reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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play to play. [d.r. thursday]

0006a copy

when i asked d for a summary of this children’s book he wrote and illustrated called PLAY TO PLAY he told me that the gorilla teaches the little girl the value of playing simply to play, not to win.

my son played tennis.  after growing up playing competitive baseball and soccer he decided, as people who are gifted athletically can, to “take up” competitive tennis.  he didn’t just go hit the ball around.  he dove in.  he was persistent and worked hard.  i drove him to lessons, individual and group, to high school team practices, to tournaments.  when he was in college i drove to his matches, regardless of where they were.

not familiar with the psychology of tennis, i, too, dove in, in my own way.  i read articles and books, asked questions of his various coaches.  an individual sport, tennis is a mind game and i needed to understand a little bit of what was going on inside my zealous son out on that lonely court.  indeed, sometimes it was hard to watch, hardly breathing in the stands.  when wendy wrote to me the other day that she just wanted her son’s hardworking football team to win and that she was unduly stressed, i could totally relate.  it’s your heart out on that court, out on that field, out on that diamond.   so much pressure.

a couple years ago we had the opportunity to once again see the boy play softball.  on a league in boston, that team, and another he played on, traveled all over the place to play, including paris.  they were all adults, all working hard and playing hard.  the thing i loved most about watching him now was watching him laugh.  laugh.  teasing and laughter were a part of this ball-playing.  they were playing to play.  winning was a bonus – and they actually did that often – but playing seemed to be the point.  it did my heart good.

we often forget the point of play.  we often forget TO play.  in days of great stress, days of worry and sorrow, play seems so far away.  it seems unlikely and unworthy of our time.  but i suppose it would do us all well to remember how invaluable to our well-being playing is.  how giggling or fun and games, teasing and laughter make us feel.  and how they do our heart good.

the illustrations in this little book are dear and the lesson important:  just play to play.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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birdy feet website box

PLAY TO PLAY ©️ 2006-2019 david robinson


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we are. under construction. [d.r. thursday]

ddot studio

at this very moment, at this very time, with stacks and stacks of paintings and music, we both succumb to the realization that we are – indeed – under construction.  the rests between the notes are there for a reason.  space to breathe, to comprehend, to make the color and the music a part of your fiber.

the rests change you.  they change how you see, how you hear.  they give you pause.  to re-appreciate what you have done and to wonder what will come.  to be aware of the light.

it is the skill of an artist to learn how to sit in the rests without fidgeting.  to just sit.  it is an even higher level skill to create the rest.  and then sit in it.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

WI table website box

 


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the brushes wait. [d.r. thursday]

Paint Box

there was not room on island for an easel, canvases, this cart of paints and this beautiful wooden box of brushes.  they waited at home for david’s return.

consumed by many tasks and layers of work since we arrived back home, we are surrounded by boxes and bins still unpacked.  there is much to do.  we have many other things tugging at us and these packed boxes, although frustratingly in the way, have sunk to a lower rung on the list of things-to-do.

d spent a bit of time rearranging his studio to accommodate some new items passed to him and some things to help store for 20.   in those moments, the brushes and paint spoke to him.  a bit of time, some available canvas, an easel lit by basement spots.  it doesn’t take much for the juju to revive itself, for the muse to gently remind you that it’s there, waiting.

and so, there will be more time.  there will be more paint, more sweeps of brush across canvas.  the tools of his trade await.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

birdy feet website box


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the simple line. [d.r. thursday]

the sketch

yesterday, while i sketched moments on various keyboards, both pipe organ and piano, d sketched on paper.  and he somehow captured how i was feeling.  the lifting of eyes to the universe, the imploring of the heart.  his scribblings on paper, my scribblings on keys.  two artists, expressing.

the telling of the story – through music, through painting or drawing – does not demand complexity.  sometimes it aches for simplicity.  a pure line of melody, unadorned.  a few fast pen-lines, unfinessed.  the telling of the tale, honestly, pitch by pitch.  not the skirting of the story, the fancified version sung by an vocal acrobat.  instead, the straight-up carole-king-richard-diebenkorn-versions, sung note for note, painted line by brushed line, color by color.  intense in their clean simplicity.

the more complicated things get, the more i list toward simple.  less is more.  my piano left hand has always been a virtual non-stop accompanist to my right hand, arpeggiating  ad nauseum.  in recent years, i’ve asked it to calm down, to allow room for the delivery of the right hand, to allow breath, to allow lift.  together, they have given space for the real scribblings, the true expression.

if you have ever been to a taize service, you will have experienced the wisdom and power of repeated simplicity, a line of music that will take you to your knees.  nothing advanced or embellished.

if you have ever held a child’s drawing in your hand, you will have experienced the wisdom and power of innocence, art that will take you to your knees.  nothing advanced or embellished.

it’s the simple line. both ways.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

boardwalk shadow feet website

 


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in prayer. together. [d.r. thursday]

59B78FA1-533D-43D1-9857-88C67904F0C9

powerful emotions swept through me the first time i joined hands with d and prayed.  it was quiet so any talking or wild display would have been inappropriate, but those tears…i was struck by the rush of it.

