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!
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!
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!
Migrations 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.
Chouette 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 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!
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!
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 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!
Is for lists of things… good and not so great. I would ask you if you want the good or the not so great first, but since you are not here… I will get the not so great out of the way. If your Monday is Monday enough without any more not so great, please skip ahead to Thing Three!
Thing One… today is my sister’s 58th birthday and it has been 3 months since I have heard a word from her. I am holding on to the thought that no one has contacted me with bad news… Still, it was so easy to get used to talking again…however brief… and even though it was simply because she had hit the bottoms bottom… I miss talking to her… even it if it just to listen to her version of truth.
Thing Two… (as if Thing One was not depressing enough) 100 days into 2022 and Pittsburgh has had 4-whole-days-of-sunshine. 4-freaking-days. I am more than ready for some prolonged moments (days? weeks?) of sunshine. Also… I am going to remind myself of this in August when it is 90-gazillion degrees and we need rain.
The remainder of my list is for your ears… things to listen to while you work on your Monday list.
Thing Three… This morning Season Five of Poetry Unbound began! Ahhhh…and this morning’s episode was exactly what I needed (“I put myself back into the trance…weather, gossip, news”)… because of course poetry helps all things…and even more Pádraig’s commentary… it helped me make sense of my void.
Thing Four…Thankfully, Jon Meacham has returned with another podcast offering. I have listened to several installments… they are short… and so lovely. If you like history, then I think you will enjoy Reflections of History.
Thing Five… Ocean Vuong. His latest book of poetry, Time is a Mother, was released on the 5th. You can listen to a beautiful interview here from NPR’s Book of the Day podcast. I found myself nodding with so much of what Ocean shared with Rachel Martin.
I hope your Monday is gentle… see you all back here on Wednesday.