Toward the Heart of the World ~ Postcards from Paradise


Barbat cu Pisica DumitrescuBarbat cu Pisica (Man with Cat) © Vlad Dumitrescu with kind permission


Book of Hours II, 16

How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing -
each stone, blossom, child -
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God's heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,

translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

For More Postcards from Paradise Please go to Recuerda mi Corazon. You will be so glad that you did!

About the Photographer

Vlad Dumitrescu

An introduction of my work should start with a short description of Romania. The magic of this country, lies in its landscapes and in its warm people that are living in villages from very close to the sea to the heart of the mountains. Every region has its own specific habits and its own stories, which are making together the beautiful book, called - Romania. Every season is turning slowly page by page from this book, over and over again, for thousands of years. You can still find in these villages carts run by oxen, people working at the looms or in the fields with horses.
I must say that I am very lucky to live in this country, but at the same time, I am sorry to see that day by day something is changing as the modernism is cutting deeper and deeper in our old traditions.
My aim is to find during my walks up and down and around the hills, valleys and villages of Romania, old people and forgotten habits and try to bring back into present something that was lost in the past. The Romanian village is my main motive because I love its people and its habits and because I see it dying.

To find more of Vlad Dumitrescu’s Warm and Engaging photographs of Romania please take a short trip over to where you can see many of his photos or enjoy his wonderful blog at the url you see below!


*This photo was posted with permission from the photographer. All Rights Are Reserved. Thank you.


  1. Very nice Noelle. I hope you are enjoying your extended weekend. 

  2. Cheryl's Excellent AdventureSeptember 4, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Lovely story today. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful photograph.

  3. Noelle thank you for all that you share here.
    These words so true and love the art.
    My neighbors are Romanian, living a very different life here now.

  4. Exquisite, as always. 

  5. Holy wow. I adore this picture. Absolutely incredible. What a beautiful portrait. It literally took my breath away!

  6. oh Noelle - this poem is beautiful. this: If we surrendered to earth's intelligencewe could rise up rooted, like trees.....
    thankyou for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments - I much appreciate it

  7. clearly you are the best at this.

    matchmaking the best with the best.

    every time i come here 2 things happen
    {{ at the very least...}}

    the ''ahhh...'' of the photo*moment
    the deeper layer taste of the the words.

    even now i hold my morning journal
    to copy this:
    ""Instead we entangle ourselvesin knots of our own makingand struggle, lonely and confused.""why oh whyare we most often our own worse enemy?i have no idea.{{ yesparadise!i could smile, too, in such a roomwith fine light coming thru the window,with a warm bit of fur to hug.}}i strain to see better the art on the wall,the weave of the fabric here & there...thank you.

  8. i stand
    in wonder at the magnificence of soul!

  9. This post is so touching and reminds me of my old dad who reluctantly agreed that a pet cat would be good company after mum passed.    " That blooming cat" he complained every time we saw him.  Smokey's favourite game was to lay in wait of  ambush,  leaping out from behind furniture lashing  dad's flesh anywhere his claws caught!  On one visit dad was found very distressed, Smokey had disappeared through a hole in the wall and had climbed up between the cavity, had been crying there for some time, couldn't be coaxed down.  Dad had no alternative but to push his arm up the cavity as far as it would go in the hope of pulling him out, which of course he did, but again he had more scratches and wounds in the bargain. 

    He did admit to crying over the fact that he thought he was going to loose - "that blooming cat" though!

    Thanks for the memory Noelle,  a lovely postcard from paradise.

    Sue x

  10. This is beautiful.:)

  11. "Man with Cat" seems so happy and warm - I adore that  picture!  The line in the poem saying that we "entangle ourselves in knots of our own making, and struggle..." is so poignant .  As for modernization in Romania, I see the same thing happening in Mexico, and it seems really sad...although how can we blame people for wanting modern conveniences???  As always, your post is very thought provoking!

  12. Thank you Dawn for your kind and thoughtful comment. Yes I think that many of the old ways and the simpler life is being lost. A lot of people didn't notice but this gentleman is missing part of his leg. I remember the photographer saying, he is missing his right leg but he has many friends who are cats. So dear. It's why I chose the poem that I did. Thanks again for stopping by.

  13. Thanks for this fabulous story Sue Dear. I shall never forget it. 
    Noelle x

  14. I loved what Vlad Dumitrescu has to say about Romania!! What a correct picture he has painted of the place!! In the verse I liked the references made to gravity and Earth's intelligence!! Does make us a confused lot when we can learn so much in nature!! Beautiful and intelligent share!! Loved it Noelle!! Nanka

  15. i love rilke's poem. and that photo... you are so gifted in the pairing of word with image.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts