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the path back is the path forward


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how does it matter? [d.r. thursday]

Studio Shot

the studio in our basement is full of beautiful paintings that haven’t yet found their proper home.  it is also full of boxes of cds that have been replicated and shrink-wrapped, ready for their new homes.  there is no shortage of completed work down there, no shortage of heart projects, no shortage of sweat and tears.  there is no shortage of work in progress, canvases prepped, notebooks of lyrics and melodic gestures.

we moved our 20’s father’s paintings last week.  today we will move the remainder.  as we carefully loaded big red, you could not help but feel wistful about these paintings moving away from their home, to be stored by 20.  duke was a prolific painter and his work is stunning; we wondered where and how these mostly large pieces would find a permanent home.  where does it go from here?

any artist, thinking about the impermanence of life, wonders that.  where does it go from here?  who will purchase it, hold onto it, look at it, listen to it, read it, ultimately – feel it?  will it matter later on?  does it matter now?

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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big red. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

CO to WI copy

colorado to wisconsin.  with a stop in columbia, missouri.  the first day is long.  twelve hours give or take.  we drive out of colorado into kansas, which has to be one of the wider states in the journey, and head for wendy’s.  she and keith are tolerant of whatever-time-we-get-there, knowing the challenges of a long drive.  this time, it was different.

this time we weren’t in our littlebabyscion toodling along, huffing and puffing up hills.  this time we were in Big Red, a giant ford F150.  she hadn’t been driven this-far-at-one-time in years.  we were high up and felt like road warriors.

columbus gave us a couple cassette tapes to play in the player and, in planning ahead, i had brought a dozen favorites from years past (ok, the 70s are many years past.)  we played each of them, singing along.  and then switched to the radio.  it only seemed right that country music be blaring out of the speakers, so we obliged.

although we blasted cassettes of john denver, loggins and messina, alabama, england dan & john ford coley among others, i have a few favorite radio songs of the journey east and north.  one direction’s what makes you beautiful, lady gaga and bradley cooper singing shallow, toby keith’s i wanna talk about me and my new fave, billy currington’s good directions and turnip greens.  a sweet country-music story.

we were talking with jen and brad last night in their kitchen, lingering over our potluck together.  we talked about compromise and life and decisions and chance.  like everyone, david and i have had our share of each of those.  decisions sorted and pondered, and compromises, bending to the things that make life meaningful, balancing reality with idealism.  and then there’s chance.  we could relate to the story of turnip greens…happenstance changing life.   a choice, one direction taken, a turn, one click…and everything changes.  what comes is predicated on what was and what is this very second.  we second those lyrics – thank God for good directions and turnip greens.

we turned up the stereo in Big Red and opened the windows with the AC on.  somewhere along the way, we decided it was a she, for she had gently mothered columbus as he drove a bit more gingerly in recent days and she sturdily and protectively lumbered us across the country.  laughing and certain of everything and absolutely nothing, we turned this beautiful big old pickup truck toward home.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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in the distance now. [two artists tuesday]

mountains in the distance CO copy

i cry when i first see them.  i cry when they are disappearing.  those mountains.  my last long look at them as we drive east out of colorado.  those billboards and tshirts and bumper stickers that say, “the mountains are calling and i must go” speak to me.  they have ever since i was 18 and first experienced them.  john denver’s rocky mountains have been a lure for decades now.  and i can feel the pull, even from a distance.

if you look past the horizon in this photograph you will see what i last saw as we drove away a few days ago.  you won’t know that tears came to my eyes or that i turned in my seat to watch the vista fading away at 70mph.  we didn’t even get into the mountains this trip and i could still feel my heart stretching, reaching to hold on.

they are in the distance now.  so much so that i cannot see them.

but i carry those mountains with me and know we will one day, again, be there.  i will catch my breath when they loom suddenly into view.  we will drive deeper into them, surrounded by forest and canyons and soaring beauty.  we will hike on adventures and we will sit and gaze in wonder.  and then, when it is time to leave, i will crane my neck and watch them disappear.  into the distance.  no dry eyes here.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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so much life lived. [merely-a-thought monday]

so much life lived box

we were talking on the phone.  it had been quite some time and there was so much to catch up on it was difficult to know where to start.  we started with this week.  “so much life lived this week,” heidi said.  yes.  so much.

in the last week or so we have traveled both east and west.  from the ocean to the mountains.  from children to parents.  from littlebabyscion to big red.  we traveled from together to missing.  from gathering things for a new home base to removing things forever from a home.  from being known to the dementia-induced-agony of being not-known.  from a new plan to yet another new plan.  from certainty to uncertainty.  from before to after.

we have driven over 3000 miles and flown 1000 miles. we had the absolute joy of being with our children.  we had the absolute joy of being with david’s parents.  we’ve been with beloved family, with our dearest friends, with complete strangers on airplanes, in rest areas, in hotels, in shops.  we laughed, we talked, we questioned, we argued, we cried, we cringed at how life changes, we celebrated life’s changes.

days swirled around us as we turned the pages of our calendar and we kept going.  taking snapshots, memorizing moments, sealing memories for eternity (as mike wrote).  for this was only one week or so.  and yes, there was so much life lived.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

