Expanding Full | April 2022

Expanding Full | April 2022

Four months into my word and I really am surprised at the Full Discoveries that April brought! When I began this journey with full I considered “being full” to have distinct boundaries. Either you are full… or you are not…and with that idea in mind, I began to look at what was full in my life and what needed more…fullness.

But what if full does not have distinct boundaries? What if it is less a feeling and more an experience?

And so I began thinking about what that would look like…what it might change… and, especially, what that would feel like.

The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame. ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

What if the best part of full is when I step outside of full…or the boundaries I think belong to full?

I can tell you that even just thinking about this changed the way I consider things…and perhaps the best way to explain this is through the photographer’s lens.

Bonny hoped last week that I had taken more photos while at Presque Isle… and while I did take some photos (which I will share later this week… I promise!) I did not take as many photos as I had in previous visits… rather I spent more time looking beyond the frame. Seeing and experiencing more by spending a lot less time looking through my iPhone and it was so invigorating.

My “a-ha moment” was this: every minute does not need to be filled with doing something but instead by stepping into the moment, living in the moment… whatever the moment is… and in changing that one little thing I experienced so much more than I ever had before!

So here I am today… on the Monday-est of Mondays: Re-entry Monday… ugh!

I am wondering if that kind of full can only be had on vacation… you know, when there is not a normal routine or the usual task list of things that must be done. I speak from experience because in the lead up to vacation, I over-filled my days. I tried to do more each day – spring cleaning PLUS regular cleaning, and sewing, and knitting, and reading, and…I think you get the idea.

And you know what, although this is Perfect Vision Hindsight…very little of that was necessary…and if I had stepped into the day and looked at it completely rather than from my “list view” I might have realized that sooner (sans hindsight).

This month brought me so much to think about and I am going to step into May and be more conscious (and maybe more full?) of the moments (and hopefully less full of the unnecessary) on my journey to full!

A huge thanks to Carolyn for hosting us on our One Little Word journeys.

See you all back here on Wednesday!


Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.21.22

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.21.22

The theme for this week is Forgiveness. Hmmm. Okay. I vaguely remembered reading a poem about forgiveness… but could I find it? It turns out that was quite a challenge… but, thankfully, not one that was at all painful! I spent an afternoon perusing my poetry books, as well as looking online on the Poetry Foundation I had read from my library… with no luck at all in finding the poem I was thinking about.

I had three other poetry resources to check… poetry I listen to…The Slow Down, Poetry Unbound, and The Writer’s Almanac. Of course, it was Pádraig Ó Tuama who shared the poem on forgiveness that I am sharing today. I have printed it and placed in my journal so I can revisit it frequently. It is such a lovely reminder that forgiveness needs to start with yourself. I hope you enjoy this poem as well!

Phase One

by Dilruba Ahmed

For leaving the fridge open
last night, I forgive you.
For conjuring white curtains
instead of living your life.

For the seedlings that wilt, now,
in tiny pots, I forgive you.
For saying no first
but yes as an afterthought.

I forgive you for hideous visions
after childbirth, brought on by loss
of sleep. And when the baby woke
repeatedly, for your silent rebuke

in the dark, “What’s your beef?”
I forgive your letting vines
overtake the garden. For fearing
your own propensity to love.

For losing, again, your bag
en route from San Francisco;
for the equally heedless drive back
on the caffeine-fueled return.

I forgive you for leaving
windows open in rain
and soaking library books
again. For putting forth

only revisions of yourself,
with punctuation worked over,
instead of the disordered truth,
I forgive you. For singing mostly

when the shower drowns
your voice. For so admiring
the drummer you failed to hear
the drum. In forgotten tin cans,

may forgiveness gather. Pooling
in gutters. Gushing from pipes.
A great steady rain of olives
from branches, relieved

of cruelty and petty meanness.
With it, a flurry of wings, thirteen
gray pigeons. Ointment reserved
for healers and prophets. I forgive you.

I forgive you. For feeling awkward
and nervous without reason.
For bearing Keats’s empty vessel
with such calm you worried

you had, perhaps no moral
center at all. For treating your mother
with contempt when she deserved
compassion. I forgive you. I forgive

you. I forgive you. For growing
a capacity for love that is great
but matched only, perhaps,
by your loneliness. For being unable

to forgive yourself first so you
could then forgive others and
at last find a way to become
the love that you want in this world.

Phase One from Bring Now the Angels by Dilruba Ahmed, © 2020.

Please visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah and see what Forgiveness Poem they are sharing today.

I will see you all back here next Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.20.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.20.22

Very little knitting has happened since last week but that is not necessarily a bad thing! Instead we have been braving the windy cold weather and trekking all over Presque Isle in Erie PA! Yesterday we even “enjoyed” the lake effect flurries that joined us on a very brisk walk, lol.

However, even though I am spitting in the eye of Mother Nature on the weather this week, I would love to see an end to anything that could be remotely described as wintry anything and am really ready for some actual spring-like weather. But!! We have had some incredible sunny moments… and I will take the sunshine even if the temps are only in the 20’s!

I do have some reading updates to share with you all! I had one book I did not finish: The Paper Palace was just not a book for me. I tried, but bailed on it fairly quickly.

I did have some very interesting finishes this week – not all were great – and I continue to work through The Books of Jacob… I am about 2/3’s through it and loving every moment!

MigrationsMigrations by Charlotte McConaghy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Franny Stone… the character you love to hate… or at least I did. Or is it the story that is so uncomfortable? Perhaps a mix of both.

This story is set in the future but there is lots of focus on what happened in the past… and things you think are true, might just not be true at all.

This book just fell flat for me. (which might have been the fault of Cutting for Stone… because it is just so much better)

I do not recommend this book, but your mileage might vary.

ChouetteChouette by Claire Oshetsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is truly one crazy book! It is thoroughly unexpected (but not always in a good way) The heroine (?) – Tiny – finds herself pregnant yet the baby is not her husband’s… nope, she is having an Owl-Baby… dear little Chouette. The relationship between Chouette and Tiny begins shortly after conception… and so begins the reader’s wild ride on this fable. The story is very disconcerting and it made me think of how those who are not “normal” (whatever your normal is) are treated and how much effort is made on changing the “not normal” to be normal rather than accepting them for who and what they are… in all their unique beauty!

The ending…I did so not see that coming. If you would like a little time in an alternate reality, read this book!

Small Things Like TheseSmall Things Like These by Claire Keegan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my, this small story packs an enormous punch! And it made me stop and think… for a very long time after I finished listening to it.

The story unfolds in a curious way… and it poses the question…. what do you do if you see something that is wrong… do you look away? Do you try to blow up the entire system? Or do you just do what you can?

Good questions for us any day, but especially today. This is a story that I want to read again with my eyes… it was just that good. I highly recommend.

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

I will be back to share some poetry tomorrow! 

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.21.22

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.14.22

In this week’s poetry installment we are all sharing a poem by Sharon Olds. She is a prolific poet and you could get lost for days and days in her poetry books. The poem I have selected is from Stag’s Leap…poetry that shares her journey from from grief to healing after her divorce. A book of poetry that I wish I had read after my own divorce.

All of the poems are so beautiful, but one poem very much hit home for me… and I wonder if my poor children share these feelings because, like Sharon, they were all very planned babies. I did not use shirt cardboards (my ex liked his shirts starched and hanging) but I did have a “conception journal” where I graphed my temperature. (FYI, I looked for it, but could not find it but perhaps that is a good thing, lol) But I really hope that my kids realize, as Sharon does, that my world was infinitely so much better because they were in it!

I hope you enjoy this poem!

The Planned Child

by Sharon Olds

I always hated the way they planned me, she
took the cardboards out of his shirts as if
pulling the backbone up out of his body and
made a chart of the month and put her
temperature on it, rising and falling, to
know the day to make me—I always
wanted to have been conceived in heat,
in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex,
not on cardboard, the little X on the
rising line that did not fall again.

But then you were pouring the wine red as the
gritty clay of this earth, or the blood,
grainy with tiny clots, that rides us
into this life, and you said you could tell I had
been a child who was wanted. I took the
wine into my mouth like my mother’s blood, as I had
ridden down toward the light with my lips
pressed against the sides of that valve in her body, she was
bearing down and then breaking in the mask and then
bearing down, pressing me out into the
world that was not enough for her without me in it,
not the moon, the sun, the stars, Orion
cartwheeling easily across the dark, not the
earth, the sea, none of it was
enough for her, without me.

The Planned Child by Sharon Olds, Stag’s Leap © 2012

Make sure you visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah today to see what Sharon Olds poem they are sharing today!

I won’t be here tomorrow, but I will be back next week I am not certain about Monday but I will absolutely be here for  Unraveled Wednesday. Have a great weekend everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

This week a knitting milestone… I have reached Cruising Altitude on my Tegna. Yep. I am cruising along with miles of stockinette… which makes it the perfect pick up and put down knit! So I have gotten lots of minutes of knitting in!

Washing machine going…pick up and knit. Dishwasher loaded… pick up and knit. Catch up on Call the Midwives… of course pick up and knit!

The pattern calls for 16 inches to the arm divide. If I have the yarn, and I think I will, I am going to do a bit more than that…maybe 18 inches and then I will do a “mock try on” although trying on a bottom up sweater is lots of guess work… my plan is to measure it against my previous Tegna because I would like it to be a bit longer than that one. Anyways, I very much like the fabric and think it will be the perfect summer sweater!

It’s April, so of course there is a “new” Gnome. I have just the bits and bobs to finish her up. AND!!! It appears that I will be knitting a mystery Gnome for May!

One might think it was a slim reading week…but nothing could be further from the truth. Reality is that nothing else quite feels right after reading such a magnificent book…and if you have not read Cutting for Stone, fix that promptly. And yes, it is that good!

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book. Just wow!

This book had never been on my radar until a friend mentioned that she was rereading it. It was available from my library and so began my journey with Marion and Shiva Stone.

It is epic… truly a magnificent epic story. I laughed, I gasped out loud, I cried and cried some more.

But what I most did not want was for it to end…so I rationed my “listening time” with Marion to savor the story, the writing, the beautiful places, and especially the incredible characters.

I am happy to confess that this book has given me a bit of a “Book Hangover” and nothing else is quite satisfying me right now. I just want to stay with Marion Stone a little bit longer.

I highly recommend this beautiful story!

That is all I have for today! I will be back tomorrow with a bit of poetry to share with you all.

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

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