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the icefall. [two artists tuesday]

ice castle 1 copy

the icefall was in front of us.  we had our crampons on and the ropes were secured.  ladders were stretched across the crevasses and we had weighty backpacks filled with dehydrated food, protein bars and water.  we were ready.

ha!  in our dreams.

we climb mount everest regularly.  now, don’t get all particular about whether this is literal or not.  i am a giant fan of all-things-everest so we lose our breath watching others climb on video clips, movies, in books.  we are soooo there.  but, no, not really THERE.

i can’t imagine climbing everest actually.  the perils, the training, the cold, the cost, the crowds (!) all point to the fact that i won’t be climbing everest.  but we can climb other mountains, literal and figurative, and stand at the summit shooting selfies with a triumphant expression, realizing a dream.  on our way back down we pass others on the way up; some linger on the ropes, unable to move.  we offer encouraging words, but, in our conquest, we have already forgotten what it felt like to hang, even momentarily, on the rope, paralyzed.

we all have icefalls in front of us.  they are insurmountable.  they are surmountable.   perhaps some crampons, ropes, ladders and a backpack filled with food and water will help.  believing we can realize a dream, overcome an obstacle is the first step.

and, even more,  remembering that bit of humility toward others, vulnerable on their way up while we are on our victorious way back down.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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free solo. [merely a thought monday]

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while i laid awake, i tried to picture how i would react to someone literally placing me – without ropes – several hundred feet up a sheer granite wall, my hands gripping a crack and small outcropping, my feet perched on a slight deviation in the granite face.  it made my hands sweat and my heart race thinking about how paralyzed by fear i would be, unable to move either hand or foot.  THIS is out of my comfort zone. far out.  and i couldn’t get the image out of my mind.

the wind was gusting about 35mph and there were tiny snow squalls on the way to madison.  we were on our way to a movie theatre for a national geographic release of the movie FREE SOLO, the documentary capturing alex honnold’s successful free solo scaling of el capitan in yosemite.  free solo.  without benefit of any ropes or safety gear.  just his hands, his feet, climbing chalk, and memorization, no – absolute physical retention – of the precise moves he would make on the way up this 3000′ beautiful monster.

alex doesn’t talk about his fear much.  he, instead, speaks of enlarging his comfort zone, little by little.  his somewhat unemotional approach to this challenge is daunting.  one of his support team said words to the effect that alex had this challenge:  like an olympic athlete he needed to win the gold.  no ifs, ands or buts.  it was the gold or he would fall to his death.  who does that?!!  the black and white of that makes my breathing pause.  but alex pressed on.  clearly his comfort zone is huge, that bubble around him.  at least when it comes to mountains.

i know, as fascinated as i am with mountains and climbing stories of all sorts, that this is not something i could or would do.  my mountains are different than that and my comfort zone bubble has more to do with my artistry, music, writing.  not necessarily less scary, but certainly less physically demanding and clearly, without a doubt, less treacherous.  but we are not limited to one mountain at a time.

each of us has this bubble and i picture pushing on the walls of the chrysalis, little by little conquering the fear of the outside – whatever the challenge or challenges – making our way, without ropes or safety equipment, into the next step of our lives.  we try to “dream big.”  we “go after it.”  we “just do it.”  but in reality, with no protective membrane around us, we first have to gear up, face fear vs comfort, garner courage and climb.  yes. we free solo every day.

read DAVID’S thoughts on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

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living without fear. [two artists tuesday]

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probably one of my favorite photos of graffiti i’ve taken, i found this sprayed on the wall of a building in tuscany years ago.  i thought it was kind of lofty then and i think it is lofty now.  living without fear seems next to impossible.  how can one be that brave?

there’s this song we sing in the band called only the brave (t.hughes, m.smith, n.herbert).  we just sang it a couple days ago along with our ukulele band.  the first line, “this is the moment, this is why i’m living to face the giants with you…”  who is the You in your life?  the vastly abundant magnificent Love you may call God?  your partner?  your best friend?  your mom?  someone of this earth?  a spirit-filled presence?  the song continues, “it’s now or never, and though my heart is racing, i’ll leave my armor with you.  your love makes us stronger, and your love sees us through.  only the brave will go where you go, into the fire but never alone.  we know you’ll always carry us home; only the brave….”

as i get older, i find myself in this sliver of a space between fear and no fear.  a quandary of emotion.  i look back at all the things that made me quiver, the things that ate away at time itself and i realize that maybe, just maybe i had been just a teensy bit braver than i thought.  i look at right now and worry; i look ahead and worry.  am i brave enough?  will i be brave enough?  life has a way of presenting challenges right alongside bliss.

i find that words i had written in a post three years ago – a post about being brave – speak to me now and so i’m just going to copy and paste them here:

we face down our fears, we risk our dreams, we forgive without being forgiven, we acknowledge our disappointments, we are given grace in our mistakes, we plod on, we face the sun, we scurry through the rain, we feel our way through the fog, we celebrate the moment without investing in the whole day, we love without ceasing.

we’re braver than we know. every single day.

living without fear.

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read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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face your giant – save the beanstalk [flawed cartoon wednesday]

save beanstalk FRAMED ART PRINT copy

beanstalk MUG copy

when he was a kitten, i wanted to name our cat ‘jack’ but The Girl and The Boy objected.  to me, he looked like a ‘jack’ in the way animals look like names, plus every ‘jack’ i could remember meeting had been a really nice guy.

and, in line with my nice-guy-jacks, this jack – the one with the ‘save the beanstalk’ picket sign – is a nice guy.

another case of little-guy-vs-big-guy, jack just wants to face his giant, save what is good, fight for that which he worked hard, keep what is his safe, preserve what is organic and part of the earth.  i immediately think of the many marches across our country.

beanstalk FACE YOUR GIANT BEACH TOWEL copy

beach towels

speaking their minds, good people are making an effort to face their giants, save what is good, fight for that which they work hard, keep what is theirs safe, preserve what is organic and part of the earth.

i believe that good prevails over giants, in the long run.  sometimes, the long run is waaaay long.  but good prevails.  and beanstalks grow and flourish.beanstalk FACE YOUR GIANT LEGGINGS copy

 

 

 

 

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FLAWED CARTOON WEDNESDAY – ON OUR SITE

SAVE THE BEANSTALK – FACE YOUR GIANT MERCHANDISE

 

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beanstalk duck ALLOVER PRINT SHIRT copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on SAVE THE BEANSTALK

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SAVE THE BEANSTALK ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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obstacles make life interesting [two artists tuesday]

obstacles metal wall art“don’t let that stop you,” she’d say.  “remember the little engine,” he’d say.  i grew up with parents who encouraged me to not doubt myself or what i could do.  i hope that i made them (and are still making them  – even on a different plane of existence) proud.

i watch my own children, The Girl and The Boy, and think they have figured this obstacles-thing out.

The Girl texted me photographs.  she was in silverton, a vast expanse of ridiculously rugged mountains.  she had (i’m glad i knew about this AFTERwards) snowboarded down these giants.  she, literally, dropped off cliffs and boarded down the fresh powder, exhilarated and stoked.  her girlfriend said, “we can do it” and they did.  omg.  amazing stuff!  i am filled with awe.  and more than a little jealous, in an i-wish-i-could-do-that kind of way.  just the sheer chutzpah of it all is at the very heart of don’t-let-that-stop-you-little-engine-ness.

life is interesting.  always.  and obstacles are always there.  they make life more interesting.  yup.  get stoked.  rise to the challenges.

obstacles TOTE BAG

tote bags, mugs, beach towels

obstacles FRAMED ART

obstacles BEACH TOWEL

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LEGGINGS

 

obstacles SQ PILLOW

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

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OBSTACLES MAKE LIFE INTERESTING  ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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obstacles make life interesting [two artists tuesday]

obstacles metal wall art“don’t let that stop you,” she’d say.  “remember the little engine,” he’d say.  i grew up with parents who encouraged me to not doubt myself or what i could do.  i hope that i made them (and are still making them  – even on a different plane of existence) proud.

i watch my own children, The Girl and The Boy, and think they have figured this obstacles-thing out.

The Girl texted me photographs.  she was in silverton, a vast expanse of ridiculously rugged mountains.

she had (i’m glad i knew about this AFTERwards) snowboarded down these giants.  she, literally, dropped off cliffs and boarded down the fresh powder, exhilarated and stoked.  her girlfriend said, “we can do it” and they did.  omg.  amazing stuff!  i am filled with awe.  and more than a little jealous, in an i-wish-i-could-do-that kind of way.  just the sheer chutzpah of it all is at the very heart of don’t-let-that-stop-you-little-engine-ness.

obstacles TRAVEL MUG

mountain mugs!

life is interesting.  always.  and obstacles are always there.  they make life more interesting.  yup.  get stoked.  rise to the challenges.

OBSTACLES MAKE LIFE INTERESTING – MERCHANDISE FOR ALONG THE WAY

 

obstacles SQ PILLOW

 

obstacles MUG

obstacles BEACH TOWEL

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LEGGINGS

 

obstacles FRAMED ART

read DAVID’S THOUGHTS on OBSTACLES

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OBSTACLES MAKE LIFE INTERESTING ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood


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two artists tuesday

brave-poster-jpegthis one’s hard.  i’ve written about bravery before.  i’ve written about women with backbone.  i’ve written about holding to truths and actively working for peace and respect.  about waking up each day on mother earth and the people around us working to keep this a good place.

faced with the word “brave” as our two artists tuesday image, i flounder with where to start.

very early this morning our dear friend linda left her home to go to chicago to have a cochlear implant.  we spent time with her a few evenings ago, as she sorted through hope and fear, what she’s known and the future unknown.  one of her greatest passions in life is dancing.  she dances to music designed for dance, to music she hears in passing, to music in her head.  terrified of losing the ability to hear music post-surgery, she pondered the what-if of not having this done.  but her desire to actually be able to hear MORE (more beloved voices, more broadcasted music, more cds out on the deck or in the dance hall) won out and she is on a new journey.  she is brave. brave. brave.  brave word jpeg copy

my sister just had surgery on her hand to remove a skin cancer.  i am grateful and relieved she is healing from this and will likely not have to have any additional treatment.   d and i talked about this on a walk the other day.  i was weeping openly on the sidewalks in our neighborhood as i spoke about my big brother, who died after a valiant fight with lung cancer, my daddy who was a twelve-year-or-so survivor of lung cancer, my sweet momma who had a double mastectomy for stage four breast cancer at the age of 93.  i cannot help but have some fear.  who among us is exempt from that?  but my big sister was brave and positive and i am determined, as i move forward in life, to be brave as well.  in all arenas.  on all fronts.  d says i am much braver than he is.  i’m not sure why he says this, but his words make me feel stronger.

we meet our challenges singlehandedly, we meet our challenges with a world of support, which is sometimes just one living person, one other being. our bravery is fortified by the love of others, by their words of wisdom, by their ability to shift our perspective, even just a little, by our re-defining.  for we are not in this alone.  we have on our wall in the bedroom a sign that reads, “wherever you are, that’s where i will be.”  our ‘brave’ is fed by our faith, the sisu (perseverance and fortitude) we’ve honed in life, the courageous alter-reaction to the terror of taking a step, our community of people.   susan and i have used the word “scrappy” to describe our lives; in looking at the definition of “brave” i would add intrepid and plucky.  great word – plucky.   Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 10.41.48 AM

i mean, let’s face it – just being in the world and being who we really are each day is damn brave.

 

BRAVE MERCHANDISE

 

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brave travel mug

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TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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brave. ©️ 2017 kerri sherwood & david robinson