Banner Photo

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Toward Available Light ~Postcards from Paradise


a-momentA Moment ©Kathee Miller (All Rights Reserved)
Toward Available Light
Minnie was a tiny, gray, and crippled, old Southern woman,
An eighty-year-old shut-in living in an apartment in the middle of Isla Vista,
A town filled with young, impressionable minds taking in knowledge,
open mouths imbibing beer, and immortally blonde,
taut, tanned bodies riding to and fro on a well-worn path,
past Minnie’s apartment, to campus and home again.
I took care of Minnie on Mondays and Fridays—
it was only a job while I attended school
And, at that time, a job was all it really meant to me.
I dusted her house, fed her a meal, and watered her plants.
On her “good days,” she would tell me stories about her youth
and her cataract-thickened eyes would smile, gleam,and dance
as though she were seventeen again and still being courted.
Her best friend was a young, divorced black man,
who went to church every Sunday,
a church, he told me, that “didn’t ordain black men as priests.”
He was the only human being, other than I, who conversed with Minnie.
And I think she was secretly in love with him,
for she described him as “that handsome creature”
and called him, occasionally, by her husband’s name—
the name of a man who had died twenty years before I met her.
I thought of Minnie living in her dusty, enclosed and rented space—
the vision of a muscular young lover with skin like dark honey--her sole company,
and I realized it was for this dream that an old, Southern belle
awakened each morning, moving her glazed, rheumy eyes
and arthritically twisted torso toward the narrow streams of sunlight
that flooded her half-lidded windowpanes.
Although Minnie is long gone now, her laughter all but faded from my memory,
It is her plants I picture still—tucked away in a corner of her apartment
as Minnie was tucked away in the corner of a burgeoning student ghetto.
There on her cluttered, formica kitchen table near a tiny, attic-style window
Minnie had planted her cactus garden.
A cluster of succulents resided there­­–in brown, plastic pots– spilling over the table on all sides–
so many that the miserly light from that dust-covered window could barely accommodate all.
I never much liked cactus, but there was one, oddly-shaped,
that captured my undivided attention.
Shoved in a claustrophobic, dingy, and cobwebbed corner,
this member of Minnie’s menagerie hadn’t nearly the photosynthetic opportunities
so generously granted to those whose luck or fate had given them a spot in the sunlight.
In fact, it seemed that his heartier, spinier competitors—in their efforts to gain satisfaction—
had shoved this poor fellow into his trench of dust, cobwebs and debris,
hoping he might disappear altogether–yet this cactus had survived.
In his genuine desire to live and to grow, he had strained toward available light,
developing malformed bumps, odd protrusions, and disturbing bends in places
where like his peers he might have been tall, sleek, cylindrical and even statuesque.
I remember the first time I saw him, I felt repulsed at the sight of him
But I had the distinct desire—upon watering him—to place him in the light,
To shift one of his more fortunate brothers to that dark,
cavernous area of the table where
he had so long endured, uncared-for and ignored.
Ill-fated though he was, I came to love that timid, spiny, misshapen
dwarf of a plant, and I never moved him from his original place in the shadows,
for I discovered that he had developed a “terrible beauty”* living there—
that those bumps, protrusions and bends all were a part of his own unnatural liberty.
I perceived that a forced migration to a brighter climate would have robbed him
of a poverty which had nourished rather than killed the spirit that fed from it.
Minnie gave me that cactus as a present just before she died.
He was never able to live long in the bright streams
of sunlight that poured into my open room,
But the gift of him taught me to cherish the many bumps, protrusions,
and bends that have formed my own path in life—a path forged
without a father’s guidance or the strength of a mother’s calloused hand
to pull me out of the cavernous darkness.
It is an oddly marked path among a cluster of well-worn others
whose predictable curves seem—at least to me—much the same.
But I have found my place in the light; and I have survived there,
knowing that the way I have made is all the more beautiful
for the poverty that nourished its own unnatural liberty.
When I have the freedom to dream nowadays,
I think of that perished cactus that I used to tend in darkness;
I stand, carefully arranging that dusty corner of Minnie’s kitchen garden,
while in the background, I hear the energetic whiz of bicycle wheels
still blazing a path toward the demanding clang of university bells;
and I feel—in the depths of my belly—the echoing, liberated laugh
of a seventeen-year-old Southern girl.
–Noelle Clearwater
*This phrase from “Easter 1916” by William Butler Yeats
1995; revised 1996 and 1997
free24 (1)Linked with Recuerda mi Corazon for Postcards from Paradise
I was looking on WordPress at a blog that I used to have there. I had not added to it in a long time. But this poem was there, and I realized that I had never published it on The Angels Wear Fins. For some reason, I felt that I wanted to have it here for the New Year. It was written many years ago, and so many stories have been lived since then. But I thought that perhaps someone reading it might be able to connect ~ and if it resonated with their spirit, it would make the New Year worthwhile already!
Happy New Year Everyone!
~Noelle Renee.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Warm From Within

Warm from Within 001©2011 Mark Bottoms
LoveLove means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills.
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.
~ Czeslaw Milosz ~
(Collected Poems)
 
Linked to Meri’s Musings Sharing the Joy Thursdays
 
About the Photographer'
Mark Bottoms Mark is an Air Traffic Controller living in Dothan, Alabama. Mark’s photography exhibits a sensitive eye, and a keen sense of composition and color. His images offer a sense of tranquility and peaceful beauty to all who have the opportunity to view them on Google+. I appreciate his letting me post one of his images here on The Angels Wear Fins. Thank you, Mark :)








Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some Kiss We Want

ballet1 (2) 

Ballet 2011 Brenda Stumpf

There is some kiss we want with

our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body.

