Thursday, January 26, 2012

Miracles in Action ...

I've made way too many posts this month?  Just trying to contain lots of thoughts and ideas, I guess.  I am feeling the need to slip away and be quiet again, so next month will probably be sparse for posts here.

Anyway, I wanted to post something today in honor of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who after appearing in person at the "State of Union" address last night made her final appearance for her current term in the House of Representatives today.  This afternoon (Wed., 1/25/12) Giffords officially handed in her letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner.  Seeing Gabrielle Giffords smiling, walking, talking and interacting with her colleagues brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes:  She IS a walking, talking miracle in action. God Bless you Gabby Giffords. May you continue to heal and make enormous strides your ongoing recovery. You will be in my ongoing thoughts and prayers.  ♥

"Miracles Abound ..."
@ Copyrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

Snowy clouds blanket a whitewashed winter-wonderland, Puget Sound, Seattle WA on January 20, 2012.  This was my photo edit for the day on Wednesday, Jan. 25th.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snow is Melting ...

The 2+ feet of white fluffy snow that was dumped onto the Seattle and surrounding areas has begun the process of melting.  The kids returned to school and normal routines today (Monday) ... though, perhaps a bit begrudgingly.  Luckily, we still have a big pile of snow in a shady portion of our yard handy for snowball fights. Nothing like a snowball upside the head to put a smile back on your face again?  ; )

This snow of last week was perfectly timed ... renewing, beautifying and a welcome call to embrace 'play' and the heart of being a child once again.  A great opportunity for me to play with capturing snow images with my camera ... an area where I need some work.  I would have liked to have had more sunlight with this snow, but that was not to be this time.  I made the best of it, I think?   I'm still going through my images and editing them as the muse calls me to do so.  With the latter in mind: here's another snow photo to share ...

"Lavender's Blue"
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

Guess the song that goes with this one is  "Let's Dance", By David Bowie ... cause he's what I'm listening to tonight and that is the song now playing and I'm too tired to put much more thought into choosing.  The universe chose? ...  Funny, my favorite pair of shoes when I was little, about 3 years old ... the first pair I actually remember owning ... was a pair of red patent leather shoes.  I had forgotten about those shoes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Frosted ... A State of Mind?

"Frosted Sound"
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

The Simon and Garfunkel song "Sound of Silence" is going through my head as I edit this photo.  This photo is the frosted Puget Sound, near Seattle, Washington.  For some reason this image speaks to me of a cold void of silence ... isolation ... maybe loneliness? ....  Well here's the song if you, by chance, want to have a listen Song: "Sound of Silence", By Simon & Garfunkel.

Here's another photo from this day that I "painted" to add a bit of color ... watercolor finish ... photo ART render. Let's call this one "Painted Sound" and end on an upbeat note, shall we?

"Painted Sound"
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved. 

As a friend of mine says, "God's wisdom flows more clearly in silence." ~Emmi

Friday, January 20, 2012

South Carolina Primary ... The Fat Lady Will Sing?

Haven't we had enough of the media and those with ready access to the media (i.e., "bundlers" and political pundits) telling us who is going to win our elections?  Everywhere I turn the television and most newspaper sources are saying "the winner of South Carolina will be Romney or Gingrich."  The South Carolina primary is tomorrow and thus far the "fat lady" hasn't done any singing. Correct me if I am wrong, but thus far Newt Gingrich has NOT WON a single state primary. Mitt Romney has won one state primary (New Hampshire) and Rick Santorum has won one state primary (Iowa).  Newt Gingrich has won NONE. 

We let the media tell us who was going to win the last election --with all of the liberal bias on media coverage in the 2008 election-- and look what we got:  four years of rhetoric in action, a floundering economy, lingering high unemployment, and Iran on the verge of becoming a nuclear power.  Are the American people really stupid enough to let the media run the show again in this election????????????
Thankfully, voters in this election cycle seem less likely to convict a candidate based solely upon initial media releases and unproved allegations (e.g., Herman Cain).  I do have to give Newt Gingrich credit for standing up to the media at the beginning of the last debate.  Seems the American people were happy to see Newt throw the shame ball back into the media's lap based upon the standing ovation that he received.

