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the path back is the path forward


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wondrous things. [merely a thought monday]

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a couple of weeks ago i ran into a couple i hadn’t seen in many years.  they asked me about my children and how they were; i excitedly rambled on about them for several minutes, explaining where they were living – 20 hours west and 20 hours east – and what they were doing in life.  then they asked me how i was.  i said, “you can always gauge a mom’s happiness by how recently she last got to see her grown children.”  i was fortunate enough to see my daughter in november AND my son in november, so i was happy-happy-happy.  time spent with them. a wondrous thing.

i was perched on one edge and My Girl on another, a ways down the side of the canyon.  we yelled back and forth, listening to the echo, ultimately dissolving into laughter.  the beauty.  the joy.  the echo.  the laughing.  a wondrous thing.

it was not his best bowling day; the planets clearly were out of alignment for My Boy, who pretty much rocks at bowling and many other sports,  but he goofed around and cartooned and had us all laughing. so much fun on that lane.  a wondrous thing.

we stood around the piano and sang in my studio, wendy’s voice next to my own.  suddenly, that thing-that-happens-when-two-people-who-are-related-sing-together happened.  my sweet niece’s voice and mine had the same timbre and it took my breath away.  i had to stop for a moment to take it in.  a wondrous thing.

from the moment we walked into their house, my girlfriend-since-elementary-school and i laughed.  we told stories, reminisced, struggled to remember details, poured a little wine, shared some more.  our husbands sipped lemon drop martinis and we talked non-stop.  i wanted to stay longer, talk more, remember more.  so much of my growing-up-history was standing next to me, hugging me as we left.  a wondrous thing.

we don’t really leave the kitchen table when we are there.  we sit on high stools and the chatter starts as soon as we arrive.  our dear friends jen and brad and the two of us have potluck dinners on many friday nights; each couple has leftovers from the week and no one has to worry about cooking.  we just heat up our leftovers and plate them and talk, wine glasses (or a beer in brad’s case) in hand.  conversations about our children, our work, politics, travel, ukuleles, npr…the spectrum is wide and we relish the time that flies by; six hours later we glance at the clock pointing to post-midnight.  a wondrous thing.

as glorious as the high mountains, ocean-front waves, flowers birthing out of winter, exquisite melodies, the first sip of coffee in the morning, a magical snowfall, texts with heart emojis, a hand holding yours, finding an old note in your child’s little-kid handwriting, black and white pictures of your parents in young days, shooting stars and sunrises…the list of wondrous things we can see around us is endless…limitless…boundless…

and moments shared?  also endless…limitless…boundless…

and we get to embrace all these wondrous things.

read DAVID’S thoughts about WONDROUS THINGS

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a beautiful world. [merely a thought monday]

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my dearest daughter and son,

it is monday morning and i suddenly realized that this blogpost posted without my finishing it.  there is so much i wanted to say, too much.  my heart breaks, thinking of this world you are inheriting.  and my heart soars with wishes for you.  both of these.

and so, rather than speaking of vast and chaotic brokenness as well as hopeful and inspired possibility, i’ll take it as a serendipitous sign to let desiderata say it for me.  this really sums it up, better than i could.  it IS still a beautiful world.  in the middle of glowing aspens or the front row of the ballgame.  in the high mountains or on the shore of boston harbor.  anywhere you are.  anywhere you go.  you bring it – beauty – and you are standing in it.  remember that.

i love you,

mom.

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read DAVID’S thoughts about this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

(Max Ehrmann, ©️ 1927)


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a painting is born. [d.r. thursday]

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i have a unique front row seat to paintings in process.  running downstairs to throw in another load of laundry or seek out a tool i need, i will glance at the easel in the studio to peek at what’s up next…this time, the sketch of two people dancing made me stop.  it immediately made me thinking of when we have danced in the front yard or the kitchen or out on the deck or on a mountain trail.  i got lost in the tango and wandered back upstairs, no new laundry spinning in the washer or tool in my hand.

the next time i looked at the easel i found these two people emerging and color exploding off the canvas.  i have learned, in this time of living with a brush-in-hand-artist, that this is the under-painting, a place that involves steps at which i often want to tell him to stop!wait!it’s perfect!  sometimes he does – stop.  other times he keeps going, for the vision in his mind’s eye is beyond what is on the easel and there is more to develop.

it’s a unique place in the front row.  maybe more comparable to back-stage or the green room or the recording studio before “record”…a place of preparation, a place of reflection, a place of swirling beauty, a place of possibility, a place where the-painting-someone-dreams-of-hanging-on-their-wall is being born.

