reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


Leave a comment

two artists tuesday #3

CHILDRENarethebestwithframe jpeg copymay 15, 1990.  the day my life took an unchangeable turn.  the girl was born.  i became a mother.  nothing would ever be the same.  and i am beyond infinitely grateful.  love became more than a noun and a verb – it became a person in my arms.  every fibre of me was in love with this little wonder.  i still am.

nothing can really prepare you for this feeling that is undeniably the most intense thing i have ever felt.  i had my first taste of this when my niece wendy was born…the first of my niece-nephew-niece trio.  i was young then – just eleven (sorry, ben…that really dates you ;)) i fell in love with each of them and, to this day, i’m quite sure they have no idea how much they are loved.  but motherhood was different.  it took my heart to a different plane entirely.  i wondered how it would be -how i could love any more- when i was expecting my second child.  when the boy was born i felt as if i had grown a whole second heart, as bottomless as the first one.

i am so very fortunate to be the mother of these two amazing people-in-this-world.  my daughter ‘the girl’ is beautiful and fiercely independent and talented and smart and funny and -will always be- one of the reasons i breathe.  my son ‘the boy’ is beautiful and fiercely independent and talented and smart and funny and -will always be- one of the reasons i breathe.  i have been moved by their presence in the world.  i have learned in countless ways.  i have struggled with the balance of  wanting-them-near and having-them-far-away.  i know that there is not anything else i have done that is more important.  they are the first thoughts in my mind in the morningtime and the last at night.  i have been changed.  i will never be the same.

this past week, like too many times in recent years, has cut to the core of my heart.  i have felt overwhelming empathy for mothers (and, of course, fathers) who have lost their child to violence.  i am not protected so much that i believe the events of the past week are the only children being lost to violence.  i am no less appalled by the loss of a child to famine or war or domestic brutality.  i just can’t imagine it.  the raw brokenness-of-heart is unfathomable for me.

our children, like anything else that really counts in life, do not come with a manual in which you can look up ‘how’.  we can read and study and research and google, but every situation is different and caring for and raising children is – and, by sheer importance, absolutely SHOULD be – the toughest thing you have ever done.  and, if you have chosen it,  the most momentous. it counts.  it is the shepherding of life.  it is life begetting life.  children are the breath of the (what-kind-of-world-do-we-want?) world that continues. not just for their parents.  but for all of us.  because it doesn’t just take a village; it takes a world to raise a child, to raise children.  they ARE the best thing.

CHILDREN ARE THE BEST THING – MERCHANDISE

TwoArtists ChildrenAre MUG copy                TwoArtists ChildrenAre FRAMED PRINT copy

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

www.kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

read DAVID’S thoughts about this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

 children are the best thing ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

something to pay attention to.

like so many others today, i paid attention to the solar eclipse. where we live in wisconsin, the sun was going to be 84% draped by the moon and, as it turned out, the clouds made that difficult – at best – to see. but there was nevertheless a couple of hours when i was aware that there were many others, all across the country, who were paying attention to the same exact thing i was.

now i am sure that there are many who could write eloquently about this day…a day when the celestial heavens all lined up, where the power of one celestial could, literally, overshadow another. so i won’t even try to put words into the science of it, the emotion of it, the mystic of it. what i was really aware of is that never once during this period of time did i look at the news app on my phone. i didn’t tune in to all the mayhem that is now our country, our world. i simply watched the sky (well, to be accurate, i watched the cardstock on the deck while david held a second piece that was pinholed. we didn’t have eclipse glasses. we don’t have stunning photographs to mark this time. i took a picture over the house of the sun-glow in a cloudy sky, just to remember.)IMG_2827

i wondered about my children, my family and my friends all across this beautiful country…whether or not they were watching the sky too. i held them each in my thoughts and pictured their homes or where they lived, where they might be.  i wondered if everything aligned so that they could see totality or maybe become swathed in darkness for a couple minutes, nothing shy of remarkable.

we watched a bit of the nasa channel and some reporting from a couple major networks – but only about the eclipse. we marveled at the footage and drew in our breath at the diamond ring that appears after the moon shadows the sun.  gorgeous.  it was amazing.

here in wisconsin the sky and the air around us got darker, like when dusk is setting in or maybe a storm is arriving. cooler breezes blew around us, a nice relief to the midwest afternoon humidity that had set in. we toasted iced coffees at the moment of peaking coverage and sat on the deck, trying not to look at the sun, even in its hide-and-seek mode. we took a walk and exchanged “happy eclipse day” greetings with neighbors and others we passed who we didn’t know.

for just a little while, the sun and the moon were the focus in our day. the yin and the yang…existing as inseparable and as contradictory opposites. not seeking to be dominant but living in relationship. interconnected. balanced.

FullSizeRendermaybe this event in our day, this yin-and-yang-sun-and-moon-experience, was a reminder of two distinctly different halves that form wholeness. maybe that is why it was so striking – the day-sky and the night-sky together at the same time, impacting us. maybe it is a starting point for us. a starting point for change. the realization that if these magnificently opposite celestial energies can co-exist, we earthly beings can do the same. not seeking to be dominant but living in relationship. interconnected. balanced.

maybe it’s the something to pay attention to.

IMG_2341

moon and water horizontal


Leave a comment

ungrounded.

me&poppofour years ago today my daddy died. while in some ways this feels like yesterday, there are so many ways that this feels like eons ago. my sweet momma pined for him for the next three years. their marriage had been a lifetime of almost 69 years together. it’s hard for me to imagine that amount of time; i’m not even that age yet.

and now there are times i pine for both of them, her gentle but insistently positive and kind spirit, her chatty stories, her “hi, my sweet potato” or “good morning, sunshine”, his quiet pondering, quick norwegian temper, the tears in his eyes when it was time for leave from a visit, his “goodnight, brat” or “i love you, kook.” i wish they weren’t gone.

i find that today is not the hard day. it’s the days preceding today. it was like that for my momma too. it was the days preceding the anniversary of her dying that i was off-balance, out-of-sorts, crabby, ungrounded. anticipatory grief strikes hard, even after ‘real’ grief. anticipation of all the remembering. anticipation of The Day. anticipation of how it will feel…this time. anticipatory grief. ‘real’ grief. what’s the difference anyway…

he said, ‘we need to love more on these days.’ instead, we tangle some. this kind of ungroundedness is hard to explain. it’s raw. painful. one day in a note from lori, she wrote that she just wanted me to know that there is a different kind of grief that happens when both of your parents are gone and, having that experience, she would be happy to talk about it. i should probably take her up on that. sharing experiences with someone who can totally empathize –not sympathize- is a good thing.

we were walking yesterday, arm in arm, dogdog at our side. someone came out of her house, water bottle in hand, sneakers on, ready to take a walk. she said, “i have been trying to get my husband to take a walk with me. i tell him that we should walk together sometime before we croak. i don’t know how much more pressure i can put on him. i tell him all the time about the husband and wife who walk. i tell him they look so peaceful. i love seeing you two walk….”

i felt anything but peaceful yesterday. but there must be something. something that makes ‘loving more’ obvious. even if we can’t see it at the moment. even if we can’t feel it at the moment. even if i am ungrounded.

take a walk. hold hands. love more. every day.

hands

 


Leave a comment

moms. anticipation.

maria shriver, in her book and one more thing before you go, wrote, “but for your mother, empty-nest pain and grief is genetic…she took care of you, nurtured you, enjoyed you, is in awe of you – and now she’s letting you go. how could she NOT have deep feelings about it? …think of the alternative. do you really want a mother who doesn’t care….”

