Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kaleidoscope Moon ...

Well here is one of my moon breaking the horizon shots (my first pass).  Low level band of clouds made these shots not as clear as later shots higher up in the sky.  I stayed up all night photographing at various times in an effort to best the clouds that tried their best to roll in and obscure my view ... Subsequent shots later in the eveing really brought the moon to life, but I'm saving these for my moon ART project.  Perhaps you'll see them at a later date. 

My first title for this one was "Me, the Moon and a Bottle of Vino", but I think that I prefer the title it now bears:  "Kaleidoscope Moon" : )

"Kaleidoscope Moon"
@Copyrighted Image, 2011. All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

"A creative individual is fueled by the burning desire to express himself and share a part of himself with others. He has not the desire to best others; rather he celebrates the achievements of others and recognizes the importance of others' contributions to the weaving of common bonds that celebrate the world at large." ~Isabelle Black Smith

Peace & Love to ALL!!

P.S. God Bless the people of Libya.  Keep them safe and provide the food, water and shelter that they need.  Grant them peace and freedom from tyranny.  God Bless all people in the Middle East who are struggling for freedoms.  May angels watch over U.N. forces moving into Lybia to establish a no fly zone that will hopefully help to protect the Libyan people from Qaddafi and his violent attacks on citizens who are opposed to his rule.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Tribute to the Moon ...

Here is a poem that I wrote back in the Fall of 2010.  It happens to be about an old friend of mine, the mysterious Moon.  She often keeps me company when I find myself up, alone, late at night.  Since tomorrow marks the Full Moon and also a "Super Moon" ... The closest that the moon has been to the earth in over two decades:  I thought it fitting to post my poem here as a tribute to my dear old friend. 

If all goes well, I will be out with my telescope tonight trying to take some photographs of the dazzling Super Moon.  I've been working on a project to create a piece of ART with the moon at its center.  I am hoping that these Super Moon phootgraphs will be the moon shots that will enable me to complete my project.  We shall see ...

In the meantime, here is a photo that I found on-line as placeholder for my upcoming Moon ART....


@Copyrighted Poem,2010. All Rights Reserved: Michelle C.of

Mysterious Moon

Mysterious Moon ringed in orbs of dancing majesty.
Beguiling velvety shadows freely to unfold,
Aside releasing long hidden truths from Night's deathly hold.

A blanket of fog enshrouds us, above and below.
Shadows band in unison, whispering a haunting melody
That sends chills to vibrate freely through a cold and lonely me.

Where are you hiding Dearest?
Sovereign of the Silent Time...
Does sadness kiss your lips this day as well?
Do come. Come out and play.
For what else better is there to do,
When the heart finds itself inextricably in tired hue
Than to throw off chains binding in daylight hours.
To run barefoot, unbridled, through dewy grass?
Let us laugh, dance and play!
As tis the night, we are sure to have right of way.

Do come out, my lovely, Mysterious Moon.
The hour grows late and I find myself so very lonely.
My demands are simple and few.
I want only for some unspoken company.
There is no need for words.
All that is heard need not be spoken.

Silvery silence, I bid you: do come hence.
Creep forth to gently light.
Stir this night,
And in me a weary smile renew, I pray.
There you are!
You were hiding, my Mysterious Moon.
Such games you already do play?
And yet, perhaps a kindred soul you still in me?

Blessed be we, creatures in the night,
Yet not of the night.
Not us those of dark and fright,
But rather we be creatures of wakefulness.
Wakefulness, for the many tasks that have been
Set unto our seemingly simple hands.
To illuminate and dispel,
Opening eyes that others may come to understand
The not so simple right at hand.

Come then, let us make the effort.
Take my hand.
Let us twirl about, entwined within mystic winds,
Dance the secret dance of the moon kissed fairies.
Soon to laughter,
Hereafter to chase our worries and cares away.
Or at the least do our best to keep them, for a time, at bay.

[For tis said that Night is but of illusion,
Dreams and long forgotten memories.
Yet somehow, I do not think this completes the tale.
Night has so much more to tell.
Yet still so many would simply close tired eyes,
Ignoring abtruse, portal...
Entryway to secret realms.
Answers to secrets that Daylight would dare to keep.
Night for her part stubbornly closes her lips ever so tightly,
Coyly refusing to divulge the secrets of her transient twin.
But in their defense, the entrance is not free for all to see.
There waits a price to be paid.
And so this night we do instead to play.
That on the morrow our journey to seek the truth may renew.]

A tear of joy forms, dancing merrily down star strewn cheeks,
As the dance of joy-filled laughter and repose
Winds begrudgingly to its close.
In spent exhaustion we collapse upon fields of infinity.
Time has stood its still.
A sigh of gladness releases mystic winds.
And I to kindred spirit do embark with thought to say:
Mysterious Moon, my dearest old friend,
I do thank you for coming out to play this lonely night.
You've helped to replace tears of sorrow with laughter,
Chased loneliness and fright away.
This Night, I now know I will not have to fight.
Already, my heart feels lighter and my lips feel free to sing.
Though song will not yet come, hope has been renewed...
For tomorrow brings a new day, and it has yet to play.

@Copyrighted Poem,2010. All Rights Reserved: Michelle C.of

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Japanese Garden ...

(photo credits to follow shortly)

A friend of mine posted a video clip of Japanese gardens that he and his wife had toured with Japanese friends the day before the second major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.  He remarked, "We had tea in the garden [with them] the day before the earthquake ..."

My friend's post and viewing his photo slide show of the Japanese garden that he had visited reminded me of the peace, patience and enduring strength of the Japanese people.  And this reminder renewed my sense of hope for the peoples of Japan.

It put me in touch with the energy of their strength, inner calm,  and yet determined resilience.  If past history and tradition are any indicators for the future of Japan, I think that the Japanese people will most certainly prevail in the face of adversity, despite of the blows that they have been dealt by the recent earthquakes and tsunami. 

Let us now pray that looming nuclear crisis can be brought back under control.  I hope that you will join me in prayer for the people of the Japan and for an end to the looming nuclear crisis in Japan at the Fukushima Dia-Ichi nuclear power plant, so that the people of Japan can focus on healing and rebuilding their families, homes, neighborhoods and country.

God Bless!


P.S.  Found one of my own Japanese Garden photos ... This one is painted, but it is uplifting to me. The glowing light here symbolizes the enduring spirit of the beautiful Japanese people.

"Spirit of the Garden" (low res. copy)
@Copyrighted Image, 2010.  All Rights Reserved: Michelle C.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Safe Nuclear Energy?

I am glad the President of the United States finally stepped up and addressed the nation about the recent natural disaster and looming nuclear disaster in Japan. Why it took four days, several rounds of golf and publicized "March Madness" picks on ESPN is beyond me though? Still better late than never, right?

I happen to live in Seattle, Washington. So concern about harmful radiation from Japan reaching the U.S. West coast has been in the back of my mind. I'm not going crazy, however, running out and buying iodine tablets or anything. I am just trying to stay informed. Given the apparent lack of the U.S. government involvement in the situation in Japan (i.e., no formal statements being issued until today) and the fact that the Japanese government and media sources are relying solely on limited, and questionably truthful, information coming from the company that owns the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima ... Let's just say that I have been a bit frustrated and on edge these past few days.

Of course, my primary concern is for the people in Japan right now. Those trying to pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of this horrific natural disaster ... Those on the front lines of exposure to potentially harmful levels of radiation from leaks of the Fukushima nuclear reactors and exposed spent fuel rod pool. I have been praying nonstop for the people of Japan and for a viable solution to the nuclear crisis looming on the horizon in Japan these last few days. 

I must say that I am a bit appalled that there is no global response group that is designed to come together and step in immediately in the event of a looming nuclear disaster. It seems to me, based on the media coverage being provided, that the rest of the world is just sitting back and watching?! Watching and waiting, almost in disbelief ... perhaps denial ... to see what Japan will do. And the Japanese government for its part is relying on the company who owns the nuclear power plant, Dia Iachi, to provide information regarding what is going on at the troubled nuclear power plant and to solve "the problem" of averting a nuclear meltdown with a release of harmful radiation into the atmosphere. Maybe it's just me, but when a nuclear meltdown is looming on the horizon for a nuclear power plant anywhere in the world ... It is no longer just a "single company issue" or a "single country issue": it becomes a GLOBAL ISSUE!!