Just recently, Fox News ( "fair and balanced" ) predicted that Mitt Romney would win Iowa with just over 50% of the precincts reporting.  In the final certified count, released yesterday, Rick Santorum actually won Iowa. Granted the Iowa race wound up being incredibly close, but the latter is evidence that even with the best of intentions media doesn't always know and can't always get it right.  Rick Santorum been had polling in the single digits --in the days leading up to the Iowa primary-- and he wound up winning Iowa.  I know that predictions are best 'educated' guesses but, contrary to what seems to be widely accepted opinion, media predictions are often wrong and sometimes they are outright dangerous (e.g., CBS news incorrectly calling the 2000 Presidential Election in favor of Al Gore). The American public needs to keep the latter in mind when they are weighing the facts and deciding which of the current four candidates will be the best Republican nominee.  Voters should look at the records of the candidates and make their own decisions.  They should not allow the polling numbers and opinions of political analysts to make their voting decision for them.

I still keep hoping the American people will make the honest effort to get the facts in this election process.That they will vote based on who they believe will be best candidate (and eventual President) for the country. With a little bit of  homework and some honest effort on the part of voters, hopefully whoever we end up sending to Washington D.C. will actually represent the will of the people.  If we can't do the latter, then our government in this country will never return to a "government of the people, by the people, for the people"  and we will most likely wind up falling.

Instead of listening to historical data on the significance of each early voting primary and media predictions for 'winners and losers' (based on often inaccurate polling data ... witness the recent Iowa upset):  let's make our own history!  

One last thought ... In the world of today, now more than ever, we must be cogent about the world at large and the threat of a nuclear Iran.  The next President of the United States of America will hold the keys to our nuclear arsenal and may well be called upon to consider using them.  Which of the four current candidates do you trust with the keys?

May God, our Creator, bless and inspire all the people of South Carolina going into the Republican Primary election there tomorrow ... even if the "fat lady" doesn't truly wind up singing.  I've a sneaky suspicion that this Republican Primary is going to defy all of the "rules."

1/21/12 ... Well score one for Newt Gingrich.  Each candidate now has one state primary win under his belt ... save for Ron Paul.   I didn't hear any "fat lady" singing.  Seems to me it's still anyones race, though Gingrich really needed a win to legitimize his campaign.  I've often wondered if it is fair that the same states get to go first election cycle after election cycle.  Doesn't seem quite fair ... by the time the primary reaches some of the later states your candidate of choice may have decided to drop out of the race and you've had no real say in the matter.  I think primaries should be held on a rotating basis so that each state has an opportunity to be among the first states to vote and impact the final outcome.

I was sorry to see Michelle Bachman drop out the race, but campaigns are expensive to run.  A rightly so, Bachman took her cue from a home state (Iowa) where she had spent a lot of time and money campaigning.  I can't blame her for pulling out.  I guess the world is ready for a black President (which I was truly happy to see, even if I don't care for his politics), but the world is not quite ready for a woman President of the United States.  Michelle Bachman is a very intelligent, informed, hardworking and articulate individual.  I think she tried a little too hard to come across as the staunch conservative and instead wound up coming across as rigid and inflexible.

This was not the race for a staunch conservative.  The pendulum isn't going to swing back entirely the other way this election.  Too many in this country still remember the George W. Bush era with 9/11, war in Iraq, and the stock market collapse. They aren't ready to embrace anything bearing the label "hard-core" conservatism, but I think that most are willing to admit that the liberal swing of the pendulum hasn't done much good this past four years either.

The answer for "who will be the best Republican candidate" will probably have to be a conservative who is willing to embrace flexibility in order to unite this country and get us back up onto our feet once again.  We have real issues facing this country (e.g., floundering economy, financial system that stills needs reforms enacted to prevent another market collapse from happening again, high unemployment, rising tension in the middle east, not much movement on true energy independence from the Middle East, and now the threat of Iran as a nuclear power in our very near future) and we need a President with a proven record for getting things done.