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and then they danced ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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aqua agua mit rouge [d.r. thursday]

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AQUA AGUA MIT ROUGE

the little mermaid music swirls in my head, “under the sea, under the sea…”  i can’t help it.  the gorgeous brushstrokes of blues and greens and deep reds inspire thoughts of beautiful oceans full of color and hues that are untouchable by dictionaries far and wide. this morsel, from the painting EARTH INTERRUPTED VII, i titled AQUA AGUA MIT ROUGE, a name derived from several languages (english, spanish, german, french), a nod to the inability of words to describe it.

this morsel is somewhere underneath this beautiful painting – within the depths of EARTH INTERRUPTED VII  – not visible, but part of the underpainting, a layer of, well, the earth.  how much more perfect could that be?

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EARTH INTERRUPTED VII, 48″X36″

click here or on canvas above for AQUA AGUA MIT ROUGE canvas, wall art, and many practical products (be sure to scroll down the society6 page for all options)

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aqua agua mit rouge/earth interrupted VII ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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not enough crayons. [chicken marsala monday]

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as i am writing this, The Girl just texted to say she was driving off the pass and that she and lumi-dog had finished their hike in the back-country.  earlier she had texted (as is safe practice for all back-country activity) to let someone know both that she was going to be out of cell service, off the grid, in the high mountains on a hike and where she intended her hike to take her.  she is a conscientious hiker and boarder and i can’t tell you how much i appreciate that.  and so, early early this morning, i looked up the hike she was taking.

the #1 hike in the san juans (according to my trail app) it was taking her on a giant elevation gain and to a stunning lake, the color of which i couldn’t describe by the picture, and evidently was un-grasp-able even by the people reviewing the hike.  this was a place incapable of being captured by even a crayola 64-box.

that is what i love about our world.  countless places we couldn’t begin to capture with crayons.  no matter how many we could get our hands on.

the places that take our breath away.  the places that give us breath.

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there aren’t enough crayons in the world to capture it all ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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all existential. [two artists tuesday]

Arches

“mom’s getting all existential on us,” The Girl declared as we drove through moab, utah to arches national park, my first time.  i could hardly help myself.  she had told me ahead of time that, “it looks like mars” and she was right.  it is vast.  and full of shape and shapeless.  it was hard to wrap my head around the BIGness of it all.  i felt utterly tiny, small as an atom, infinitely lucky to even BE on this earth, somehow present in the midst of all of THIS.

i couldn’t help reflect on how this had all happened, both scientifically and from, yes, an existential place.  i couldn’t help what was probably a mouth-wide-open expression on my face the entire time.  it is so immense you can feel it in your heartbeat.  i couldn’t help the tears that flowed easily, which The Girl had predicted.  i couldn’t help the wonder.

in those moments that day of gazing at what had been created on this glorious earth, i realized, once again, that nothing really mattered except that i was there, that intense beauty surrounded us, that love prevailed.  i had seen yet another spectacular vista, had breathed it in, had climbed with my daughter and watched my husband take in this place, for each of us both magical and spiritual.  and all would be well.

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arches national park ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson


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in beauty i walk [two artists tuesday]

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today is The Girl’s birthday.  kirsten turns 28 today and i can hardly believe it.  where does the time go?  i am wishing i could spend time with her today (well, like every day)… make her dinner or a decadent gluten-free cake, have a glass of wine with her.  what i would really love to do is take a walk with her.  in her world.  like most moms, sharing space and time with my children is precious; taking a walk outside, breathing in air and talking together is something yearn-worthy.

the best part about visiting The Girl and The Boy is that then – and really only then – i can picture their lives…the place they live, their home, where they buy their groceries, the roads they travel, what they see when they look out their windows, the way the air feels, the angle of the sun, their favorite places to hang out or places that have been in stories they have told me or pictures they have sent.  it’s all vital for me.

The Girl lives in stunning surroundings.  her mountains are massive and grand and the terrain is white with snow or green green with leaves of aspens and needles of pines.  she walks in beauty.  she sees it.  she recognizes it.

today my wish for her is to find that every day of her life.  no matter where she is or what her surroundings.  she doesn’t just walk in beauty.  she is beauty.

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in beauty i walk & daisy, daisy ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson