Uncorked & Unfeigned

A handcrafted table made of corkscrews as a collective of life-infused joys

I was fascinated. My casual conversation with a tablemate at a fundraiser for Friends of Nursing had suddenly taken an interesting turn. It was ignited by the opening of a bottle of white wine.

“Are you going to save the cork?” asked a peer at our table of eight.

“Oh, yes!” she replied, followed with, “You know I made a whole table of corks at home.”

“You did?” I inquired.

And then she began to tell the tale.

The table was most beautifully crafted from corks from around the world. Meticulously placed – and necessarily rearranged – she aligned them beautifully with artistic acumen. Anchored by cardboard and luminescent tiles, she quickly realized that their uniqueness would require her to put similarly sized pieces together; readjust and reconsider.

She was careful to note that while many of the corks belonged to her, friends who knew of her newfound intrigue would also share corks of their own. Each was special, worthy of recognition – so she placed them in such a way that their inscriptions would be prominent. As I listened to their origins and the celebrations that accompanied them, I felt myself lulled into a place of merriment, compelled by the character of each one.

It occurred to me that in many of our fast-paced lives, some of our best memories can be washed into oblivion if they are not properly – stored. I’m convinced that tangible mementos are often ideal for the purpose of sealing those moments in our minds. When I viewed the image she shared with me at the table, my mind delved into the wonderment of the memories cast.

Perhaps, a bottle was uncorked because a beloved son returned home from college. Maybe this one paralleled a loving rendezvous at a 50-year anniversary. Yet another could have been an occasion when the day was so trying that it warranted the best Red available. What if the one on the end was from the last meal that was shared with a friend before he passed away?

This “table” moved my heart in the most compelling of ways, for I took away several lessons that I hope to impart to readers who’ve landed on this page.

Lesson 1: Live!

While we could wait for unusually special events to celebrate meaningful happenings, limiting ourselves to so few instances can inhibit our enjoyment in the richness of life. In lieu of deliberating, let’s champion instead heralding the sensational and the simple. Both can be joys. This table is a reminder that there are plenty from which to choose.

Lesson 2: Listen…

Incline your ear to the stories that sing of successes, surmising, sentiments and sorrows. Whether yours or the ones you love, they serve as a tapestry of your life – and connect you in the most intimate ways to the moments and people who matter most. I can’t fathom the adventures that adhere to this fine piece of artistry. Oh, the stories she will tell – because she espoused them.

Lesson 3: Learn…

Her original idea was both noble and nimble. Though it was her first attempt, she was committed to the task, trial and error inherent. However, her plan also required that it was nimble. It had to be changed. Pieces she’d assumed would be easy to align weren’t. They weren’t all the same shape and size. Placing them where she’d initially intended could have made the final piece discordant – a lot like life.

Sometimes, we judge from afar and determine emphatically what choices we’d make, how and why; but, life has a funny way of revealing that not everything that we deem correct always fits together. There are some things we have to adjust.

There are things we need to change.

There are elements we should reconsider, so that our ultimate decisions lead to cohesion and not discord.

I absolutely love this table. I am mesmerized by the history with which it is infused, the treasures that it captures, the collective it represents and the hearts that it holds. With each journey during which a bottle was uncorked, an affection was indelibly inscribed.

As we continue along our own paths, it is my hope that we will uncork many proverbial bottles in our lifetime. May the experiences be unfeigned and as unforgettable as its characters. If the pandemic era hasn’t taught us anything else, we’ve realized our fragility and the criticality of making everyday count. So, let’s make a toast to living life to the fullest – even when it’s hard – and creating the stories new generations will love.


#uncorked #unfeigned #live #listen #learn #love #life #livelifetothefullest #onelove #purpose #passion #betheone #carlamichelle

8 thoughts on “Uncorked & Unfeigned

  1. Your vocabulary is amazing, making your word choice a strength. Here’s one of my favorite lines because of the numerous connections I can make like I’m a fan of reds: “Yet another could have been an occasion when the day was so trying that it warranted the best Red available.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Nancy,

      You are so kind, and I am so humbled! My mom made me fall in love with words as a little girl and it’s been a most romantic affair ever since.

      I was so nervous about adding this line, as it is probably the area where I am least informed. Ironically, I hoped that I didn’t insert it out of context for fear that an expert would notice my novice opinion.

      I’m so relieved that it was contextually right and confirmed by an expert (smile)! I’m equally happy to know that the word choice gave the post the feel that I was looking for. Thank you so much for your meaningful response.

      My heart is singing!

      With Warmest Regards,

      ~Carla Michelle


  2. Carla Michelle, thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I especially like how you compare life’s adjustments to the construction of the table-different sized corks fitting or not fitting-much like life’s situations.

    Your first lesson, Live! brings to mind the toasting flutes my husband and I received as a wedding gift. They lived in the cabinet for many years, mainly until I learned to like champagne. Last year, as I washed them the morning after our toast to 2021, I somehow broke a piece off of one. At first, I almost cried. However, I realized it’s better to use them, even for sipping weekend mimosas made with cheap champagne and pomegranate juice, than to have them sit in the cabinet only to come out once a year.

    Yes, I’m disappointed. I’ll look around for a replacement, but I want to find something just as special. Or not. I use the good one, but kept the broken one so it isn’t so lonely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Alice,

      I was thankful that she shared this beautiful story with me! That analogy stood out to me right away. I was previously unaware that not all corks were the same. I couldn’t help but think about the unexpected happenings in my life for which I had to be prepared – because they just didn’t fit the way I imagined; but, to be able to make something beautiful from the unanticipated I think is such a gift in itself. I felt so appreciative of her work.

      I am equally inspired by your reflection on the flutes (and so touched that you kept the former so the latter wouldn’t be alone)! I’m most enamored with the weekend mimosas and the cheap champagne. You remind me that the criteria for memorable moments consist of the magic that you feel.

      I pray that disappointment will be replaced with exuberance. It certainly leaps off the pages of your post. Such a pleasure it is to read your writing. I am thankful for the gift.

      With Warmest Regards,

      ~Carla Michelle


  3. Live…listen…learn. YES! I love, Carla, how you have taken something as simple as a cork table and spun it into such an eloquent life lesson. And yes! Let us uncork and enjoy those proverbial bottles of wine life brings us (though some are more…artfully wrapped). Let us celebrate, let us commemorate. ❤


  4. The life lessons from a bottle of wine… 🙂 I love it… and it made me think of my small cork trivet. It was made by a friend, from corks from our time together with another of our friends who passed away last year. Sometimes I think we need something tangible to help us with the life lessons.


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