103FL_56E3 (1)

Seawater

begs the pearl to break its shell

img_5921E2-4-2

And the lily, how passionately

it needs some wild darling!

Delicate Seeger Kim

At night, I open the window and ask

the moon to come and press its

face against mine.

oracle

Oracle © 2011 Brenda Stumpf

Breathe into me.

Close the language- door and

open the love window.

PnkFlwr_0157E1

The moon

won't use the door,

only the window.

From Soul of Rumi

by Coleman Barks

~~~~

Haiku My Heart: She Sleeps Softly

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©2011 Thomas Hawk Some Rights Reserved

The Moon Has Come Down

She Sleeps Softly at Our Feet

Blanketed in Stars.

~Noelle Renee

12.15.11

Linked to Recuerda mi Corazon where the lovely Rebecca and friends reside.

About the Photographer

selfy2

Brenda K. Stumpf

I've been Creative Director for the past 15 years at Prime8 Interactive.

Our work has been featured and/or won awards in publications such as CMYK magazine,

Flash Visual Jumpstart, The One Show, Promax Broadcasting, the Addy's, and How Magazine.

I recently turned my creative attention to photography, with a focus on underwater imagery.

I am currently working on projects both in the US and abroad.

Note from Noelle Renee:  Please visit Brenda’s website where you can view more of her incredibly beautiful photos here at www.bstumpf.com

My gracious thanks to her for allowing me to post her phenomenal underwater work here on The Angels Wear Fins.

 

About The Photographer

Kelli Seeger Kim

Kelli loves working on her photography and has come to appreciate the time and hard work that goes into making a beautiful image. In her spare time she loves a good science fiction novel or a great film.

Kelli has two beautiful boys, who are featured in some of her images and a huge crush on her very sweet husband. More of Her Phenomenal images can be found on G+. All  Flower images in this post are the copyrighted property of Kelli Seeger Kim. They were posted here with her kind permission. Thank you.

©2011 nicolas evariste

Special Thanks to Thomas Hawk for the lovely Moon image

Photo by Karen Hutton

Thomas Hawk

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Virgin A Day 11: Madonna of the Meadow (Madonna del Prato)

giovanni-bellini-madonna-of-the-meadow-(madonna-del-prato)
Giovanni Bellini
ca. 1426, Venice, Italy - ca. 1516, Venice, Italy
School: Italian
Movements:
High-Renaissance
 

She Is Near to My Heart

She is near to my heart as the meadow-flower to the earth; she is
sweet to me as sleep is to tired limbs. My love for her is my life
flowing in its fullness, like a river in autumn flood, running with
serene abandonment. My songs are one with my love, like the murmur
of a stream, that sings with all its waves and current.
Rabindranath Tagore
 
 
Linked with Recuerda mi Corazon and “A Virgin A Day”
A Special Meme from Dec. 1-12 until the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Please Join us and Thank you!
This button takes you to today’s post on Rebecca’s blog

Won’t you participate with us? Just click on the link in the image below
and it will take you to the original post describing “A Virgin A Day” on Recuerda mi Corazon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 ~ A Virgin A Day: Just Send Me Down Forgiveness

black madonna 2

To the Black Madonna of Chartres

Friend or no friend, 
darkness or light,
vowels or consonants,
water or dry land,

anything more from you now
is just gravy
—just send me down forgiveness, send me down
bearing myself a black cupful of light.
by Jean Valentine


This is not the Black Madonna of Chartres, but the poem resonated so deeply with me that I wanted to share it. I was not able to identify the origin of the painting, but I love it beyond words.


This button takes you to today’s post on Rebecca’s blog for a Virgin A Day.





Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5 ~A Virgin A Day: Madonna With Child

jacopo-bellini-madonna-with-child
Jacopo Bellini
ca. 1400, Venice, Italy - ca. 1470, Venice, Italy
School: Italian
 
Something opens our wings.
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us:
We taste only sacredness.
 
Rumi
 
 
 
Linked with Recuerda mi Corazon and “A Virgin A Day”
A Special Meme from Dec. 1-12 until the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Please Join us and Thank you!
This button takes you to today’s post on Rebecca’s blog
Won’t you participate with us? Just click on the link in the image below
and it will take you to the original post describing “A Virgin A Day” on Recuerda mi Corazon.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Virgin A Day: Madonna and Child With Two Saints (detail)

giovanni-bellini-madonna-and-child-with-two-saints-detail

Giovanni Bellini 

ca. 1426, Venice, Italy - ca. 1516, Venice, Italy
School: Italian
Movements: High Renaissance

 

Behind your image,

below your words,

above your thoughts,

the silence of another world waits.”

John O'Donohue

 

Linked with Recuerda mi Corazon and “A Virgin A Day”

A Special Meme from Dec. 1-12 until the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Please Join us and Thank you!

 

Won’t you participate with us? Just click on the link in the image below

and it will take you to the original post describing “A Virgin A Day” on Recuerda mi Corazon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Virgin A Day ~ Virgin and Child Under an Apple Tree

lucas-cranach-the-elder-virgin-and-child-under-an-apple-tree

Lucas Cranach
ca. 1472, Kronach, Germany - ca. 1553, Weimar, Germany
School: German

 

All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul.

You are here to realize and honor these possibilities.

When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow.

Possibility is the secret heart of time.”


John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

 

Linked with Recuerda mi Corazon and “A Virgin A Day”

A Special Meme from Dec. 1-12 until the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Please Join us and Thank you!

 This button takes you to today’s post on Rebecca’s blog

 

Oh blossom of Hope

Show us what is possible

Awaken Our Hearts.

N.C.

 

Won’t you participate with us? Just click on the link in the image below

and it will take you to the original post describing “A Virgin A Day” on Recuerda mi Corazon.