We need a President without the baggage of bad history (personal or political), someone who is willing to roll up his sleeves on day one, embracing conservatives as well as liberals, to get things done.  We need an innovator, but also someone with a record for putting ideas into action.  We need someone who will surround himself with good people and be willing to listen as well as lead.  We need a candidate for President who is proud of our country and its people.  God willing the voters will have the end in mind when they cast their vote to determine exactly who the Republican candidate will be.  We have look beyond the election fight against Obama, with the end goal of the Presidency and the country in mind.

The score is now 1-1-1  ... Iowa for Santorum, New Hampshire for Romney and South Carolina for Gingrich.  The race is on:  may the best man for the country win.

[ Alright ... I am done with talking politics here for awhile.  I am volunteering for the campaign of the candidate I will support.  I just had to have somewhere to speak my mind.  All of my friends seem to be liberal and I am now living in a liberal-minded state.  I am okay with agree to disagree, but many on the other side do not seem to be.   Thus, I have found very few venues for enlightened, honest discussions.  Thanks for bearing with me and hearing me out : ) ]

2/6/2012 ... Why do people assume that one who has an aggressive posture, coupled with an impressive deliverance in a debate setting, would naturally make a good long term President of the United States?  Obama is a very charismatic orator, with rather impressive deliverance in a debate format ... Has the latter translated into an effective leader for our country these past 3+ years in terms of jobs, national debt, true energy independence and a world free from the threat of a  nuclear Iran?  Be careful my fellow Republicans lest your short term goals wind up being your Achilles heel ... Do you truly want what's best for our country or to win a perceived battle?  And if the latter, then what makes your agenda any more desirable to independents and the rest of the country than that of the "half-time, with four more years" being offered by the Obama campaign?

It's not about class warfare ... just like it's not about a perceived victory. It's about what it takes to get our country back up on its feet again and which candidate is perceived (by the entire country) as being truly capable of delivering in that respect.  

(Think, I will have to make this a post all its own?)

2/8/2012 ... Woo-hoo!  Way to go Rick Santorum!! ... You knocked it out of the ballpark last night and then then some with your 3 state sweep:  I LOVE IT!!  A decisive win in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado represents a widespread, broad spectrum support from middle America in my humble opinion.  And I don't discount Missouri ... the fact that over 138,000 (out of 250,000 total voters) people braved the bad weather to get out and show their support for you in a non-binding primary speaks volumes ... especially when voter turnout in the entire state of Nevada (the last primary contest) was less than 50,000 voters total.   More power to you in the weeks ahead, Rick Santorum.  Keep your momentum going!!

I love that the American people are doing what it takes to get their own information and to think for THEMSELVES in this Presidential Primary.  You aren't content to let the establishment, the political commentators, analysts and polls make your decisions for you.  You've renewed my faith in the American electorate.  Keep it going and God Bless!!

3/2012 Update:   Rick Santorum's Plan for His First 100 Days in Office

When Time Stands Still ...

Nighttime photography, experimenting with ISOThis is 3200 IS0 it is very grainy, but I like the effect. Of course I added lens flare to enhance the lighting.  I love light play.  I am working on some words to accompany this photography, but thus far they haven't worked themselves out.  

"When Time Stands Still" 
(low resolution)
@Copyrighted Photo, 2012.  All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

This photo render fits the bill for outside the lines, you think?  Feeling a bit constrained these days. So many thoughts and ideas searching for an outlet ... Hard to keep them all contained.

My thoughts and prayers are with Gov. Rick Perry who made the decision to withdraw from the Republican Primary today.  Rick Perry is a good man, with an impressive record, and I don't rule out the possibility that his time as a viable Presidential candidate will yet come to pass.  God Bless, Governor Perry!

Early Morning Pondering ... 

"When Time Stands Still" 

A subtle pause,
Gentle skip
Of Cosmic Beat
Stills the dancing of
Nature's Rhythmic Feet.
A single moment
Left endlessly upon
Itself unwinds ...
Time's Hands held
In perpetual blind.
Natural Law here
Knows no bounds.
An eerie silence
In the void surrounds.
Look deep inside
For what heeds be found.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2012. All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

I happen to have a writing blog where I keep most of my "good stuff" ... my writing of poems, poetic dialogues, short stories and other fictional writes, what ifs ... This blog not open to the public at present.  My need to hide has prevailed in this area.  I've managed to share a few of my poems in my writing/ART group, but not many poems beyond that.  I have from time to time let a few writing friends into my writing blog to explore, but a few months back I disabled the guest access account.  I don't know: old habits die hard? ... The Sounds of My Silence, Echo in the refrain that is my life ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Talk Politics ... The "C" Candidate

Time to take a break from philosophical pondering, photography, writing and poetry. I haven't written much about politics lately, but that doesn't mean I am not staying informed, watching the Republican Primary debates and forming my own opinions.  Here is my input into an on-line political discussion with friends.  The question was:  "Who will be the best next President of the U.S. for the future of our children? And why?"

My response  to this timely and thought-provoking question follows in the quotation below.  These are my personal opinions.  Each person is entitled to their own, but hopefully voters in this election will be informed and not just vote based upon emotion and rhetoric as they did in the last election.  This election Obama has a four-year term of words and actions --as well as inactions-- that speak to what he "can do for the country."

"I agree with Kris ... Newt has some brilliant ideas, but he is so hot-headed (a quality that is NOT Presidential). He also has a tendency to be arrogant and condescending. I truly wonder if he would listen to advisers at all if he were President. A presidency under Newt Gingrich might be more like a bull-dozing dictatorship? The words "Washington insider" come to mind as well. But at least he would be a decisive President who would let the rest of the world know that America is not for sale and that we won't be messed with --nor can our allies (e.g., Israel)-- and under no condition will America tolerate a nuclear Iran.  And some say Newt knows where all of the Washington skeletons are buried, as if that were a good thing?

Rick Santorum, Republican Candidate for President 2012

Romney seems to have a broader spectrum appeal. He is probably the best bet to beat Obama at this point, but I don't completely trust him. I don't like some of the things he did as governor in MA either (e.g., "Romney-Care" mandatory state-sponsored healthcare, akin to "Obama-Care").  "Middle-of the road" comes to mind when I ponder Romney as President. On the positive side, Romney would likely surround himself with good advisers and listen to their input.  Perhaps if Romney would stop beating around the bush and just release his tax returns (as all of the other candidates have already done) he could gain some valuable points on 'trustworthiness'.

Of all the candidates currently running in the Republican Primary, I like Rick Santorum the best.  Rick Santorum seems young and perhaps a bit lacking in experience, but I think that he would come up to speed quickly. He comes across as honest and trustworthy. Santorum's record shows that he is not afraid of hard work, nor is he afraid stand up and fight for what he believes is best for the country. I like what he said in the last debate ... that when he voted against some bill mandating 'right to work' in his state that he did so not because he disagreed with the bill in principle, but that he voted the "will of the people" that he represented at the time. It was very refreshing to hear a politician recognize and affirm this: "the will of the people" ... so many elected officials seem to forget this when they go to Washington.  Santorum has an impressive political record and some very sound ideas on the economy.  I like his plan to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States via U.S. companies currently making products in foreign countries.  I think that the latter plan would be a huge step in the recovery of our floundering economy.  Santorum is conservative, but he seems to be able to separate his personal views from what is best for country (e.g., he is personally opposed to birth control, but he says he feels that the right to use birth control is an indivduals choice and should  therefore be protected under the law).  I think after his impressive win in Iowa ( I don't care if Romney technically won by a handful of votes on the official tally.  In my book, Rick Santorum won Iowa because of the fact that he came from behind, in single digits, to a virtual win in the final count against Romney, who had been polling all along at number one and was the favorite to win in Iowa.) that with the right support, the backing of the GOP and a bigger PR machine that Santorum could conceivably beat Obama in the November 2012 election.  I also think that of the Republican candidates currently available to voters that Rick Santorum would be the best President for the country.

In my opinion, it is helpful that the field of Republican candidates is narrowing, because the candidates now get more detailed questions in the debates and more time to speak to each question (or rebuttal).  The five remaining candidates also now have more 'air' time and effective attention from potential voters.  In this way,  people (voters) can see what candidates (like Ron Paul) really stand for and what they would do to help or HARM the country as the case may be.  

