preoccupation with survival and the limitations of language. A critically-acclaimed poet, her many honors include the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation. In addition to writing poetry, Harjo is a noted teacher and saxophonist, performing for many years with her band, Poetic Justice.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shadow Play


Shadowsshadows posted by Jchip8


Half Life

Stephen Levine

We walk through half our life
as if it were a fever dream
barely touching the ground
our eyes half open
our heart half closed.
Not half knowing who we are
we watch the ghost of us drift
from room to room
through friends and lovers
never quite as real as advertised.
Not saying half we mean
or meaning half we say
we dream ourselves
from birth to birth
seeking some true self.
Until the fever breaks
and the heart can not abide
a moment longer
as the rest of us awakens,
summoned from the dream,
not half caring for anything but love.

--Stephen Levine

Today I was reading Steven’s Blog, The Golden Fish, where he is talking about how we walk through half our lives with our eyes closed, waiting for that one moment of blinding clarity, then wish we could be in that moment at all times.

It made me think of Stephen Levine’s wonderful poem—one that I have posted on my wall at work at all times and I remembered this photo, that seemed so fitting for his poem. Here it is.

To the two Stevens/Stephens! Thank you Steven of The Golden Fish for your wonderful blogpost and Stephen Levine the great poet and psychologist for the poem, “Half Life”.

--Noelle Renee

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Haiku My Heart: Late Fall

autumn in a nature park in lucca ItalyAutumn in a Nature Park in Lucca, Italy Photo by roberto giuseppe paglianti


The Pink Horizon--

A Warm Palette of Late Fall,

Washed in Red and Gold.

--Noelle Renee 11/18/2010


For more wonderful Haikus go to recuerda mi corazon

Share the Joy: Cool Cat by Irina Minina


Cool Cat by Irina Minina

Bustopher Jones: The Cat about Town

Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones--
In fact, he's remarkably fat.
He doesn't haunt pubs--he has eight or nine clubs,
For he's the St. James's Street Cat!
He's the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
In his coat of fastidious black:
No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers
Or such an impeccable back.
In the whole of St. James's the smartest of names is
The name of this Brummell of Cats;
And we're all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to
By Bustopher Jones in white spats!
--(an excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Cats)



**When I saw this photo I couldn’t stop smiling, and Meri’s theme gave me such an opportunity to post it, so I am sharing the Joy! I love T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Cats and this photo seemed to fit so perfectly. Thanks to Meri of Meri’s Musings for this great idea of Sharing the Joy. We need a logo!

Guest photo from Please click on photo to go to original site. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gray wolves

Gray Wolves

"In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms."
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run with the Wolves)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sometimes Life Offers You a Second Chance

Fergus 11/14/10 (almost 3 mos)Fergus deep in thought

Fergus on my lap 11/14/10Fergus on the alert

Fergus the Poser 11/14/10Fergus being an unconscionable Flirt

For this and for the care and loving concern of good friends, I am truly grateful. Thank you!

Noelle Renee.


*These photos were taken with my cell phone, but I think they do him justice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Scarlet Ibis

scarlett IbisScarlet Ibis posted by JChip on

The Scarlet Ibis

by James Hurst

Summer was dead, but autumn had not yet been born when the ibis came to the bleeding tree. It's strange that all this is so clear to me, now that time has had its way. But sometimes (like right now) I sit in the cool green parlor, and I remember Doodle.

Doodle was about the craziest brother a boy ever had. Doodle was born when I was seven and was, from the start, a disappointment. He seemed all head, with a tiny body that was red and shriveled like an old man's. Everybody thought he was going to die.

Daddy had the carpenter build a little coffin, and when he was three months old, Mama and Daddy named him William Armstrong. Such a name sounds good only on a tombstone.

When he crawled on the rug, he crawled backward, as if he were in reverse and couldn't change gears. This made him look like a doodlebug, so I began calling him 'Doodle.' Renaming my brother was probably the kindest thing I ever did for him, because nobody expects much from someone called Doodle.

Daddy built him a cart and I had to pull him around. If I so much as picked up my hat, he'd start crying to go with me; and Mama would call from wherever she was, "Take Doodle with you."

So I dragged him across the cotton field to share the beauty of Old Woman Swamp. I lifted him out and sat him down in the soft grass. He began to cry.

"What's the matter?"

"It's so pretty, Brother, so pretty."

After that, Doodle and I often went down to Old Woman Swamp.

There is inside me (and with sadness I have seen it in others) a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love. And at times I was mean to Doodle. One time I showed him his casket, telling him how we all believed he would die. When I made him touch the casket, he screamed. And even when we were outside in the bright sunshine he clung to me, crying, "Don't leave me, Brother! Don't leave me!"

