Here’s a paragraph or two from SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
“Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world, and the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store. All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all that your nature so specially fits you for–that or the counterpart of it– waits embedded in the great WHOLE, for you. It will surely come to you.
Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time will it come. ~ Edward Carpenter.
“This is the reason of renewal and replenishment. What better way to begin than to meditate on Mr.Carpenter’s assurance that all our needs will be satisfied by the great WHOLE. Whatever we are waiting for–peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of Simple Abundance–it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.
While you are waiting patiently, take comfort and joy in simple spring time rituals of rejuvenation. ….search for a new sacred space…..a shady grove of trees in an old cemetery…a beautiful public garden…a museum gallery…books stacks in a library…the hush of a quiet chapel where you can light a candle or an outdoor cafe where you can sit basking in the sunshine.”
Well, kids. It appears that Spring might be sneaking into Northern Indiana at last! We have had a few more sunny days, the temperatures are slowly creeping up and Easter and Monday are predicted to be in the middle 70′s! YES! Of course, that will be followed with more days of rain and cool and damp temperatures but it’s getting better for sure.
In our area, the usual snowfall is about 66.7 inches. This season we have passed 110.1 inches!
I’m slowly getting some of the clutter cleaned out. I have only two more boxes in the family room filled with VHS tapes and a VCR. I’m offering the tapes to some friends and family. If they don’t take them, I will be making a trip to Goodwill in the next few weeks. I have cleaned out a few more end tables and finally located the sale papers from our big house that we sold last summer. I needed those papers for my taxes and got copies from my Realtor. But now I have the originals so I will put them in a fire box to keep for a few more years…..just in case.
I found my original SIMS DVDs and now if I ever want to play SIMS again, I can put them back on my computer. I used to enjoy playing but as life almost always does…it interfered and I put them away.
I moved much of my husband’s police and western collections downstairs into the guest bedroom. I brought up some more of my own collection of chickens and roosters and have them on display in the family room. My son helped me hang some pictures in the room as well. He said to me “Now the family room looks like you, Mom.” And I agree.
Here’s some photos of the basement bedroom now.
The cubbies holding some of the smaller police and western collections.
Two of the walls….
The following are from the family room. Notice the accent wall paint (blue/green) and the rest of the walls are Sand color.
The large picture was made by my niece for my husband….and the small cowboy picture is just one that I love.
I moved the TV stand to the accent wall.
The following is the art work over the big computer desk in the family room
The following was when I was slowly putting my chicken collection in the shelves…
And….I read some books this week.
I enjoyed this story of 6 friends who met as teenagers at a summer camp. Each of them had dreams for their futures but most of them didn’t become what they had expected to be. The 468 page book takes the readers from the teen years through adulthood, career decisions, marriages, families and then middle age when they are finally figuring out what they want out of life. The story seemed to get a big draggy about 1/2 way through but I kept on reading and The Interestings got “interesting” again
Here’s the book description….
From bestselling author Meg Wolitzer a dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships.
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
And another reader’s review…. (By the way, I had some trouble trying to find a review that didn’t have spoilers all the way through.)
“Jules knew she was cheating by not actually being funny but instead being in the neighborhood of being funny.” I think this book is maybe in the neighborhood of Interesting, but isn’t, really.
I actually found this a bit … boring. And it seems like just the sort of book I would like! It’s a longish tale about a group of friends who meet in adolescence at an arts camp and then stay friends for the rest of their lives. Their relationships and trials and tribulations play out and the structure is pleasingly non-chronological.
Maybe I found the characters a lot more objectionable than they seem like they are supposed to be. I really just wanted to run away with under-appreciated Dennis and save him from the rest of them. I kept waiting to feel emotionally invested in the characters and it never quite took off for me. There were a number of good and memorable scenes. Some of the scenes between Jules and Dennis in particular felt like a very authentic portrayal of a marriage. I liked the stories of the youngest generation and Rory the daughter, in particular, but the main characters kind of drove me bonkers.
There also seems to be kind of a sad moral about the way life works out or doesn’t work out. Maybe I am just not in the mood for tales of resignation and lives of quiet sadness. This was good, but I didn’t like as much as I was expecting to.
One wrong step could send her over the edge.
All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair, from which she might never return. When she wakes up after a traumatic fall, bruised and battered but miraculously alive, Penny must confront the memories that have haunted her for years, using her love of movement to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.
Kathryn Craft’s lyrical debut novel is a masterful portrayal of a young woman trying to come to terms with her body and the artistic world that has repeatedly rejected her. The Art of Falling expresses the beauty of movement, the stasis of despair, and the unlimited possibilities that come with a new beginning.
What a wonderful story of celebrating life. To really appreciate the joy of living, one must first have pain, and Penelope Sparrow has plenty of pain, physical and emotional and spiritual. The journey Penelope takes from the darkest moment of despair to the light of joy is not an easy one, for her or for the reader at times. The author did not pull back from the agony one feels while watching someone she loves die and the internal conflicts that creates.
Using the themes of dance and letting the reader feel what it is like to be one with the air and the music really helped propel the story, and let the reader connect to Penny in an innovative way.
I am so happy that I agreed to read an advance copy of this book from Net Galley. Everything about this book is top notch from the characters, to the pacing, to the story structure to the magical, lyrical prose. Kudos to the author