On a different matter, but related because it speaks to what is "best for the country":  I can't believe that President Obama was bold enough to veto the Canadian Oil Pipeline project in an election year!?! Obama is for blowing money on 'green' companies like Solyndra (that go bankrupt with taxpayer money) in order to achieve energy independence from the Middle Eastern oil, but he will not support an alternative option to get oil right here on our own continent? The president says he's appeasing the environmental base, but in this economy with the rising tensions in the Middle East ... how can any informed and intelligent person actually believe that was truly his rationale? Is there now any remaining doubt? Obama wants to see American fall, thus advancing the agenda of rebuilding America in the liberal progressive image. His veto of the Canandian Pipeline (if it is not overturned by Congress) effectively shoots the United States of America in both knees with respect to our hopes of actually achieving energy independence in the near or perhaps any future. Even if Obama is not re-elected his legacy of weakening America, with this act in particular, will live on in the journal of history ... Is it too late to put the Pipeline to a vote of the people?  Well, hopefully the Congress can muster the gumption and the votes needed to override Obama's veto."

I did not mention Rick Perry in my comment above.  I realize that Perry is also a Republican Primary candidate; I just don't think that he is viable candidate for the Presidency at this particular point in time. Perry has done remarkable things for the economy in the state of Texas, but now is not the time for him run. Perry against Obama in this election would be played as Obama vs. the Bush II legacy and would most assuredly guarantee the re-election of Obama (and I happen to have the highest respect for former President George W. Bush, but many do not.).

In sum, I think I've changed my mind about the Venn diagram that I posted a few weeks back ...

Image Source: ME

At the time of posting this chart, I had said that "C seems to be a rather empty field."  That is to say, that there did not appear to be (at the time) a candidate who could both beat Obama and be the best overall President for the country.  Sitting here today, I don't think that we have to compromise with a candidate who can likely beat Obama, but may not be the best President for the country.  Sitting here today, I think that we have our "C" candidate in Rick Santorum.

3/2012 Update:   Rick Santorum's Plan for His First 100 Days in Office

And to correct a statement made above ... Rick Santorum did end up winning the State of Iowa.  At the time this post was written the State had erroneously been called for Mitt Romney.  A final tally, with some possible recounts, awarded Iowa and its delegates to Rick Santorum.

Tranquil Offering ...

"Snowy Enchanted Wood"
@Copryrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

Today was the day for "surreal" ... Everywhere I pointed my camera the mysterious and unexpected seemed to lie in wait. Thus far 2012 is living up to my expectations that I am in for a wild ride this year. The latter aside, the unexpected can be soft, a tranquil offering ... a brief moment of repose.

We have had snow here in the Seattle area for four days now.  We added another 2-3 inches today and we are supposed to have another big snow storm blowing in late this evening into early morning.  I love how snow makes everything beautiful ... a whitewash of newness and innocence.   So although it has been COLD here lately ( I truly do NOT like being cold), it has been absolutely beautiful!  My only regret is that the skies have, for the most part been, dark, grey and overcast. Thus, I was overjoyed today when the sun made a brief appearance this afternoon and small patches of delicate blue sky emerged ... even though the blue sky appearance was brief and fleeting.  Lucky me:  I had my camera on hand and out when BLUE arrived. 

P.S.  Know how words sometimes pop into my head for some unexplained reason?  Then they rattle around in my head until I find an appropriate avenue for their escape?  Well today the word "supernumerary" is rattling around in my head.  Such an odd word and definitely not mainstream for me these days?  Wonder where it came from? ... I looked it up to get the 'official' definition and it turns out the word 'supernumerary' is akin to 'superfluous' (another word I've had rattling around in my head of late) but with specific respect to people, parts or numbers in particular.  Hmmmm ....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

We Got Snow!

Snow came this weekend.  Wasn't expecting it until tomorrow and it came late in the day, but the kids are bundled up and playing in the white, fluffy stuff as the sun sets.  My oldest has absconded with my snow gear.  The kids have all grown and each one seems to have gone up the next sister's size ... leaving the oldest to fit into mine.  But that's okay, I am enjoying seeing them play ... and me well, I tried to shoot some snow photos in the fading light.  I was able to get one shot that I really like.  Hopefully, my results will be better during morning and noon-time daylight tomorrow.  I love to capture snow laying gently upon barren tree branches.  A tangle of woods backs up to our house, so there are plenty of barren trees to choose from conveniently located right on hand.

@Copyrighted Photograph, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

We also have have a greek goddess of a snow-woman in our front yard, complete with organic carrot nose and a 'laurel' leaved crown.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow some more ... We're loving it!  Thank you, Mother Nature =)

[My oldest (standing over my shoulder) says that I need to get busy and sell some of these photos. Unfortunately, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the business aspects of selling and promoting my work?  Hah, I am most certain that I have been a 'starving' artist in many a former life ... Old habits die hard? ; )]

These Feet ...

A poem that evolved from yesterday's ponderings.   This is a work in progress, as am I ...

"These Feet"

1    Walk, skip, run ...
  And when I'm lucky, dance with these feet  the Creator,
3    In His infinite wisdom unto me so gifted.
4    I will walk through this journey, my so-called life,
5    Joyful arms out-lifted on a glorious adventure unscripted. 
  Free-will  our inheritance enlisted,
7    These feet carry a warrior with a gentle heart,
8    Willfully serving His higher purpose.
9     His voice ever near and endlessly heeded,
10   I am an empty vessel waiting  to be filled ...
11   A burning spirit, sealed in fire, watching, waiting,
12   Listening, ready to be used as I am needed.
13   Renouncing Fear , these feet journey ever forward
14   Knowing full well moments there shall call
15   Where these feet shall scarcely find the will to crawl.
16   To my knees then will I swiftly fall, but even then
17   Fear will NOT rule:  my will remains immune to worldly strife.
18   Unyielding Faith in the Creator breathes me Life.
19   My spirit calls unto Him to fill up the
20   Empty wanting that in this darkness is me ...
21   In my Valley of Darkness safe from harm
22   The Creator will me keep.  With His Infinite Love
23   And Merciful Grace, He renews a weary me.
24   Therefore, I shall not with worldly tears weep. 
25   Fortifying my strength, opening eyes, mind, heart and soul:
26   He fills me up and makes me once again whole.
27   Thus renewed, these free-willed feet
28   Choose to resume His Divine Bidding.
29   Joyful steps these feet trace in the sands of a so-called life,
30   Mindfully infused with Heaven's Eternal Pace:
31   The Cosmic Beat set with Supreme Perfection
32   Unto Nature's Rhythmic Feet  ...
33   With Nature, I strive to be One.
34   So move these feet, ever forward in motion,
35   A glorious notion in aid to simple hands;
36   A paired will awaits:  there to do as He insights.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2012.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.

“It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Shoes Make the Man?

I seem to be beating this cold.  It doesn't stand a chance.  Doomed to fail ... It picked the wrong host. ; )

Not many images and words flowing from me these days, but I did finally sleep some.  Now, I am feeling restless and need to go for a run.  So that must be a sign that I'm on the mend.

Thinking about shoes today and how I'm not a big fan of shoes.  I love being barefoot ... well, when its practical and sometimes even when its not.  Anyhow, I am thinking about feet ... How they carry us where we want to go.  They enable us to 'pursue our dreams' in a manner of speaking.   Then my thoughts skip to the saying "The shoes make the man."  Do people really a judge a man by his shoes?  How shallow ... to my way of thinking anyhow.  Then the image of Jesus washing Peter's feet (I posted a painting of this story image from the Bible a few days back, in my post labeled "Jury Duty") comes to mind.  The latter Bible story really struck a chord with me as a small child and does even now to this day.

I often have dreams where feet are a part of the dream.  What does that mean?  Just a few days back, I wrote a post about reincarnation and a dream I have had of late that revolves around a pair of stolen shoes. I have also had a recurring nightmare for many years where I am running barefoot through the night and my feet are being cut and badly bruised along the way ... then in the middle of the dream my feet are washed just before the real horror of the nightmare unfolds.

I know 'feet' seem an odd thing to ponder, but at times my mind has a will of its own.  Although, I am quite often surprised at some of the profound places my strange pondering ends up leading me.  Where will this pondering of feet ... shoes ... go?  I haven't a clue.  I'm off to go for a run now; I'll let you know if I reach any profound conclusions along the way.

Peace & Love,

Early morning ... It is nearly my magic hour of 3:00 a.m.  I seldom can sleep before this time unless I take sleeping pills which I don't like to do.  Well after my run, my fingers found a movie centering around the dance of Tango.  Very apropos ... Feet dance when the spirit is so moved.  Our feet carry us through life and if we are lucky ... fortunate ... enough we get to dance along the way, right?  It also occured to me while watching this movie, that dance is perhaps something that can bridge cultural and regional lines or differences maybe?  Dance is a language unto itself and a universal language at that?  Throughout the ages, and around the globe, are there not countless instances of man engaged in  dance?  We all share perhaps the inate ability to be moved to motion ... to dance ... when the music moves us.

I have to smile.  The universe moves in mysterious ways does it not?  Tango anyone?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Thinking today:  that less really is more.  Fighting another cold, but my immune system seems to win out rather quickly most of the time.  I truly believe that attitude is more than half the battle (most of the time) when it comes to illness with respect to colds, viruses and the like.  Got some good news today ... drum roll please ; ) ... Looks like we are in for some possible SNOW ...( the wonderful white, fluffy stuff )... this upcoming weekend in the Seattle area.  The kids and me are excited!!! =)))))))))))))))))))))))))

I am too foggy to post any photos at the moment.  Perhaps, I will revisit this post and 'accessorize' at a later date.

Some additional food for thought ... pondering.  Someone was telling me about a phenomenon of heightened awareness that sometimes manifests in certain individuals as a result of long term sleep deprivation.  So perhaps, I can thank my insomnia for my "awakening" experiences?  Definitely something to ponder and explore further for more information.

Okay ... "Haaaa-Chooooo" ... Going to make some hot tea and sit by the fire for awhile.  Hopefully, I will sleep some tonight?  Sweet dreams to those of you who are so often and easily graced by Sleep.

1/12/2012   (Hmmm 11, 22, 012 ... patterns abound) ... I am back to "accessorize", as promised.  Here is a photo that I took to christen ... welcome in ... the New Year.  I love the clouds up here in the Pacific Northwest.  There is always such a majestic painting in the sky, so full of life ... energy ... ever unfolding. And no two cloud skies seem ever to be the same.

"Happy New Year, 2012!"

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Surreal, peaceful and quiet Sunday ...

Everything that a Sunday should be : )

"Bring in the Clouds"
@Copyrighted Image, 2012  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith. 
(All of My Photographs (enlarged canvas sizes) are available to license via my Flickr website:  isas_fallingstar .
Hope to have an artist website set-up soon to sell individual prints and cards.)

This was the spectacular view from my balcony today.
Joyful Sunday to you and yours.  Peace & Love,


The Saddest of all Cages ...

Today, I am thinking about 'cages' ... They come in all shapes and sizes, cages.  Some are physical cages, some are mental cages ... emotional cages, self-imposed and/or societal norm cages, but to me the saddest cages of all are perhaps the ones that the imprisoned cannot for themselves see:  Narrow-minded, rigid ideologies and thought processes. When most people think about cages, I suspect that physical cages are the ones that most readily come to mind.  One's body can be imprisoned tis true, but to my way of thinking a heart and mind that strives to remain open, wild and FREE can never truly be caged.

"Young Girl in a Field", By Contemporary Artist Anita Tobkes
(please visit Anita's Site to view more of her wonderful work)

Early a.m. ... A friend of mine wrote a political poem in one of my poetry/ART groups earlier tonight and I am wondering now:  Are political ideologies cages?  Useful tools for politicians to manipulate voters and 'the people' at large? And sadly so many do not realize that they are perhaps being used to further an unspoken agenda that IS NOT class warfare.  Information, NOT rhetoric, is so empowering and truly enlightening, dare I say 'liberating.'

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Lady In the Water ...

"Lady in the Water" is a most magical and enchanting tale ... Awakening children, of all ages living in modern day cities and suburbia, to the possibility of other worlds existing within their very own backyards.

"Moving Water", By Gustav Klimt
(Image Courtesy of

[ This painting is a famous work of ART.  The woman, sea nymph, in the movie was not clothed either and the title
of this painting fits so nicely with the theme of the movie ... moving, movement, inspiration.  The human form is beautiful.]