Doodle was five years old when I turned 13. I was embarrassed at having a brother of that age who couldn't walk, so I set out to teach him. We were down in Old Woman Swamp. "I'm going to teach you to walk, Doodle," I said.


"So I won't have to haul you around all the time."

"I can't walk, Brother."

"Who says so?"

"Mama, the doctor–everybody."

"Oh, you can walk." I took him by the arms and stood him up. He collapsed on to the grass like a half-empty flour sack. It was as if his little legs had no bones.

"Don't hurt me, Brother."

"Shut up. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to teach you to walk." I heaved him up again, and he collapsed.

"I just can't do it."

"Oh, yes, you can, Doodle. All you got to do is try. Now come on," and I hauled him up once more.

It seemed so hopeless that it's a miracle I didn't give up. But all of us must have something to be proud of, and Doodle had become my something.

Finally one day he stood alone for a few seconds. When he fell, I grabbed him in my arms and hugged him, our laughter ringing through the swamp like a bell. Now we knew it could be done.

We decided not to tell anyone until he was actually walking. At breakfast on our chosen day I brought Doodle to the door in the cart. I helped Doodle up; and when he was standing alone, I let them look. There wasn't a sound as Doodle walked slowly across the room and sat down at the table. Then Mama began to cry and ran over to him, hugging him and kissing him. Daddy hugged him, too. Doodle told them it was I who had taught him to walk, so they wanted to hug me, and I began to cry.

"What are you crying for?" asked Daddy, but I couldn't answer. They didn't know that I did it just for myself, that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.

Within a few months, Doodle had learned to walk well. Since I had succeeded in teaching Doodle to walk, I began to believe in my own infallibility. I decided to teach him to run, to row, to swim, to climb trees, and to fight. Now he, too, believed in me; so, we set a deadline when Doodle could start school.

But Doodle couldn't keep up with the plan. Once, he collapsed on the ground and began to cry.

"Aw, come on, Doodle. You can do it. Do you want to be different from everybody else when you start school?"

"Does that make any difference?"

"It certainly does. Now, come on."

And so we came to those days when summer was dead but autumn had not yet been born. It was Saturday noon, just a few days before the start of school. Daddy, Mama, Doodle, and I were seated at the dining room table, having lunch. Suddenly from out in the yard came a strange croaking noise. Doodle stopped eating. "What's that?" He slipped out into the yard, and looked up into the bleeding tree. "It's a big red bird!"

Mama and Daddy came out. On the topmost branch perched a bird the size of a chicken, with scarlet feathers and long legs.

At that moment, the bird began to flutter. It tumbled down through the bleeding tree and landed at our feet with a thud. Its graceful neck jerked twice and then straightened out, and the bird was still. It lay on the earth like a broken vase of red flowers, and even death could not mar its beauty.

"What is it?" Doodle asked.

"It's a scarlet ibis," Daddy said.

Sadly, we all looked at the bird. How many miles had it traveled to die like this, in our yard, beneath the bleeding tree?

Doodle knelt beside the ibis. "I'm going to bury him."

As soon as I had finished eating, Doodle and I hurried off to Horsehead Landing. It was time for a swimming lesson, but Doodle said he was too tired. When we reached Horsehead landing, lightning was flashing across half the sky, and thunder was drowning out the sound of the sea.

Doodle was both tired and frightened. He slipped on the mud and fell. I helped him up, and he smiled at me ashamedly. He had failed and we both knew it. He would never be like the other boys at school.

We started home, trying to beat the storm. The lightning was near now. The faster I walked, the faster he walked, so I began to run.

The rain came, roaring through the pines. And then, like a bursting Roman candle, a gum tree ahead of us was shattered by a bolt of lightning. When the deafening thunder had died, I heard Doodle cry out, "Brother, Brother, don't leave me! Don't leave me!"

The knowledge that our plans had come to nothing was bitter, and that streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far behind with a wall of rain dividing us. Soon I could hear his voice no more.

I stopped and waited for Doodle. The sound of rain was everywhere, but the wind had died and it fell straight down like ropes hanging from the sky.

I peered through the downpour, but no one came. Finally I went back and found him huddled beneath a red nightshade bush beside the road. He was sitting on the ground, his face buried in his arms, which were resting on drawn-up knees. "Let's go, Doodle."

He didn't answer so I gently lifted his head. He toppled backward onto the earth. He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red.

"Doodle, Doodle." There was no answer but the ropy rain. I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision in red before me looked very familiar. "Doodle!" I screamed above the pounding storm and threw my body to the earth above his. For a long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis.

