In Ireland, the ocean is everywhere.
Sometimes hiding in the mist…
History hangs heavy in the ocean air, like breath moistened by a story.
In rough weather…
Whether watching intently…
Or only vaguely aware of it…
You can still smell the salt in the air…like a ghost.
You can feel it like a heartbeat…
And hear it like a lullabye…
Copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck
Published by Naomi Baltuck
When not actually writing, I am researching the world with my long-suffering husband and our two kids, or outside editing my garden.
My novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring (Viking Penguin), can be read in English, German, Spanish, and Italian. My storytelling anthology, Apples From Heaven, garnered four national awards, including the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice. I am currently working on a contemporary women’s novel.
View all posts by Naomi Baltuck
You have a really good eye Naomi!
I loved the reflection on the water, it’s so sharp; and the colors of the sea are really amazing and make me wanna be there right now.
Thank you, Pablo! Me too!
Absolutely beautiful, Naomi, you’ve just made me homesick for the Irish coastline.
And thanks for joining in the travel theme challenge 🙂 If you have a chance, check out the other wonderful entries we’ve had this week from all around the world xxx Ailsa http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/06/08/oceans/
I would love to!
An absolutely beautiful post, Naomi. You should have 10 gold stars. 😉
Thank you so much!
Naomi that was an thoughtful and poetic peek at Irish oceans, with some gorgeous pictures too.
While I’d probably have to choose the drama of ‘you feel it like a heartbeat’ shot, my emotional favourite is the phrase “History hangs heavy in the ocean air, like breath moistened by a story.”
Thank you. I really like that image too.
Beautiful pictures… and the mood is consistent thoughout. a very enjoyable post.
Thank you, Shimon.
Love this, Naomi… Great photos and perfect story!
Thanks, Steve. That was such a great trip.
Very beautiful pictures, I was in Ireland last week and saw so much of beauty, but with my eye and not the camera 🙂 Thanks for the revisit.
Hi Claire, thank you for the kind words. Where in Ireland were you? Did you get good weather? I would love to go back one day.
What gorgeous pictures! I’ve never been to Ireland but I intend to one day 🙂
Hi Missus T, thank you! I hope you get over there too. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts.
Such a wonderful photo journey – thanks for sharing and taking me there for a moment on this rainy monday morning.
Hi Dorothee, thank you for coming along. Thanks, too, for the follow. I stopped by your blog, and it was really lovely, so I will be following you, too.
Wow, fantastic photos, I loved your ghost well done, and the cliff-face with the people standing on top is just awesome what a shot. 😀
Thanks, Mags. I love to hear which shots appeal most to people. I’m also particularly fond of the reflection. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Beautiful photos. And as I recall the sea is no more than 40 miles from any point on the Emerald Isle. Which, of course, begs the question: why did so many starve?
Dear Elyse, I know this is hard to believe, but while the Irish tenants were starving to death, the rich landholders were actually exporting grain from the country. So sad. The population of Ireland never recovered–there are less people living there today than there were before the Great Famine!
I love the theme. Wonderful pictures.
Thank you, C.C.
I particularly like the cemetery shot Naomi – very nice.
Thank you, Lynne. I like that one a lot. I remember that it was a “soft weather” day, and everything seemed so green.
I know excatly the kind of day you mean.
Love the pictures, each of which is my favorite. The ocean is . . . life. The ocean is.
Thank you for that! I couldn’t have said it better. I appreciate your stopping by.
Beautiful pictures, beautiful words.
Thank you, Maggie. I appreciate your visit, and your taking the time to comment.
Your photography is so artistic. That ‘ghost’ – how should I describe it? Shuddery-brilliant, it so spooked me. And I love celtic crosses. I used to wear a gold one on a chain about my neck, but lost it in the woods (the cross, I mean, not my neck).
Hi Sarah, you are so kind! I loved that photo, but never knew I would find such a perfect use for it. I hope you can happen along just the right replacement for your little celtic cross. Thanks for happening by today. I always love to hear from you.
GORGEOUS post, Naomi. Beautiful photos and some lovely phrases.
I particularly liked:
“like breath moistened by a story”
“You can still smell the salt in the air…like a ghost.”
That is so kind of you. I really love to hear which passages or phrases stand out to a person–I think it is a really interesting way to learn about my blogging friends. I appreciate your visit, and especially the time you took to comment.
Beautiful photos, really enjoyed them. My kind of thing, so to speak.
Thanks, J.G. I know what you mean!
Words and images – beautifully mirroring one another.
Thank you. As a professional storyteller I am used to telling my stories with words alone. Blogging is like storytelling with visual aids, and it almost seems like cheating, but I LOVE to weave words and pictures into one.
Sheer poetry! Thanks for a mini vacation . . .
