reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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(y)our earth [two artists tuesday]

our earth FRAMED ART PRINT copy

leonard pitts jr. wrote an opinion column, a gorgeous essay on the moon that we read the other morning.  only it wasn’t really about the moon.   he references a short film (which we watched) by filmmakers wylie overstreet and alex gorosh called “a new view of the moon” where the two men “wandered around los angeles with a telescope…asking a cross section of passersby in a cross section of places…to put their eyes to the viewfinder and gaze upon what they’ve looked at a million times yet never seen.”  the two men found that people responded in the same way, awestruck, profoundly moved by the vision.  the short doesn’t feature the moon; it features the reactions of people as they gaze into the telescope.  leonard calls it “a hymn to our common humanity.”  a reminder that in all our differences we are the same…”we spend too much time looking down and across.”  we are, yes, tiny in the vastness – something i felt myself in writing about david’s painting FROM A DISTANCE that we chose for thursday’s melange.  “so each other is all we have.  but then, it should be all we need,” leonard writes.  our earth TOTE BAG copy

when i drew this simple graphic, i wanted to portray a uncomplicated thought.  an image unadorned with fancy-ness, but, hopefully, clear…or, at the very least, thought-provoking.  “your” earth with arrows upward, “your” earth with arrows that circle around, “our” earth with arrows that circle around, “earth” with arrows that circle around.

it is all a circle.  what we do counts.  how we help counts.  how we help our earth.  how we help each other.

our earth SQ PILLOW copy

our earth LEGGINGS copy

OUR EARTH MUG copy

OUR EARTH BEACH TOWEL copy

THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH – TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH – PRODUCTS ON SOCIETY6.COM/TWOARTISTS

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

melange button jpeg

kerrianddavid.com

 

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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.

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moon and water horizontal


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‘peanuts’ and my big brother.

as i type this on an ipad under a blanket on the couch, i am using a hard-cover book to steady the ipad….it is the charles schulz “peanuts treasury” copyrighted in 1968. now that is a kind of random bit of information, but its randomness makes me think of my big brother. and so whatever i was going to write has now gone by the wayside, getting lost in this ‘peanuts’ treasury of memories. wayne was an avid ‘peanuts’ follower, a lover of all fullsizerender2things charlie brown and snoopy, a wonderful artist and brilliant mathematician, a person who could make or fix all things. he papered his walk-in closet in our basement growing up with ‘peanuts’ cartoons, cut out of the newspaper. what wasn’t covered in cartoons was drawn by hand, and when i inherited this bedroom/closet combo from him at 16, i adored it. the wallboard in our garage had drawings by wayne, making it the only ‘peanuts’ garage-gallery on the block, ok, probably most anywhere.

what was so compelling to him about ‘peanuts’? i’m not sure. i never had a philosophical conversation with him about it. for me, 9 years younger than him, it was just a fact of life…he loved the cartoon. and if he loved it, that was good enough for me. i loved it.

having a cartoon we have been honing for some time, we have studied ‘peanuts’ in more recent days, david and i. looking for clues as to why it was so very successful. it seems obvious now. it was so relate-able, for so many reasons. simply written, predictable, cleanly done, beautifully drawn. ‘peanuts’ has spoken to so many of us through the years. and still does. it holds a certain special place in our hearts, reaching across decades and spanning generations. i recently was given a charlie brown mug from the charles m. schulz museum and research center in california – a gift from h, an older member of our choir who had just visited the museum – and i cherish it. wayne would have loved it.

years ago, a long while of years, i visited long island and went to my old house. as i sat out front in the car, the owners of the house pulled up into the driveway. without much hesitation, i went to them and told them that this was the house i had grown up in; my parents had been the first owners. they were the second owners. we stood out front and we chatted about the house -my-home-now-their-home- and how they had changed some of the interior and yard (but not the hand-placed rock fireplace or the forsythia out front or my poetry tree.)

i must have had a wistful look on my face, because they asked if i wanted to see it, go inside my house, er, their house. of course i did. who doesn’t want to go back to those old touchstones and feel – from the inside – times spent there.

they showed me the kitchen, which they had updated, the backyard deck, which they had added, the laundry room (of course, without the westinghouse dryer that played “how dry i am” upon finishing.) i talked about the basement. about the bedroom i had had there and the coolest closet my big brother had created. they laughed hearing that and said they had seen and loved it but had, indeed, changed it to a cedar closet for storage. i didn’t expect it to still be there, but i guess something inside of me had hoped for that.

once again, the look on my face must have said all.

they looked at each other and then back at me. “but you might want to take a look at the garage,” she said.

we walked out into the garage, just a one-car garage that they hadn’t changed. as i walked in through the door in the den, i looked at the wall behind me. the world war II flying ace snoopy graced the wallboard and charlie brown was there beside him. ‘peanuts’ had done it again. warmed my heart.

i reached out to touch the wall, moved, knowing my big brother’s hand had been there, many many years before.

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LAST I SAW YOU on iTunes: kerri sherwood – track 11 on THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY

 

 

 


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i blame my sweet momma.

IMG_1799three weeks ago we loaded a 5 1/2 foot long piece of driftwood and more rocks and shells than we could count into the xb to drive home. with sand everywhere, we carried back to wisconsin with us morsels of my life on long island…pieces of the north shore and my beloved crab meadow beach, pieces of the south shore and the fierce atlantic ocean.

i have always always collected rocks and pieces of wood. i’d like to be able to say that i could identify each one and its origin, but i really don’t know.  the easier ones to identify are the ones my children painted for me, all of which i saved.  but now all the pieces of my life that i have carried have blended into each other, blended into who i am.

for me, the piece of quartz or granite, the sedimentary rock with mica flecks, the conglomerate somehow arriving in northport, the clamshell that had been home to some northeast clam, the sand in a bag, pebbles, flowers from the field, grasses that dried in the woods…all important souvenirs – unlike a perfunctory t-shirt – things that ground me, help me remember, things i can touch.

my sweet momma loved rocks too. growing up we had a rock garden out back and their tv stand was a huge slab of rock that they moved on a moving van down to florida with them when they left long island. i always knew that i could give her something made of rock, made of wood, something natural, something organic, and she would celebrate it….with all her heart. she got it. that feeling of staying connected with the land she loved, the earth, the very soil, the very spot that gave her a memory. i get that. the rocks around our pond and scattered inside our house, the pebbles in my purse, the 6 foot long aspen branch in our dining room are evidence. the driftwood – and the sand – on our table make it clear.

i am thready, just like my sweet momma. i blame her.

thank you, momma.IMG_1853

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood