Monthly Archives: January 2011

A gift that keeps on giving…

Big thanks to the lovely ladies at Well Designed Journeys for featuring a two-post interview with Dave on their beautiful blog, sharing his advice on wildlife photography: Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Interview with Dave Estment and Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Part II

This passion has blessed us with countless incredible trips into the African bushveld. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving. In fact, we’re off to Madikwe Safari Lodge again tomorrow, courtesy of their head ranger, Marc Lindsay-Rae – a fabulous friend and fellow photographer, who has just won the 2010 Africa Geographic/Canon Photo Competition for rangers and safari guides (with an awesome shot of a mother and calf black rhino charging him). Way to go, Marc! Here he is, with his winning photo (for the month and year):


MARC LINDSAY-RAE with his winning wildlife photo!

For those who don’t know, black rhino’s are endangered, which makes that pic all the more exceptional. We were treated on a previous visit to Madikwe to a spectacular sighting of three together, and a pack of endangered wild dogs on the hunt. It was too dark for decent photo’s, but regular readers of this blog will have seen plenty more wildlife pics in the past. Some stunning ones of Dave’s are included in those two posts at Well Designed Journeys, and here are a few other highlights just for fun:


AMARULA HOT CHOCOLATE – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MORNING BREAKING – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


BREAKFAST FOR TWO – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa


MARC, CLAIRE & GREG ENJOYING SUNDOWNERS – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


AFRICAN SUNSET – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


HEAVENLY SUITE – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa

. . . and a quote from another photographer (as well as actor, artist and writer):

“I have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it’s a relief. If I’m walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.” – Viggo Mortensen

Wishing you all a wonderful few days, until we return with more wild magic to entice you to visit the bush soon too 🙂

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Twin Anniversary and Engagement Celebration!

This is a special day for us. My twin sister Ruth was married 20 years ago today at the gorgeous Alphen Hotel in Cape Town, where she had lunch with her husband, before their party tonight. By complete chance (if there is such a thing :-)), Dave proposed to me 16 years ago today on Signal Hill, from a spot right about where this photo was taken:


TABLE BAY and ROBBEN ISLAND from SIGNAL HILL – Cape Town, South Africa

He had Table Mountain in mind, but was too impatient, or tense, to wait for the cable car queues. We weren’t aware of it then, but apparently both sites are situated on significant energy meridians. I haven’t looked into this, but true or not, it was certainly auspicious for us. That year we celebrated with Ruth and Etienne, since dinner was already planned on their behalf. We’ll enjoy ours in Jo’burg tonight, and drink a toast to them too!

I don’t usually include pics of myself in posts, but today is unusual – and being identical twins is curious to some 😉 – so here’s a recent one of the two of us together:


NAOMI & RUTH – by DAVE

Heart-felt thanks to my beloved husband, for asking me to marry him all those years ago, and pressing a beautiful ring into my hands – which I almost dropped down the hillside, because Dave has the most stunning blue eyes imaginable . . . Continue reading

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Lost in Light

I wonder if I’ll ever cease to be amazed by the power of meditation. Reading Eckhart Tolle’s Stillness Speaks – another transformational book of his – has drawn me deeper into the practice, with joyful results! The complete concept for my next novel Lost in Light and sequel to Out of Air (see My Books) has arrived in technicolour. You know how it goes: weeks, months, years of living occasionally converge into a point of perfect clarity.

If you’re interested in the storyline, please click on that last link. In the meantime, the following image, poem and quotes encapsulate its heartbeat:

BROWN SNAKE EAGLE in flight

LOST IN LIGHT

Embraced by love
beyond her dreams,
a formless fear
arises inside

What if it all
vanished tomorrow,
never to return her
into the light?

Yet love’s power
beckons her deeper
towards the heart
of the sun

Where she feels the fear
but has to follow,
in order to learn
that there is no loss

Only change –
and pain is caused by
the simple illusion
of holding on

Acceptance
is the answer
to receiving the gift
of grace.

©Naomi Estment

“Throughout history, there have been women and men who, in the face of great loss, illness, imprisonment, or impending death, accepted the seemingly unacceptable and thus found “the peace that passeth all understanding'”.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

My thanks again to Amanda Patterson of The Write Co., whose two novel-writing courses I’ve completed in the past. They continue to teach me, profoundly, along with the downloads from the phenomenal Writers Telesummit and Your Creative Career Telesummit. One of the things I’ve learnt regarding the nature of chick lit (my natural genre, mixed with romance) are the three primary themes – betrayal, revenge and loss.

If you’re familiar with Out of Air, you’ll know it involves some juicy betrayal. Dust on Fire gets down and dirty with revenge, while Lost in Light explores loss. Nevertheless, being chick lit, they’re all a light read 🙂 Nothing like variety to spice up the challenge of keeping pen to paper, and consistent meditation to keep it real. In line with that thought, here’s a final quote from Stillness Speaks:

“Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling – mastery in any field of endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least taking second place. A power and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over. There is no decision-making process anymore; spontaneous right action happens, and “you” are not doing it. Mastery of life is the opposite of control. You become aligned with the greater consciousness. It acts, speaks, does the works.” – Eckhart Tolle

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Stillness

Stillness speaks. (Perhaps this is appropriate after last night’s party :-D)


Palm leaves in the sky

STILLNESS

A silent whisper,
barely perceptible,
perfectly distinct,
rustles the leaves
of consciousness

Its message murmurs
of mundane magic,
teased to life
by the act of listening
into the Stillness

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider:

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

“No thought, no action, no movement, total stillness: only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things from within and unconsciously, and at last become one with heaven and earth.” – Lao Tzu

“It is the stillness that will save and transform the world.” – Eckhart Tolle

“The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.” – Bruce Lee

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einstein

“Believe nothing because a wise man said it.
Believe nothing because it is generally held.
Believe nothing because it is written.
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine
Believe nothing because someone else believes it.
But believe only what you yourself know to be true.”
– The Buddha

Synchronicity can be quite amazing. The message “stillness speaks” emerged in a recent meditation, prompting this post. Wordpress and the genius Zemanta feature added the link to Eckhart Tolle’s book by that name. Despite being a big fan of his writing, I’d not come across it yet, so guess what I’ll be reading first in 2011 . . .

On that note, here’s wishing you all a WONDERFUL New Year – lots of love, health, wealth and happiness by the bucketful, interspersed with true stillness. ENJOY it, everyone!

And finally, heart-felt thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to read this blog during 2010 and leave such lovely, supportive comments. You’re a collective treasure that we sincerely appreciate. THANK YOU!

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