there is deep strength in the joining of hands or the kneeling down together and a universal ask for wisdom, for healing or an expression of gratitude.  it matters not what your deity is called.  what really seems to matter is that together you face the world, together you figure it out, together you give thanks, together you create love, acceptance, peace.

had the presence-most-powerful-and wise-in-the-universe wanted us only to be solely and inwardly and separately focused, perhaps there would have been just one person – ever – on this good earth.

but there are about 7.7 billion people.  indeed, there must be at least one with whom we can each choose to join hands.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

click here to view this painting IN PRAYER on david’s gallery site

hands website box

THE YOGA SERIES:  IN PRAYER ©️ 2014 david robinson

 


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and now. the painting. [d.r. thursday]

and now painting copy

this painting is magical.  it is the stuff of dreams, the stuff of hope, a vision of the future, the thready sharing of life and love.  it looks more to me like flying than resting and, perhaps, as the wedding gift that d gave me four years ago today, it was prophetic.  with the presence of mountains and a daisy, holding hands, embracing, perhaps dancing in flight, it is what we knew then.

what we know now is so much more.

our journey, our flight, together has, in its rawest form, a newness.  meeting smack-dab in the middle of middle-age has its interesting elements.  not that either of us is rigid…oh, no….of COURSE not.  but when you are nigh 60 years old you do have your ways of doing things.  add to that the fact that we are two artists artist-ing together.  sheesh! there are some lively chats in these here parts.  and to feel like you are starting over again – in your middle 50s – is time-warpy.  there’s a lot to learn…but i guess that’s always true.

i have to say that i have never argued as much with another person.  i’m quite sure that we agree the sign we purchased on our honeymoon in the mountains of colorado says it all, “you are my favorite pain in the ass.”  it goes both ways.  we definitely have a full-spectrum of emotions together.  we are the best at disagreeing; we are the best team together.

i’m eternally grateful for this gift.  i cannot adequately put this into words, so it must suffice that – this is the man i skip with.

i have no idea where this journey with mountains and daisies will take us.  we are open to the mystery as we continue this amazing flight.  allways.  always.  magical.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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wedding pic with website.jpg

AND NOW ©️ 2015 david robinson

 

 


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our good angels. [d.r. thursday]

Watercolor - Jacob and Angel copy

we sat, broken down, during commuter hour, just north of milwaukee, in the fast lane of I-94.  big red had stalled and would not start.

d called to me on the walkie-talkies i always insist we have with us when we are driving separate vehicles.  i was car lengths ahead and had moved from the fast lane back into the right lane in sudden stopped traffic when he said, “k.dot!  i’m broken down!”  i took the next exit, drove back north on the highway, took the exit after i saw him sitting in the fast lane, cars backing up in stopped traffic.  i eventually made my way to be right behind him.  sitting in the fast lane of the interstate with angry commuters approaching and trying to resume their 75mph to no avail is not my idea of a fun time.  the police officer soon got there, and it was a great relief when he pulled behind us with his lights on, effectually calming things down and blocking us from oncoming traffic.

and there we sat, broken down in spirit as well as mechanically.  we looked like the beverly hillbillies and i would have drawn the comparison aloud, but i fear that the police officer was too young to understand the reference.  big red and little baby scion were both full of stuff, for we were moving off-island and back home.  dogdog and babycat were in the scion with me, none too pleased with the sounds of traffic.

while waiting for the tow truck, d, with no success, occasionally tried to start big red.  and i, of course, while relaxing, stationary, in the fast lane of the thruway, texted jen, mistakenly panic-dialed my girl and wendy when i was trying to reach roadside assistance and googled reasons why an F150 would turn over but wouldn’t start after a sudden stop.  i, channeling my sweet poppo, decided it was the fuel filter or something to do with that, not that i could do anything about it.  i just liked trying to figure it out.  and i had nothing but time on my hands.  big red hadn’t had a lot of gas in it on island and we had just filled the tank a couple hours before this happened.  my guess (truly just a guess!) was that when big red stopped suddenly, sediment that had collected in the gas tank temporarily blocked the fuel filter. sounded plausible to me, dogdog and babycat, both of whom had great investment in my figuring it out.

about 45 minutes into the wait for the tow truck, big red decided to give up the game and started.

the very-nice police officer got us off the highway and we all stopped in a parking lot to chat about our fun time together.

we googled back roads home and while we were slowly driving these back roads, d crackled over the walkie-talkie to me, “well, i wish that our good angels would make something good happen.”  i answered, “maybe they just did.”

angels are indeed all around us.  it is possible, of course, that there was a reason not to be on the highway at that particular time.  maybe there was a reason we needed to pause in our trip.  perhaps there was a reason we should drive the back roads home.  surely, there was something.

we pulled into our driveway safely about two hours later.

i don’t purport to understand this watercolor WRESTLING WITH AN ANGEL.  i, instead of wrestling with angels, will express a gratitude for all the ways we remained safe in an event that could have had many difficult turns.

thank you, our good angels.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

shadows on TPAC sidewalk website box

©️ 2019 david robinson