Thanks for coming along, Mary!
oh, I LOVE the first three photos, especially the second one, such deep tones and inventive compositions. My sons godmother lives in Ireland and she’s invited us many times, some day we will see those fantastic views as well. Thanks for the great photo post!
Thank you, Annika. The colors there are so rich, and it really is the Emerald Isle, especially when there is soft weather–which is what they call the mist or the light rain–and that is often.
Where in Ireland does your friend live? It almost doesn’t matter. Everything feels very close, and as Elyse said, there is nowhere in Ireland more than forty miles from the sea. I do hope you get there soon.
Wow. Amazing photos, Naomi.
Thank you, Susan. I appreciate the visit.
Ah, my ancestral homeland. You’ve captured the essence so brilliantly in these photos, Naomi.
Oh, my gosh! It all begins to make sense to me now! Well, of course you come from Ireland, which is where you must get your gift of gab and a touch of the old blarney! Thanks so much for stopping by, MJ.
Wonderful and poetic! Love the ‘calm’ photo very much. Well done Naomi.
Hi, Madhu! I had wondered if that photo was too calm and too ordinary, but I have to remember that everyone has a different favorite. I really love that one, but you are the first one to mention that particular photo. Thank you so much for your visit, and for sharing your thoughts.
amazing photos! I love the Celtic cross and what is the man made cairn type structure?
Thank you, Gilly! That is a beehive hut constructed without mortar centuries ago by the monks on Skellig Michael.
I love how you weave your photos together with poetry. Always an intriguing perspective. thanks for posting these!
Hi Kathy, you are too kind. I so appreciate your visit and your sharing of thoughts.
So gorgeous. I don’t know Ireland that well, and reading this gave me insight into another aspect of it. The sea and the ocean are such compelling images, almost archetypes, and I love the way you’ve explored a country’s connection with its surrounding waters: so few words, but so poignant and true.
What a wonderful post!!!
Thank you! I appreciate your stopping by, and taking the time to comment.
Wow! The pictures, coupled with your writing, just makes me want to go to Ireland.
Thank you, Grace. Putting the post together made me want to go back. But I hope to go back to the Czech Republic soon. Do you speak the language? How long have you lived there?
I somehow missed this comment. Anyway, my Czech language proficiency is still at the beginner level. It is enough to navigate me around, buy groceries, go to the doctor, etc. And oh, I just made my first trip to the salon and was able to communicate what I wanted to do with my hair. We’ve been here for 1 yr and 2 months now.
Oh my…the memories of the coast of Great Britain. Thank you Naomi…and thank you for not only travelling so deeply yourself but being able to take us there with your words and pictures.
I wasn’t even present for one of my favorite memories of England. It was listening to your mom tell me all about hiking the south coast with you, taking up the journey each year where you left off the previous one. So I guess she was able to take me there with her words and the pictures they painted.
I’m so glad to hear that your storytelling is taking off! It must be in the genes! Happy tales, Bev, and thanks for stopping by.
Hi Tess! Thank you for coming by!
Marvelous photo essay! That is JUST what Ireland, at least the west of Ireland, is like.
And the ghost is the perfect finishing touch!
Thank you! This was a fun one to put together. I sure appreciate your stopping by.
Breathtaking! So much beauty, so much inspiration. So much heart. Thank you.
Hi Naomi! Great post- makes me want to got back to the cliffs of moher! Did u really go out to skellig michael (how did u find the trip? Rough?). I hear they restrict trips out there these days? it’s one place I’ve always wanted to go!! Fantastic pics- really beautiful!
Hi there! It was a very rough crossing to Skellig Michael. We went in a little fleet of three boats, and sometimes we would lose sight of the others altogether because the swells were so high. Here is the link to a short post on that trip. https://naomibaltuck.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/sunday-post-stairway/
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Amazing photos that tell such a story. I’ve never been to Ireland. It’s on my to visit list. 🙂
“…History hangs heavy in the ocean air,
like breath moistened by a story…”
Reblogged this on Writing Between the Lines and commented:
I am working on a program of stories for St. Patrick’s Day, which has me thinking of my last trip to the Emerald Isle…
Excellent captured – so amazing and fascinating… 🙂
Thank you so much!
Gorgeous pictures! I especially love the first two. The first one with the yellow, and the angle taken of the graveyard. Now I want to go! Although, I find it hard to imagine that it could be as beautiful as these pictures.
It is that beautiful. I hope you go, and when you do, I will list for you all the places not to be missed.
Thank you for your very generous response–it is always good to hear from you.
Gorgeous views of the sea and water!
Beautiful photo’s. Thanks for sharing. This makes me want to pull my 2008 photo’s of Ireland out of the archives. I so hope to go back there some day.
I think your words and pics have summed up Ireland very well, Naomi. Lovely post. 🙂
I’m Irish and in Ireland but I didn’t realise it was that nice. Gotta love that we have so much sea though and it’s never too far away. Terrific pics, Naomi.