We have U.N. Peace Keeping Forces that can step in and keep the peace in countries around the globe, as needed. We have U.N. Agencies that can provide humanitarian aid (e.g., food, shelter and medical resources). Where is the U.N. resource for looming nuclear crisis? Cannot ... and more importantly SHOULD NOT ... Global entities unite and work for a common cause in the particular instance of looming nuclear disaster? The U.N. has establish the "International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)", which is responsible for "monitoring" nuclear technology in U.N. countries ... But there appears to be no united global effort in place to help stay the type looming nuclear disaster that we are now facing in Japan? And this is not the first time a nuclear disaster with global reaching impacts has occurred either: What are we waiting for?!!

The need for a dedicated, well thought out, clearly defined, coordinated Global Response Plan for nuclear crisis aside ... I can't help but wonder: Why weren't other countries immediately stepping in to promise provisions (e.g., providing backup generators) and other resources for the Fukushima power plant? I mean if a helicopter can dump a ton of water on top of the power plant housings ... can't it transport in backup gas generators? What about that privately owned ship that helped to filter crude oil out of sea water by the millions of gallons, on a daily basis, in the recent Gulf oil deep well leak? Couldn't that ship's pumping capabilities have been somehow utilized at the Fukushima power plant?

I still have lots of thinking to do on this issue of nuclear energy, but I would say that the time to revisit SAFE nuclear energy policies IS MOST DEFINITELY AT HAND. Starting with solar powered back-up power systems for the "back-up power systems". Then I think the next step is to embrace new, safer forms of sustainable nuclear energy like thorium. Thorium fuel poses little if any safety threat to humans (i.e., have read that you can carry a piece of thorium around in your pocket with no ill effects). Further, this type of nuclear reaction is self-sustaining (i.e., the reaction goes until it reaches a maximum volume and then automatically stops, "cools" and contracts, until a start-up volume threshold is once again reached), and  thus is not subject to overheating and spiraling out of control ... unlike the currently used uranium fueled nuclear reaction. Thorium is also a more widely available resource than uranium, with a minimal amount of byproduct that poses a greatly reduced toxic waste footprint in that it only remains radioactive for about 100 years ... a  minute fraction of the radioactive half life of plutonium (the byproduct of present day uranium fueled nuclear reactions) which is 25,000 years.  Another BIG plus is that the byproduct of thorium fueled nuclear reactions cannot be used to generate weapons grade materials of any presently known kind.   I challenge President Obama to put his "Green Energy" money into funding research for nuclear energy of the 21st century ... Let's leave the outdated, potentially devastating, uranium fueled nuclear technology behind and embrace new, safer, viable nuclear technologies ... like Thorium.

Later p.m. ... Thankfully, the winds on the island of Japan are presently blowing out of the southwest, thus carrying any potential airborne radiation away from land and out into the open ocean. God bless the 180 workers and volunteers who have stayed behind at the plant in Fukushima, at great risk to their own health, and are now working in shifts in an effort to maintain some level of containment while efforts to restore power to the secondary power feeding the plant are underway. These men and women working at the Dia-Ichi plant are true heros and perhaps living angels among us in the here and now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Many Frogs Do I Have to Kiss?

Up alone, late at night again ... with insomnia?  Needed to lighten the mood, so I tried my hand at writing a silly poem.  Yes, the meter and rhyme could use a bit more work,  but this is at least good for a few laughs ... and maybe somewhat clever and amusing?  Judge for yourself ... Maybe I'll work on the meter and rhyme and repost at a later time?

"My Prince Charming?"
@Copyrighted Image, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

"How Many Frogs Do I Have to Kiss?"

By, Michelle C. of

Throughout countless fairytales you roam.
Alone, hopping from pond to pond you wander,
Alight with magic and wonder,
On quest to find your Mrs. Right.
Your journey takes you far from home.

Although a traveler in disguise,
And not altogether seemingly unwise,
You have been known to feast
On the occasional dragon or fly.
But then, who are we to question why?

You venture forth, one lily pad at a time.
Without much reason, but often with occasional rhyme,
Into strange and foreign land
Seeking one true fair maiden's hand.
In search of she who would see
Beyond your slimy green exterior.
Your mission surely puts you the test.

For how to find she who would see
You for your possibilities, hopes and dreams?
Fair maiden who would at last set you free,
Without she first raise you to her trembling lips?
Such a quandary must surely your courage best,
Lest you wonder if fair maiden holds any ulterior
Motive in her kiss...
After all, you could just as well wind up instead remiss,
A tasty adjunct to her hips.

Yet you carry on, you do, brave knight.
Ever willing to take on the fight.
On a quest to find your light.
Seemingly simple in stature and size:
You are a prince when at last viewed through true love's eyes.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011. All Rights Reserved.

P.S.  Regarding the "tasty adjunct to her hips" ... I was referring to fried frog legs and the resultant weight/fat gain, but another friend was ever so kind to point out to me that this line could have an entirely different meaning.  That's the beauty of poetry, I guess ... It speaks to each person differently?  ; )

And the photo is my entry for a friend's St. Patrick's Day photo contest. It was an exercise in patience photographing this one! I don't have a lens that does good close-ups and macro shots yet. So I composed this shot and then shot the photo from accross the room ; )

3/15 I had one friend tell me that this was his life's story ... right up until he hopped onto his present wife's lily pad and kissed her on the lips.  He says that it's been a fairytale ever since.  I'm glad to hear that happily ever after is out there, in the real world, for some.

4/2/2011  UPDATE: MY ENTRY IN THE PHOTO CONTEST (THIS PHOTO) WAS THE WINNER!  MY FIRST CONTEST EVER ENTERED : )  I'll take that as a good omen to keep shooting photos and experimenting with photography.  I just celebrated my one year anniversary for officially starting photography at the end of this March 2011.

4/13/2011 Photo Contest Update:  My interview for the contest win posted today ... Jana's Mystic Light Photography on Facebook   or Meet Isabelle Black Smith ... if you are interested (note: have to click on my fav photos in order to step through the slide show and see all three).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Day Has Begun ...

"Renewal ... A New Day Has Begun."
@Copyrighted Image, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

For the people of Japan and all who are suffering from the after effects of the earthquakes and tsunamis that have struck Japan these past few days.  May the healing and rebuilding begin with hope for the future ...

You'll be in my ongoing thoughts & prayers.  God Bless!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Second Earthquake Hits Japan and Resulting Tsunami ...

God Bless the people of Japan who have lost their lives, homes, and loved ones in the earthquakes last week, Wednesday ... 7.3 quake and today 8.9 quake followed by a massive tsunami. Sometimes, nature shows no mercy ... no discrimination, but also no mercy. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all people affected.

We may even feel some of the tsunami here in Washington, but we do have the Olympic Mountains sheltering us to a large extent and our home is a good distance from the water itself. Also we are situated up on one of the highest hills in the area. So I'm not worried. Kids still have school and everything, and my sixth sense is at peace regarding the home front.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Late Night Coloring ...

I confess ... Have had 1/2 cups of coffee these last few days.  Yes, my stomach is paying for it now.  Been a long time since I've had coffee ... I remember why now.  Gives me the shakes now too.  Don't worry ... I will stop.  Promise.  Here's another late night 'scribble' ... I had fun with this one.  Letting go of some of my perfectionism?  I need a digi-pad.  Drawing righthanded with a mouse, when I am supposedly lefthanded is getting a bit old.

This one has a good message though ...

ART by ME ... Feel free to share this one if you want.

Note: Feel free to use this image, but please link back here to my blog and give me credit as the photographer. Thank you!

And another late night realization for me:  "I find that if I make myself smile on the outside, that sometimes the inside catches on : ) "  ~ME

Joyful day to all who pass this way! 


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

International Women's Day 2011

This is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day!

Today is International Women's Day ... Women around the globe unite and celebrate all that it means to be "woman".  Google is supporting a "Meet on The Bridge Event", where you can meet with other women in your part of the world and celebrate:

My wish for all women is that they true find peace and happiness.  That they find validation in a world that so often takes them for granted and underestimates them.  That they rise above oppression in all of its many guises to be all that they are capable of being.  That they see other women as allies, friends ... That they stand up for one another and support one another.   That God will protect them from violence ... especially our young daughters.  That women feel worthy of love and find validation for their spirit in some form ... even if it is just the whisper of hope and love carried upon the mystic winds of the mysterious universe.

God Bless all women on this day, and always, here on this rapidly spinning blue planet!!