“it’s the most wonderful time of the year” is playing in the background as i write this. it transports me back to my growing-up years…my sweet momma and dad played christmas carols on the stereo non-stop at this time of year. frank, dean, burl, jim, robert – all household names playing on old 33’s or on the local fm radio station. i can see out our front window, i can taste the hot cocoa on the couch with my mom, i can see the old thin-glass ornaments and the tinsel my dad patiently put up strand by strand. we got the luminaria ready for the neighborhood christmas eve gathering in the street before the 11:00 church service that let us out into the midnight turn into christmas day. we anticipated.

years later. each season it was late into the night that we wrapped gifts, closing off the dining room so that even if one of the children came downstairs, too excited to sleep through the night, we would be able to prevent them from coming into the room laden with gifts in the midst of santa wrapping them. christmas carols played in the background. before i went to sleep i would sit in the living room – with all the lights off- and gaze at the christmas tree in all its splendor. and i anticipated.

i would get really excited right around the time i needed to drive north to pick up the girl or the boy from college for the christmas holiday. readying their rooms and checking to be sure all the gifts i had purchased were adequately hidden, i would drive -with christmas carols playing in the car- to pick each of them up, with all the stuff they needed for the break. with great anticipation.

when the girl and the boy could drive themselves home or get a ride from a significant other, i would wait and wait. i would try not to text too many times “where are you now?” and i would double-check my menus and run to the grocery store. i might wrap a few gifts, but i still waited until the middle of the night on christmas eve – with carols playing in the background – to wrap most of the stocking stuffers and the presents that would grace the base of the tree. and i anticipated.

this year is the first year that i won’t have both the girl and the boy here for christmas. the boy will come from the big city to be here, but the girl is high in the mountains teaching other people how to have great glee on a snowboard. she told me on the phone late last night “i told someone today that my mom is probably having a hard time with this – the first time i won’t be home for christmas.” she’s right. this is tough.

i now know what my own sweet momma felt each of those years i could not be at their home for christmas. it is in our dna to want our children to be happy, to feel fulfilled, to find joy in the simplest things, to celebrate each day, not just christmas. but the physical presence of your children makes a big difference. it’s huge. seeing them happy and fulfilled and joyful, seeing their faces and hugging them…hovering isn’t so bad, we moms think…it’s the holiday. ok, it’s any day. because in all the world, in its twists and turns and ups and downs and ebbs and flows, there are only a few things that remain the same. one of them is your mom. this is the first year my sweet momma will be celebrating christmas in heaven with my daddy. this is tough.

the christmas carols are playing in the background. they transport me. each one of them. each one of them has a story. each one of them has some history in my mind’s eye and in my heart. it is a mixed bag of emotions held together by ribbons of love, by wishes and times of joy, by memories and times of wistfulness and sadness, by dreams and great anticipation.

photo

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood


Leave a comment

twenty years later

my sister sent me this.  i don't know who to credit, but it's brilliant.

my sister sent me this. i don’t know who to credit, but it’s brilliant.

a year ago yesterday i wrote about an anniversary….it was 19 years since i released my first album. well, that makes this year’s yesterday 20 years since the release concert for that first album! i looked at someone last night and said, “two decades!” which makes it sound like forever ago. in some ways, it is.

fifteen albums and several singles after that first release i sit here at my piano and get lost in thought. thoughts of what next? thoughts of direction – looking back and looking forward. thoughts of relevance. (yes, i have used that before in writing. but it’s so…relevant.)

at 56 i am a different composer, a different performer, a different dreamer than at 36. it doesn’t seem as important to fill any concert venue in order to have impact, in order to resonate with someone in his/her life. i wonder where the next two decades will take me. sheesh, where will the next one decade take me?

i face different challenges now than i did at 36. i’m not writing in interrupted bursts at the piano, in-between toddlers’ requests or needs. i have more uninterrupted time to sit and compose, to write lyrics. hmm…i find that i’m actually better when being interrupted.