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dawn at crab meadow. [k.s. friday]

dawn at crab meadow songbox

it started in complete darkness.  i was on stage at the theatre on uw-parkside’s campus.  keith, an outstanding and brilliant theatre manager, had programmed lighting that simulated the sunrise, the passionate and increasingly vibrant awakening of the day. it was my release concert of this album – BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL.

i sent this photograph to crunch right after i took it in hilton head.  we both have photographs from decades ago that are almost identical to it…a fishing boat as it passes underneath the warming glow of the sun.  back in the day, the 70s, crunch and i went everywhere taking pictures.  we spent lots of time in his boat, lots of time on beaches.  it was a blissful time with our 35mm non-automatic cameras in hand.  never sure of how a photograph would look, well before the digital age, we took lots of extra film with us, anxious to see the results later.  although i can see the benefits of digital work now, the ease, the preview capacity, the chance to take-another-picture-because-this-one-didn’t-come-out-good, i also remember the mystery, the anticipatory waiting for the film to be developed and the fact that although not all photographs were perfect, it was sometimes the misses that were the jewels.

we watched the sun rise in hilton head every day.  the sky would brighten with hope, even on a cloudy morning.  the tide would answer, the shore birds would wake.  i held close knowing my grown children were sleeping under the same roof, right there.  and a new day started.

i spent many an early morning on crab meadow beach, sometimes having climbed the fence to get onto the sand, my treasured yashica in hand.  the dawn there gave me pause, invited reflection and centering, beckoned me with hope and dreams to come.

keith raised the sunrise-lights until the ‘sun’ was high in the sky, escalating as the music did.  and DAWN AT CRAB MEADOW was released.

download BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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DAWN AT CRAB MEADOW from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood


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HH. perfect. [d.r. thursday]

HH sketches

david’s sketches on hilton head

i researched.  for months.  looked at tons of sites and reviews.  i ordered brochures from the chamber of commerce (which, incidentally and almost predictably, arrived after we returned from the trip.)  i poured over other people’s adventures and stories, made lists of things to do and places to go.  it was a really important time for me and i wanted it to be perfect:  my-children-under-the-same-roof-at-the-same-time.  the perfect mom-gift.

always up for a roadtrip adventure, we drove to hilton head in our littlebabyscion.  first thing upon arrival, we opened the shades in the living room.  the dunes and the ocean exploded into view, the sunset beckoned us.  without unloading, we took two juice glasses of wine and a blanket down to the water’s edge and watched the sky relinquish day.  night arrived and it was perfect.

My Girl flew in the next morning and My Boy the very next day.  the sun was bright, the sky was blue, the sand hot, the ocean was a constant lure.  walks and conversation, games and homemade sangria, bold coffee and generous glasses of wine, watching crabs on the sandbar and googling jellyfish, chips and guac and kirsten-margaritas, eating out on the deck under the umbrella and time in the pool, watching kirsten or craig prepare a meal or two, relaxing on lounge chairs and a one-time bowling adventure.  this was the stuff.  it was hot; over 100 degrees with the heat index; a bit too hot for kayaking or standupboarding under a sunburning sun.  but time seemed to morph and days passed us by in the way time on the beach does.

later i wondered why i didn’t take out my lists, my research, my reviews, the brochures i got from the grocery store.  why i didn’t insist on an adventure-a-day, an activity.  but jen encouraged me to let that go.  she said she does that every time she is lucky enough to have her children all-under-the-same-roof-at-the-same-time as well. a mother’s brain (and heart) on overdrive.

it isn’t the activities or the adventures.  it’s simply the time.  when you are there and you are real and you share bits and snatches of life, joyful or trying.  when you catch your breath gazing at your children, beautiful human beings experiencing the wide spectrum that life offers.  and you love them beyond words, grateful that they have given you this time.  together.  under-the-same-roof-at-the-same-time.  HH.  hilton head.  perfect.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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respect & protect. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

birds and turtlesHH copy.jpg

hilton head, south carolina cares.  it is an honor to be in a place that has committed itself to protecting creatures put at risk by human behavior.

each night, right before 10pm, one of us (often it was dan) would run to carefully lower the shades on the ocean side, turn off the outside lights, and double-check that there was no light spilling out onto the sand, something that could confuse the loggerhead hatchlings on their pilgrimage from nest to water.  large sections of sand and dunes were roped off to protect shorebirds and information is readily available that explained how one should not run into a flock of birds or go too near an obvious nesting area.  the piping plovers are endangered, as are the loggerheads. and hilton head is dedicated to them.

these creatures deserve our respect.  this world deserves our respect.  how many creatures, how many species are endangered?  how are we making an effort to respect and protect them?  how are we not?

there was something very sweet, very encouraging about seeing My Girl, My Boy and our Dan all immediately acknowledge the importance of these simple rules protecting the shore wildlife.

it gives me infinite hope, despite the current efforts of our country to ignore the plight of our good earth, that this next generation will not stand by and watch it destroyed.  it’s pretty simple, they said, referring to the rules environmentalists had written.  yes.  it is.  respect and protect.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

shadow in surf HH website box