reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


Leave a comment

underpainting. a solid foundation. [d.r. thursday]

underpainting

when we moved into this house 30 years ago the kitchen floor was an old green and orange linoleum.  needless to say, this was not my favorite color combination nor was it my favorite floor.  we laid a clean white tile floor on top; a temporary fix to hold us over.  a couple years later we chose to put hardwood down,  mimicking the rest of the house.  that required stripping off the old floors – the white one and the green and orange one.  weren’t we surprised at how many layers we found!  but below all that mess was the sub-flooring, a solid foundation on which to lay new hardwood, a new start for the little kitchen.

peeling back the layers to expose what’s beneath it all can be exhilarating.  but it can also be intimidatingly revealing.  we are nervous to find what is below the surface.  we feel  trepidation about the underlayment; should we rip out and replace? what will we need to do to shore it up?  can it withstand this?

it’s the same for each of us.  we feel vulnerable letting others know what is underneath it all, this positive front of ours.  the complexity of sedimentary-life-layers is confusing and we seek ways to not feel them, not acknowledge them, not share them.

but the firm subfloor is there.  we are resilient and fluid.  we have been shored up by the obstacles we have climbed, by the challenges we have surmounted and we are surrounded by others who all can relate, were we to tell them.

the orange and green linoleum of our lives is still there, underneath, but it is now serving us, either as the underlayment of our ever-learning-ever-growing-future or part of what we found, dealt with, ripped out and replaced.  either way, there is room for the hardwood.  the foundation is solid.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

drc website header copy 2

©️ 2019 david robinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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

icefall website box

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

it’s not a problem. [merely-a-thought monday]

it's not a problem correct aikens box copy

my poppo would likely have agreed with sue aikens.  he was a solution-finder.  i will, right-here-and-now, brag about his ability to fix absolutely anything; he would find a way, even if he had to make it up.  well, mostly because he made it up.

i’m not sure how he learned everything he learned; his knowledge base was incredibly practical.  give him any problem and it became a challenge for him – an undertaking he never-ever thought of as insurmountable…it was simply a solution he hadn’t yet found.  and so, i hear sue aikens (of national geographic’s life below zero fame – living a solitary life out on the arctic, solving problems i will likely never encounter) and i think of my dad, whose list of favorite places on earth included his workbench out in the garage (or in the basement in earlier years when they lived up north.)  he saved every screw and nut and bolt and tool that crossed his path “just in case”.   he was a re-purposer before it was vogue.  and he was an expert at turning cardboard boxes inside out or fashioning a new box from old in order to ship or store any thing.  his rube goldberg fixes were always pretty amusing, but they all worked and i can hear him in my head pondering and strategizing when i look at something-that-needs-fixing.  sue aikens would be proud.  her glass-half-full attitude is pretty amazing, considering the elements she deals with.  she’s pretty black and white about things; a lack of grey is something i can’t really relate to, but maybe that’s why she solves things more easily – she doesn’t get lost in any part of the emotional response to the problem.

i have to say, though, that i wish i could look at problems in the same positive way as sue.  yes, yes, yes, i know how much we all grow from problems and solving problems and blahblahblah.   it’s the stress of problems i’m talking about…the worry.  there was a prayer yesterday in the bulletin that said, “help us resist the reflex to worry constantly about every single detail of our lives…”  wow.  i double that.  mmm.  make that triple.  it is a reflex.  we know that the moments beyond problems will come.  more than likely we will be on the other side sometime soon, sitting in the middle of the solution and looking back,  shaking our heads at how befuddled and stressed we felt.  but in the meantime….

in the meantime, i would like a collection of some straight-up solutions for the problems that lurk…a (metaphoric) closet full of how-to-do-its or at least how-to-make-it-ups.  oh, and a better attitude about problems.  they are just solutions we haven’t found yet.

uh. yeah.  (eye roll)

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

not our best morning minturn website box copy


Leave a comment

free solo. [merely a thought monday]

alex honnold quote box copy

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

million dollar highway, colorado websitebox

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.27.50 PM

 

 


Leave a comment

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

obstacles LEGGINGS copy

LEGGINGS

 

obstacles FRAMED ART

read DAVID’S THOUGHTS on OBSTACLES

melange button jpeg

kerrianddavid.com

society 6 info jpeg copy

OBSTACLES MAKE LIFE INTERESTING ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood


Leave a comment

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

 

brave leggings copy

brave pillow copy

brave travel mug

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 10.59.34 AM

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

melange button jpeg

check out DAVID’S thoughts on BRAVE

brave. ©️ 2017 kerri sherwood & david robinson


Leave a comment

i want what you have.

photo-1“i want what you have,” she said. in the wee hours of the night, my sweet almost-94 momma, in intense pain from falling, was talking to her emergency room nurse, a young woman who was clearly exhausted and who couldn’t reach the energy she needed to smile. the nurse looked intently at my momma. “what?” she countered. “your beautiful smile,” momma said, with light-transcending-pain in her eyes. “you have a beautiful smile.” and yes, in the moments that followed, that was so obvious as we witnessed a huge eye-sparkling smile come to the nurse’s tired face. tears came to my eyes (because i am a geeky mush like that) as i watched my mom gently and brilliantly gift this hardworking nurse with something she already had inside herself.

how did momma do it? every where she went she gifted people….with things they already had.

yesterday i was at a garden party. it was really lovely. the flowers were stunning and the community of people who gathered were from different walks of the hosts’ lives. i was wearing a pair of clunky dr scholl clogs that i bought on a bringing-my-daughter-to-college-in-minneapolis trip in the fall many years ago. i still have them because 1. they are super comfortable and 2. they remind me of this trip to minnesota with my daughter, my son and his best friend (because i am a geeky mush like that.) a woman complimented me on them at the party, asked where i got them. i was able to tell her that there is a boutique near here where she can still purchase them (and of course, there is always the internet.) the fact of the matter is – most of the people at the party had on newer shoes than i did, newer styles, cooler stuff. but -and this is simple- this woman complimented me on mine and that made me look at what i had.

how many times have you looked at someone’s outfit, shoes, car, house, garden, work, relationship, life and wanted it?

a couple days ago my dear friend and i were talking about resentment. he asked, “what do you do with resentment? how do you combat it?” i have no easy answer. geez, i barely have an answer at all. but i remember that i had to memorize a reading in high school and i chose ‘desiderata’ (because i am a geeky mush like that.) the (not-verbatim) line that stands out in my mind is – “do not compare yourself with others, or you will become vain and bitter. for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” my friend and i talked about that. at length. we cited examples and promised to hold hands -even virtually-through all the challenges ahead (because i am a geeky mush like that.)

it can become insidious – resentment. it eats away at people and families and workplaces and towns and nations. photo-2what if we all took a moment to look at someone and remind them – gently and brilliantly, with light in our eyes – of what they already had. maybe there would be a little less resentment going around. and maybe a little more momma.