Peace & Love,


P.S. Did some searching on the history behind this day of celebrating women and this is what I found.  The very first International Women's Day was observed on 19 March 1908, in Germany, following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. It is believed that the idea of having an international women's day was in response to the rapid world industrialization and economic expansion at the turn of the 20th century, which led to poor working conditions in many factories ... where many of the workers, in some of the poorest working conditions, were women.

But the idea of an International Women's Day became global in nature after a tragic fire at a U.S. Clothing Company, The Triangle Shirtwaist Company, took the lives of 146 women on March 25th, 1911.  This day was put in place across the globe to honor the 146 women who tragically lost their lives on this day and to help bring women's issues into the global consciousness. 

"The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent immigrant Jewish women aged sixteen to twenty-three. [1] Many of the workers could not escape the burning building because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits. People jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was located in the Asch Building, now known as the Brown Building of Science, a New York University facility. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.[2]" (source: see links listed below)

Today the International Women's Day celebrates women's achievements in social, economic and political arenas.  In many countries around the world the day is considered an official holiday.

Here are some interesting links if you're interested in learning more:

Here is an interesting Radio Broadcast from today, sent to me by a friend living in San Francisco:
VIP Note: skip to the 5:00 min. time frame ... The history part of the broadcast is most interesting.  As is the given definition for "feminist".  The last part about the "whiney white mens' groups" is, however, almost laughable ... Well, judge for yourself.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Latest Jewelry Creation ....

Keeping in touch with my native roots and earthy elements. This is one of the many sets I've come up with lately. Late night (tired) photography with a point and shoot ...

Jewelry By Me ...

I've also been experimenting with making my own pendents and medallions with resin and paint.  It's a work in progress, but a good outlet for my creative juices.  Who knows, I may just work up the courage and open up a booth at some of the many local fairs this summer?

Working with stones, metals, leather, etc. is very grounding ... good for me : )

There are many other new pieces, but I'm too tired to photograph ... My camera is very heavy these days.  Maybe tomorrow.  No worries though : ) I'm still planning, searching, dreaming ... Been thinking about assembling all of my writings (poems, short stories and the like) in one place.  Just a thought ... May be a waste of time.  Why stop and actually read anything when you can just look at a pretty picture?  Might be a waste of time ... We shall see ...

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Puff, The Magic Dragon

The Sun finally broke through today and shown in all of its dazzling brilliance. Illuminating shadows, and beginning to chase the darkness away.

Cloud Photo, By ME

Note: Feel free to use this image, but please link back here to my blog and give me credit as the photographer. Thank you!

I spent some time looking up today and I think that I found Puff, The Magic Dragon ... dancing joyfully up in the clouds over the Puget Sound this day.

What do you see?

Here's What I See ...

Note: Feel free to use this image, but please link back here to my blog and give me credit as the photographer. Thank you!

I loved this song when I was kid.  I used to have a little lime green record player and I played this record all the time.  Magic, mystery and hope ... I think that these  all go hand in hand.  We should never be too old to pause for a moment and simply look up ... to renew and be filled once again with a sense of wonder.

Ring  around the rosey ... A pocket full of posey?

London Bridge is falling down ...
Ashes, ashes ... We all fall down!

We knew it when were kids ... Sometimes, "We all fall down" ... Right?  But when we were kids, you just brushed yourself off and got right back up again ... We grown-ups could take a lesson from the little ones on this, I think.  Not to be so hard on ourselves when we do happen to fall.  The fall may be further as a grown-up, but the underlying principle remains the same:  brush yourself off and get back in the game ...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Look to the Stars ...

"There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light." ~N.P. Willis

"Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Maybe the stars are a reminder of the Peace that is capable of existing
in our own world ...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Is your "Smart" cell phone putting you and your kids at risk?

Your cell phone (Smart Phone, with GPS technology) may be putting you and your kids at risk.  Watch this video and then go into your cell phone and disable the "geo-tagging" feature.  This is the feature that is responsible for tagging photos with location specifics.  The "geo-tagging" feature is specific to photo images only and will not disable other important features/uses for your GPS chip set.

Here is the most comprehensive information that I've found thus far for disabling the "geo-tagging" feature on various types of cell phones:

If this doesn't work for you, just do a search on "disable geotagging" and  your phone is sure to come up.

Be safe and pass this info on to your friends and family. 

Peace ...