reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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ladders. [two artists tuesday]

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gay pointed to the ladders in the backstage of tpac and said, “see those ladders?  the front silver one on the right is where you are.”

this is true.  we are clumsily perched on that front silver ladder.  there are people scattered about on the other ladders, many of whom are on the top of the tallest orange ladder up against the wall.  our view, on the shortest ladder, affords us the opportunity to look out, to look up and still to be able to easily see the ground.  the view from the highest ladder, extended well up the wall, is a view of vast height, a view without a cluster of other ladders, a view more singular.

it has been our experience as artists that we must explain our livelihood, we must fight for acknowledgement of experience, we must advocate for our own fiscal equality.  our work is not easily measurable, our effort not easily defined.  we bring to every experience all we have learned about what touches the hearts of others, what resonates, what we can do to lift a message, how we can craft a concept, how we can build a program and forge a community, how we can help others see what is inside each of them.  from our rung, we can still see the ground so we know that there are others less fortunate than us and we remember pretty clearly the route up this ladder, each rung a step, each rung a gratitude.

it has also been our experience that, in a world defined by financial success, there are many on those tall extension ladders, firmly grasping the tippy-top, who have lost the story of getting there.  it is my belief that, too often, there are those who, each rung they clamber up, have forgotten what it is like to be on the rung below.  the climb to success foregoes memory, it exempts empathy, it elicits a sense of superiority; it is not kind.  the naysayers poke at those who are on rungs below, prodding them but, alas, with no reality for where those below-climbers are.  assumptions are unfairly made about ability, intelligence, budgetary decisions, effort.

in this world of bills and responsibilities, work and play, absolute joys and deep sorrows, brilliant hopeful sunrises and exhausted sunsets, i wonder about the tippy-top.  i wonder if it is possible to be clinging to that tippy-top and still remember.

as much as that tippy-top sounds like a world without worry, i don’t mind being on the silver ladder in the front.  and every step we step, i want to remember the silver ladder in the front.

i know that each day there might be someone who just may need me to understand, without feigning it, where they are.  to be able to really grasp how they feel, despite not being in their very shoes.  i don’t want to be the person who looks back at them, fear filling their eyes with tears as they tell me they don’t have enough to make it, and condescendingly ask them if they want me to point them to a budget counselor.  instead i want to understand their frustration in poverty, be complicit in their growth – real growth, empathetic in their fear.  i want to hold their hand on the rung they are on and remember what it felt like on that rung.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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good moments. [k.s. friday]

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i keep a calendar.  my sweet momma kept a calendar.  the written kind.  she had the old-school kind that you buy the yearly refills for, with two holes in them to line up with the two curved rings of metal on the holder.  she wrote on it every day:  appointments, important things, birthdays and anniversaries, dates of import, big events, the smallest fragment of time memory she wanted to keep.  i guess that’s where i get it from.  i love my old-fashioned calendar.  i look forward to getting it at the dollar store every year and i keep a mechanical pencil with a good eraser in it.  i write in it every day.  and at the end of the year, i have always sat down and read through the year, re-living each day, sometimes a good thing, sometimes hard.

if i went through my calendar, even for this year so far, i would find moments i didn’t want to forget.  days that were tough, days that were pretty amazing.  i would read about My Girl calling out “mom!” and running over as i walked into where she was working and i could recall -way deep in my heart- exactly what it felt like when she introduced me to a friend and said, “this is my mom!”  i would read about the manifest destiny of cucumbers and pickles, a funny-made-me-laugh-aloud debate over wine with My Boy.  i would read about the gluten-free-dairy-free-egg-free chocolate cake my husband made me and the day we stayed in bed to read a book all day.  i would read about lots and lots and lots of walking, hikes near and far.  i would read about potlucks with our dear friends and laughter and wine and conversation lasting well into the wee hours of the evening.   i would read about late late nights with each of my nieces and laughing till we were snorting.  i would read about spending sweet time with my sister and ashes floating on the breeze over the lake.  i would read about the quiet peace of the canoe and the sunshine and endless conversation on the pontoon boat.  i would read about antiquing and the vintage typewriter i had fallen for that 20 sought out for my birthday.  i would read about gatherings in our home and at friends’ houses, sharing time with our community of people.  i would read about difficult days of worry or times of sadness.  i would read about the hours of working together with d:  writing all these posts for our MELANGE and designing all the products.  i would see that it’s been much much more than 208 days in a year.  it’s been 208 days in my life and every moment has counted. whether or not they are all joyous, all successful, all funny, all productive, they are all good.

download GOOD MOMENTS track 2 on THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY on iTUNES or download it on CDBaby or purchase the physical CD

read DAVID’S thoughts on this K.S. FRIDAY

K.S. FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

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GOOD MOMENTS from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1998 & 2000 kerri sherwood