--James Hurst


I read this story when I was in the ninth grade. I found it one of the saddest and yet most incredible stories of  brotherly selfishness and betrayal , family love and ,ultimately, profound brotherly fidelity that I had ever read and it has always remained in my memory. I found this photo of a real scarlet Ibis tonight and looked for the story online to share it. I am sorry if it is too sad, but sometimes life is that way as I have come to discover recently. I realize also that we can learn something  about ourselves from sadness.


Noelle Renee

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Haiku My Heart: The Crimson Gift

sky drama in LouisianaSky Drama in Louisiana by Linda Unger

Look Heavenward To

Find in Clouds the Crimson Gift

Of Chaos and Peace.

--Noelle Renee 11/11/2010


For more Haiku My Heart Please see recuerda mi corazon!

Simon and Garfunkel : “Cloudy”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sarah Jane

Sarah JaneMay 1991-November 2010

Life’s Best Companion

My Furry, White Farishta

My Heart Shall Miss Yours.


*Farishta (Persian: فرشته) means angel or one who is sent in Persian

Monday, November 8, 2010

For My Best Friend

021Sarah Jane

    When God Made Cats

    When God made the world, He chose to put animals in it, and decided to give each whatever it wanted. All the animals formed a long line before His throne, and the cat quietly went to the end of the line. To the elephant and the bear He gave strength, to the rabbit and the deer, swiftness; to the owl, the ability to see at night, to the birds and the butterflies, great beauty; to the fox, cunning; to the monkey, intelligence; to the dog, loyalty; to the lion, courage; to the otter, playfulness. And all these were things the animals begged of God. At last he came to the end of the line, and there sat the little cat, waiting patiently. "What will YOU have?" God asked the cat.

    The cat shrugged modestly. "Oh, whatever scraps you have left over. I don't mind."

    "But I'm God. I have everything left over."

    "Then I'll have a little of everything, please."

    And God gave a great shout of laughter at the cleverness of this small animal, and gave the cat everything she asked for, adding grace and elegance and, only for her, a gentle purr that would always attract humans and assure her a warm and comfortable home.

    But he took away her false modesty.

    Lenore Fleischer


    Nora The Piano Playing Cat in CATcerto accompanied by St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Different Journey

280* “Safari” by Craig Lehman 1995, Bronze Shidoni Gallery Tesuque, N.M.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”  Paulo Coelho

Is there a challenge and an opportunity awaiting you today?How would you best describe the Courageous One within You willing to step forward to meet your destiny?—Noelle Renee

safariweb_sm (1)

thumbnail of full statue from gallery web page.

I love that this family is riding on a zebra on wheels,

an excellent way to start a safari!


*Photo taken in Shidoni gallery Tesuque N.M.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Haiku My Heart: “Dawn at Bosque del Apache”(Festival of The Cranes)

Dawn at Bosque del Apache, NWR, Soccorom, New MexicoVadim Balakin: Dawn at Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico—Please click on photo or this link to go to original site for this guest photo at


White feathered sunrise,

Wading warm, copper waters--

Moments before flight.

--Noelle Renee  11/2/10

For more Haiku My Heart, visit Recuerda mi Corazon today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


As Pretty As Blue Can Be

pours light
into every cup,
quenching darkness.

Brilliant Blue Bowl of Glory

and the trees lift their limbs
without worry of redemption,
every blossom a chalice.


(Excerpt from “God Pours Light” )

Celtic Woman: “The Blessing”

The Bluest Morning Glories on Earth photos were taken in my nephew’s backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are quite proud of their garden, and I had not seen “glories” this color of blue before. It was a treat for me! --Noelle

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



289Craig Lehmann, “Blessings” Bronze, 2008 *

Creation often

needs two hearts

one to root

and one to flower

One to sustain

in time of drouth

and hold fast

against winds of pain

the fragile bloom

that in the glory

of its hour

affirms a heart

unsung, unseen.

--Marilou Awiakta

Abiding Appalacia

Watoto Children’s Choir “Will You Sing My Lullaby?”

I took this photo at the  Shidoni Gallery in Tesuque Village, New Mexico

Monday, November 1, 2010

When the Blue Hour Comes


The good times are all gone
The night keeps coming on so strong
You can’t hold on, no matter what you do
Will there be someone who cares for you
When the blue hour comes?
When the blue hour comes?


And when your restless heart
Tears your world apart
And everywhere you turn
It’s falling down on you
Will there be a light that shines for you?


When the blue hour comes for you
If there’s anything that you would have me do
Just call on me and I’ll be coming through
I will always be there for you
When the blue hour comes
When the blue hour comes…

excerpted lyrics by Orbison and Crowell

*Dedicated to my friend Jim.

“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves”

Teilhard de Chardin quote

Photos taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Joan Osborne “When the Blue Hour Comes”