Banner Photo

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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Postcards from Paradise: Restlessness, Motion, and Flight

GRIVE 2 m bw 4000 Grive2 Milan Malovrh
I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,
Not a leaf, not a bird-
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood
Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness
Till the moorline – blackening dregs of the brightening grey –
Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:
Huge in the dense grey –ten together –
Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,
With draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
Making no sound.
I passed: not one snorted or jerked its head.
Grey silent fragments
Of a grey still world.
Restlessness by milan malovrhRestlessness by Milan Malovrh
I listened in emptiness on the moor-ridge.
The curlew’s tear turned its edge on the silence.
Slowly detail leafed from the darkness. Then the sun
Orange, red, red erupted
Silently, and splitting to its core tore and flung cloud,
Shook the gulf open, showed blue,
And the big planets hanging –
I turned
Stumbling in a fever of a dream, down towards
The dark woods, from the kindling tops,
And came the horses.
There, still they stood,
But now steaming, and glistening under the flow of light,
Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves
Stirring under a thaw while all around them
The frost showed its fires. But still they made no sound.
Not one snorted or stamped,
Their hung heads patient as the horizons,
High over valleys, in the red levelling rays.
In din of the crowded streets, going among the years, the faces,
May I still meet my memory in so lonely a place
Between the streams and the red clouds, hearing curlews,
Hearing the horizons endure,
In din of the crowded streets, going among the years, the faces
May I still meet my memory in so lonely a place.
(complete poem ~The Horses~ by Ted Hughes)
Gallop with Wind by Milan MalowrhGallop With Wind by Milan Malovrh
The interior gaze unfolds to a world of flame and vertigo,
born under the dreamer’s forehead:
blue suns, green cyclones, beaks of light splitting stars like
a single sunflower, one gold eye revolving in the center of a
calcined slope,
groves of crystal sound and answers and
waves, dialogue of transparencies, 
wind, a galloping of water between endless walls,
a throat of jet, horse, comet, rocket.
Beli valovi eBelli Valovi by Milan Malovrh
lancing into the heart of night, feathers spume,
feathers, a sudden flowering of torches, 
candles, wings an
invasion of white,
island birds singing under the dreamer’s forehead. 
I opened my eyes, raised them to the sky and saw how the
night was covered with stars,
Live islands, bracelets of flaming islands, burning stones,
breathing, clusters of live stones.
What a fountain, what lucencies, what bright riders~
on [white]
what a river up there! And that far sound of water and fire mixed,light against dark.
-Excerpt poem Octavio Paz ~The Broken Pot~ (word in brackets is mine)
translated by Tim Reynolds

About the Artist:
My name is Milan Malovrh and I´m living in a small town in Slovenia, Trzic.  To photograph is my number one hobby, and during the last short forty years it has become a really big passion. I love seeing the world through my camera because it´s opening the eyes for things, that you don´t see by the first view.
Thanks to everyone, who´s watching my pictures!

Photographs used with Kind Permission of Milan Malovrh

You can view more astonishingly beautiful images by Milan Malovrh at

To See More Postcards from Paradise Please visit
Recuerda mi Corazon!

Octavio Paz~

Ted Hughes ~

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Haiku My Heart: Thor’s Well


Thors2Thor’s Well©

At the Earth’s Great Heart

Lies a Well and a Fountain,

A White, Storm~Swelled Sea.

~Noelle Renee 2/24/11


Thor’s Well: How it’s Made

Thor’s Well is part of Cape Perpetua, a typical Pacific Northwest headland – a forested area of land on the central Oregon Coast, surrounded by water on three sides. Thor’s Well ( a giant sinkhole about 20 feet deep) is also often simply called the Spouting Horn. It alternately “launches and swallows water as if it were a living thing.”  It is essentially a huge salt water fountain operated by the Pacific Ocean's power. This natural spectacle is at its best when it’s the most dangerous to watch - at high tide or during winter storms(excerpt). 

*section in quotations from Miles Morgan’s board.

About the Photographer: 

Miles Morgan is new to photography this year,(became a member of in 2009) although he has dabbled with it since he was a child as his father is a professional photojournalist. He finds himself gravitating towards landscapes at a bit of an obsessive pace. His day job is as an Airline Pilot,  He is glad to have found  as the work there is completely inspiring. He feels honored to have a photo or two published at 1x.