I Love this story. My daughters are all finally old enough to watch the movie version of this story, skillfully crafted by M. Knight Shyamalan. M. Night also wrote the children's book "Lady in the Water" ... originally a bedtime story for his own children ... which was the basis and inspiration for the movie "Lady in the Water".

I watched this movie tonight with my daughters and after tucking them into bed, I felt inspired to visit ArtMagick and create an art album for this magical tale: Album "Lady in the Water". Even if your children are too young for the movie (it can be a bit scary for smaller children): they will still thoroughly enjoy the children's book; I highly recommend it.

Watch the movie or share the book with a child and rekindle your imagination, awakening once again to a belief in a higher purpose for our being.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Purple Clouds ...

(Unspoken.  Sounds only the Light and the Darkness ever know.)

... And so the fierce wind blows ...

"Boreas", By John William Waterhouse
(Image Courtesy of

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jury Duty ...

My call to the New Year was ushered in by a summons to jury duty ... which got me to thinking about the word "righteousness."   Righteousness (the act of being righteous ... the act of being righteous is perhaps what bothers me and not so much the notion that something could be righteous?) is a word that I have never really liked or well understood, and sitting here today I am thinking that 'righteousness' is a BIG part of what's wrong with the world today ... what's wrong with America today ... and why so many people in the world today (especially our youth) are offended by religion in general ... why there seems to be a push back against religion in the name of  "separation  of church and state", in the form of so-called "secularism", this past decade especially.

I think often times religious people, people of faith, have a tendency to be perceived as self-righteous and that immediately puts many of those they encounter, in daily life, on the offensive ... even before a general dialogue begins to unfold.  I know many religious texts speak of a 'Righteous' God, but to my way of thinking, Our Creator displays anything but righteousness ... even though He IS by definition righteous. My reading of the Bible shows me numerous instances of God as a loving, forgiving and merciful God.  The very fact that God was willing to humble himself by taking on flesh in order to endure the human experience as Jesus, His Son, speaks to Our Creator's wisdom in His willingness to embrace humility ...

"Jesus Washing Peter's Feet at the Last Supper", By Ford Madox Brown
(Image Courtesy of

I don't know:  I don't have all of the answers sitting here before me at this very moment ... This is just where my thoughts happen to be wondering this day.  I'll have to see where my pondering leads?  Feel free to leave me your thoughts here, in a comment, if you would like.  I welcome additional insights and other points of view.

I do think that all to often one of the most basic flaws of the 'human condition' is our tendency to jump to conclusions and to judge others from a perspective that is anything but Peace & Love so prominently evident in the words and actions of Jesus Christ throughout his life.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Purple Clouds: Genesis

Finally had a moment to review the photos that I took at the end of my "Purple Clouds" walk a few days back. The sun had begun to set and with its setting had begun to wash away the exquisite lavender color from the sky and clouds.  Once I returned back home, I grabbed my camera and took a few quick snaps before the color completely faded to indigo.  It wasn't a lot to work with, but I was able to salvage one shot.  The first (below) is the 'original' and the second photo is an art render that I have since titled:  "Genesis."

"Purple Clouds Brood with Ominous Foreboding"  12_30_2011
@Copyrighted Photo, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

"Purple Clouds: Genesis"
@Copyrighted Photo, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

What do think?  These clouds definitely appeared to have a will all their own ... swirling madly about in the lavender-kissed sky ... almost as if they did indeed have messages to relay.  A most unusual sky on a cold and fiercely wind-blown day ... hence my write from the other night, "Purple Clouds" poem.

Who knows?  Maybe these clouds just portent that mystery and magic await?  : )  And on that note:  Venture forth with a bold heart to embrace your new year!

Peace & Much LOVE,

P.S. Today is my artist birthday ... My ceremonial observation of my day of "awakening" and rebirth.  A healthy way for me to find reasons to celebrate and embrace the new year with a happy heart.  So Happy Birthday to me==Isabelle : )

... And a friend's poem today reminds me that children embrace neither 'wisdom' (or lack thereof) nor uncertainty.  They live joyfully in the moment.  Beauty and Truth embodied in purest simplicity.