my songs are different too. lyrics at 36 were designed for airplay – 3.5 minutes or less. more than that was the kiss of radio-death. lyrics at 56 aren’t designed. in fact, i’m wondering who will listen. how many other pianoplayingsingersongwritercomposers are out there?

i was listening to pop radio while driving the other day and was floored at all the lyrics i would never have written. the lyrics “i’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble” would never occur to me. so i’m guessing (newsflash!) i’m not cut out for this pop radio thing any more. that’s a no-duh, you’re thinking. and yet, i know that people are still listening. i get feedback (jay’s word:) from people who generously take the time to sit down and jot a note to me about how something i have written touches them. this is huge. this is what makes writers keep writing, composers keep composing…the idea that something they have to say resonates with someone else. although the muse forces us all to continue regardless.

so….where am i going? i’m thinking about recording a new vocal album that is ukulele-based. not because i am a good ukulele player, but because i am not a good ukulele player. it will force me to really think about the lyrics, the melody, the stuff of emotion. i won’t be able to rely on those familiar and beloved 88 keys. it would make me change; it would make me grow. both are good.

i’d like to find a way for all the music that i’ve already recorded to be accessed more…in a fiscally rewarding way. the 319,954 downloads in the first quarter (see post from September 22) didn’t actually help me make a living. and that same thing happens each quarter that goes by. i’d like to think that everything that has been invested in all those albums – all those pieces of music – all that heart – might be able to help me pay my bills. $0.00079 royalty per download isn’t really the way to get there. and all the radio promoters and marketers i’ve paid in the past didn’t need the income from my music to pay their electric bill. they needed the income i paid them. big difference. but genuine iTunes downloads or licensing for movie scores or some wildly lucky viral hit would help.

in the meanwhile, i have to decide to decide. that it doesn’t matter, ahead of time, to know who will listen or what will happen. that if music is to be written, it just must be written. i have no real control over the rest.

twenty years later i think i get it.

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood


Leave a comment

frog.

photo-1we have a frog! this sweet green quiet sitting-on-one-of-the-small-boulders-on-the-edge-of-the-pond little creature makes us so happy.

i was summoned from the backyard, “k.dot, quick! hurry!” i ran outside to stand at the edge of the little pond. “we have a frog!” he said. i looked down and this beautiful creature was sunning himself on a rock.

now, having a frog in our pond is no small feat. although lake michigan is a block away, there aren’t frogs running amuck in the yards close by. two years ago one other frog visited here. but this frog, well, it couldn’t be better timed.

we stayed at my sweet momma’s house many times over the last two years. she was either in her assisted living facility or rehab, or even the hospital. there was little there in the way of furniture or accouterments. we loved the simplicity, the two bag-chairs and the TV trays we used for every meal and the times we spent with coffee or wine in the lanai, pondering life and searching for answers for my momma. when a frog literally jumped out of the toilet in her small bathroom, its pale color giving away that it had spent a long time in the plumbing pipes, we were shocked into looking up what it might mean to have a frog show up. the frog is indicative of “the transient nature of our lives. a symbol of transition and transformation, it supports us in times of change…it connects us with the world of emotions, the process of cleansing and rebirth, abundance and metamorphosis.”

helen, who is infinitely wise, told us over hot coffee and soup one cold day last year that having a frog show up in your life is even more meaningful. “it’s not just a frog”, she told us. “it’s a reminder.” a reminder of what, we asked? “frog is a reminder to ‘fully rely on God’,” she explained.

FullyRelyOnGod. FROG. frog.

ahhhh.

thank you, little frog, for the reminder. you are so welcome here.


Leave a comment

emerging humans emerging.

TODAY’S FEATURED THOUGHT FOR HUMANS

emerging humans emerginghow could we ever think we are done?
every time we finish, we start new.
we are learning and growing and embracing change and trying on new things.
always emerging.

FOR TODAY’S FEATURED PRINT FOR HUMANS, PLEASE GO HERE