(Wording here is from the photographer’s bio. the pronouns  and some minor verb tenses have been changed and one or two sentences omitted for brevity).

~Photo used by the kind permission of Miles Morgan~

For More Haiku My Heart, Please visit Recuerda mi Corazon. You will be thrilled that you did!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


ThirstThirst By Pixsy~ vogel ptak (post by jchip8 

Skimming the Water’s Edge,

Feathers Ablaze and Claws Outstretched~

Each Gesture, a Prayer.

~Noelle Renee 2/22/11


I have identified this astonishing bird as a Kestrel Falcon. I find it so incredibly beautiful. Here is a link which confirms for me that this is what it is:

I found the photo on with the credits listed.  The Haiku, of course, is mine. I am enamored of birds. This one seems almost a totem; its presence is so dynamic and powerful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fairytale World

Fairytale worldFairytale World (title mine) by Sasoli

Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.
Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.
All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.
We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.
How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

~Robert Louis Stevenson

 Ink drawing from the original book by Stevenson

When I was a child, my grandfather gave my sister and me A Child’s Garden of Verses for Christmas one year. It became my favorite book for a long time and it taught me to love the cadence and rhythm of poetry. Stevenson’s poetry always gave me comfort, hope and a sense of stability in what to most children would have been considered a less than secure situation. I loved the idea of being a child with a nurse to care for me and the safety of two parents, a comfortable home and lots of leisure time. Perhaps this book provided that sort of feeling for many children who read it growing up.

~Noelle Renee

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Amazing and Charming Fergus the Cat

Picture?Fergus is my Six-month old, ready-to-ramble, fun-loving kitten.

Well okay, if you are gonna take a picture...He spends the better part of his days trying to get into the most mischief possible in the least amount of time.

Time to cuddleOccasionally, he wears himself out from jumping out of windows, climbing up trees, knocking over all of the books on my desk and the wastebasket in the bathroom. At that point, he looks sleepy.

Maybe notBut, after about a two-hour nap, he revives himself, feeling refreshed, stretches and looks my way…(uh—oh)!

032Ready For More Action! Fer—Gus…Come Back Here Right Now!

025You gotta love him… Meow! Meow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Haiku My Heart: A Chalice

9353 final noellewith kind permission of NewZealand1 “262 Seconds” ©2011 @

A Rocky Chalice

Encircles a Wine Dark Sea

Burnished with Sunlight.

~Noelle Renee 2/17/11



Even so I yearn day after day, longing to reach home, and see the hour of my return. And if some god should strike me, out on the wine-dark sea, I will endure it, owning a heart within inured to suffering. For I have suffered much, and laboured much, in war and on the seas: add this then to the sum.’

          As he spoke the sun dipped, and darkness fell.

(words spoken by Odysseus)

~The Odyssey, Book V, tr. Andrew Lang, 1887

For More Haiku My Heart, visit Recuerda Mi Corazon. You will be so glad you did!



*Sincere Thanks to Shy Cohen for his beautiful photograph of Dor Beach ~ One single, long exposure for 262 seconds…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Blessing


Standing Deer
As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
the heart may grow cluttered.
And still the house will be emptied,
and still the heart.
As the thoughts of a person
in age sometimes grow sparer,
like a great cleanness come into a room,
the soul may grow sparer;
one sparrow song carves it completely.
And still the room is full,
and still the heart.
Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.
Filled and empty,
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.
Beloved, what can be, what was,
will be taken from us.
I have disappointed.
I am sorry. I knew no better.
A root seeks w
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.
Jane Hirshfield

From The Lives of the Heart, 1997 (Harper Collins)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Milyuzga (my title: micro St. Valentine). Buzdin Aleksandr1

Milyuzga (Micro St. Valentine). Buzdin

“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stumbling Toward Ecstasy: Afghan Refugee Girls in the Outskirts of Islamabad

Pakistan13 by muhammed muheisen from

'Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan' by Greg Mortenson


Halting an endless cycle of war with education, from the co-author of the bestselling 'Three Cups of Tea.'

November 30, 2009|By Bernadette Murphy

In a part of Afghanistan so remote it can take days if not weeks to journey there, the people are tired of fighting. First the Russians, then the Taliban. Now, they simply want to build a better life for the next generation.

" 'Look here. Look at these hills,' [the leader of one such community] said as he pointed toward the mountains looming over the town, whose lower slopes were strewn with countless rocks and boulders. 'There has been far too much dying in these hills. Every rock, every boulder that you see before you is one of my mujahadeen, shahids, martyrs, who sacrificed their lives. . . . Now we must make their sacrifice worthwhile. . . . We must turn these stones into schools.' "

The speaker of these words is Sadhar Kahn, a Tajik leader; his listener is Greg Mortenson, an American who'd been building schools in neighboring Pakistan.

Mortenson co-wrote the wildly successful "Three Cups of Tea," recounting his effortsto build a single school in the isolated village of Korphe perched at the foot of the Karakoram Mountains.

He'd been inspired to action when the village nurtured him back to health after a failed mountaineering attempt on K2 in 1993. When he encountered the community's thirst for education for its children and realized how unlikely it was that this thirst would be quenched, he set out to construct a single school.

What followed was a series of school-building projects that continue to spread through the region.

At the time of the new book's printing, some 131 schools, many primarily for girls, had been built in Afghanistan and Pakistan, serving nearly 58,000 children (of which 40,000 are girls).

The philosophy is simple: Mortenson believes that conflict in the region will not be won by combat and airstrikes but with books, pencils and notebooks -- the tools of socioeconomic growth.

"Stones Into Schools" follows a clear trajectory with octopus tentacles of fascinating asides emanating from its core.

The main plot revolves around a 1999 promise that Dr. Greg (as he's known to the locals) made to a group of horsemen who'd traveled a treacherous route to track him down and petition for a school in their remote home region within the Wakhan Corridor in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan.

Given all the things the people lack, what they desire most is the chance for their children to learn to read and write. Dr. Greg says yes with no idea how such a thing might come to pass.

Over the course of the book, readers follow in part how this promise comes to fruition after 10 years of effort, but we also follow the construction of countless other schools, women's literacy programs, bridges and water delivery systems.

In the horrible aftermath of the massive October 2005 earthquake that decimated the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan, Mortenson shifts his focus. Of the more than 80,000 casualties, a quarter were children, most in school when the quake hit; more than 9,000 schools were destroyed.

Throughout, Mortenson forges warm relations with Islamic clerics, works with tribal leaders and follows the guiding principle that made his first school effort successful: the idea that one must spend time listening to the community -- at least the time it takes to enjoy three cups of tea together -- to fully understand and be in a position to help.

Unlike "Three Cups of Tea," which was co-written by David Oliver Relin and described Mortenson's exploits in third person, "Stones Into Schools" is written from the author's perspective.

It's odd then, given this first-person treatment, that the narrator's voice remains muted, giving readers objective information with scant effusive emotion.

There's less about his personal life -- in the first book, the story of his falling in love and marrying quickly added spice that kept the work from feeling heavy.

The new book is less focused on the plot drive found in "Three Cups of Tea" -- will he succeed or fail to build the school? -- and more concerned with educating readers about the region, the religions represented, the tribal customs and countless other details that animate the area.

The amount of history and background provided is epic; the slew of maps and pages of "Who's Who" at the book's beginning are needed to keep readers on track.

The result is that those who were lured by the conversational tone of "Three Cups of Tea" might have become interested enough to wade deeper into the region's complexities, as presented in "Stones Into Schools." Readers not so initiated may struggle.

Though "Three Cups of Tea" is not prerequisite reading -- most of the material is recapped in the new book -- it may serve to whet readers' appetites.

"Stones Into Schools" has more characters, more regions to consider, more obstacles to overcome, more history to digest. At times, these "mores" can require a slow and careful read.

But be not discouraged: Like the trouble it takes to build these important and life-enriching schools, endeavoring to better understand this region through "Stones Into Schools" is worth the effort.

Murphy has published three books of narrative nonfiction and is the author of a forthcoming novel, "Grace Notes."

Los Angeles Times Articles

Copyright 2011 Los Angeles Times


Note from Noelle Renee: I had the pleasure of seeing Greg Mortenson and hearing him speak about his first book, Three Cups of Tea and how it was written and then about his second book, Stones into Schools. He shared about the project, its inception and the number of schools that have already been created and are up and running. His focus is on girls because they are the ones who are victimized by the least opportunity for education and in addition, they are the ones who remain in the village and raise the children. In his mind, and in my own, their education, for those reasons alone, is vital. He has completed many of these projects on a shoestring budget and he gets very little himself from what he does other than subsistence. Everything donated goes back into the project of the schools. He is an impressive and wonderful man who is married, has a family and a very loving and understanding wife who is fully supportive of what he does.

I found this lovely and amazing photo of the little Afghan refugee girls and immediately thought of Greg and his work. I had to share it with you. Central Asia Institute is the name of his organization and the place where you may donate if you are inclined. It is a wonderful site to visit, just to see the work that he is doing. Here is the link:

An Excellent video called “The Girl Effect” explains in a very simple way the benefits of investing in the future of young girls living in poverty.

For more Stumbling Toward Ecstasy Posts please go to Recuerda mi Corazon. You will be glad you did!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Faces of Deer

early morning fallow deerEarly Morning Fallow Deer by rj west

The Faces of Deer

When for too long I don't go deep enough
into the woods to see them, they begin to
enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the
pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life
full of modesty and praise. Each hoof of each
animal makes the sign of a heart as it touches
then lifts away from the ground. Unless you
believe that heaven is very near, how will you
find it? Their eyes are pools in which one
would be content, on any summer afternoon,
to swim away through the door of the world.
Then, love and its blessing. Then: heaven.

~Mary Oliver (2006)



Happy Valentine’s Everyone.

~Noelle Renee

images (1)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Story of the Fisher King


A recontextualization project (not mine). Combining audio from the movie "The Fisher King" and clips from other films (Mostly "Excalibur") to tell a short story. Clips were used without consent as an educational project.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

Today is normally a haiku day for me. I didn't write one. But you will find many beautiful ones if you go to Recuerda Mi Corazon and join the haiku community with Rebecca and friends.
link to the history of the Fisher King, long before Terry Gilliam's film or Excalibur for that matter.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Late Autumn in the Forest

Late Autumn in the forestPhotographer: _Dmitri_

“In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in the dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.”

~Dante Alighieri from La Divina Comedia

in 14th Century Italian:

“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura.

ché la diritta via era smarrita.

~Dante Alighieri from La Divina Comedia


A Film from the astonishing affirmer of destiny ~ David Whyte

David Whyte On The Preservation of the Soul

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Float With Light

lantern-floating By Jered OdegardLantern floating by Jered Odegard (via

Still, what I want in my life

is to be willing

to be dazzled ~

to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even

to float a little

above this difficult world.

I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.

Reference: Excerpt from “Snake”

Oliver, Mary. House of Light. Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.

A Watercolor World

Red Poppy by Gregor72Red Poppy photographed by Gregor72

There is an unseen life that dreams us; it knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize, and we need have no fear of change.

John O'Donohue


Celtic Woman ~ The Butterfly

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meena and Candle ~ Ladakh, India


Meena photographed by Kieron Nelson used with kind permission

"In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,

but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art."
Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi


About Ladakh, India

About the Photographer ~ Kieron Nelson

“It is easy to dismiss what we do not understand. We are all different; we are all the same.
Indigenous people throughout the world are remarkable, not only for their differences, but for their similarities.
I am a photographer specialising in off-the-beaten-track destinations, to some of the world's most exciting and least- discovered spots.
I have travelled from the jungles of New Guinea to the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan, in search of "Vanishing Cultures".
Tribal people are among the most photogenic in the world,
and I have been a privileged visitor.
I hope to see you someday, on the road less travelled.”

~Excerpt from Kieron Nelson’s Blog

(Vanishing cultures Photography)

This is a reblog of a previous post. I found that the previous picture was an unauthorized screen grab and distorted at that. I have obtained permission from the photographer. This is her copyrighted photo--so beautiful. You can see the difference in quality. I am now introducing you to her and you may see her work by visiting her blog. Thank you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Deep Sleep by Mustafa Millidere“Deep Sleep” by Mustafa Millidere 2010

"You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you."
John O'Donohue

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Haiku My Heart: Finding The Way

Path by asp1961Path by asp1961

At times we feel lost

Shadowed trees cloaking moonlight

All the breadcrumbs gone.

~Noelle Renee 2/3/11


For More Haiku My Heart Please Click Here.