reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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prayer [dr thursday]

Prayer copy 2

prayer product boxBAR jpeg copy

i have a lot of conversations with God.  they aren’t really formal; instead we just chat.  well, i chat.  or implore.  or express gratitude.  or cry.  or ask questions.  sometimes my head is bowed and my hands are folded, but other times i am driving or playing the piano or walking or eyes-wide-open.  for me, prayer is not just that thing i do at church or before a meal or at night before i go to sleep.  it’s just an anytime, everyday way of being, with this magnificent higher power watching over the universe.

anne lamott’s book Help, Thanks, Wow is a gorgeous primer for anyone wondering how to pray, a beautiful reinforcement of the internal power of prayer, an outline of simple spiritual praying.  i have read it many times, nodding my head and struggling to always remember, remember, remember the important stuff.

this painting PRAYER reminds me of the quiet, the steady rock, the essentiality of praying.

PRAYER products on society6.com (or click on the product bar above)

click here to view the original painting PRAYER

DR THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this DR THURSDAY

PRAYER painting & PRAY products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

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ks friday

jacketasitisjpeg copy 2i could hear the saxophonist on the corner out the window; it’s not uncommon in nyc.  at yamaha artist services to record the two solo piano hymn albums, i was caught up in the christmas carol he was playing, only a little concerned that it would bleed onto the recording.  the amazing “it’s fine!” ken can handle anything.

my task was to get onto tape (so to speak) the material for both of the hymn albums:  ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and ALWAYS WITH US Volume 2AWU v1 jacket copyit was easy for me to compile a list of the hymns to play; so many years of church music gives me an advantage that way.   but on every album, even if it is music i haven’t written but am giving my own voice to (like the hymn albums or christmas albums or lullaby album) i always include one or two pieces that i have composed – a signature of sorts.  for always with us volume one it was the title track.  ALWAYS WITH US is a statement of my belief that we are never alone, we are always AWU v2 jacket copysurrounded by infinite grace and love – God is always with us.  like all the tracks on the hymn albums, this piece is solo piano.

part of that time in the city, i also recorded the album AS IT IS.  i had a list of titles and in-between recording hymns, i would take out the list and simply play the word.  but i’ve talked about that before.  this album was a personal creative challenge and took on a life of its own.

back in chicago, in post-production work, ken wrote orchestration arrangements (he is brilliant) and brought in musicians to record on tracks for the AS IT IS album, starting with the solo piano recordings. these new tracks went beyond the solo piano versions – in texture, in diversity, ultimately, in emotion.

yesterday i wrote about process in david’s painting.  the same -yet different- process exists in recording music.  the coming-together of layers, with what is in a layer below sometimes hidden, a breath you can’t hear, but can feel.  i am awed by what the whole becomes from the whole.

always with us exists in two forms.  both are relevant to the album they are within.  both speak a language.  but both tell the same story – for those who listen – that we are never alone.  God – or whatever you call this presence- is always with us.  and if you listen, maybe with your mind’s eye, you might even hear the strains of a saxophonist on the corner in the city at night.

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album AS IT IS

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from AS IT IS track 14 from iTUNES

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Vol. 1 track 2 from iTUNES

to purchase the physical CD ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1 (AS IT IS is out of stock)

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

to see some fun PRODUCTS that go along with this piece ALWAYS WITH US:

leggings, wall art, mugs, beach towels, cellphone covers, cards

always with us SQ PILLOW copy

throw pillows, blankets

 

always with us RECT PILLOW copy

throw pillows, rugs

 

always with us LEGGINGS copy

leggings

 

always with us TOTE BAG copy

tote bags

 

always with us iPHONE CASE copy

cellphone cases, laptop sleeves

 

always with us FRAMED ART copy

wall art – in some of these pieces i could not resist using david’s art

 

always with us COFFEE MUG copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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chicken marsala monday

sometimesfaith WITH EYES jpeg copy 3“…well, i will walk by faith, well, even when i cannot see, because this broken road prepares your will for me…” (lyrics from a really great 2002 song by jeremy camp called ‘walk by faith’)

“we walk by faith and not by sight….” (19th century lyrics from a 1984 hymn ‘we walk by faith’ by marty haugen)

trust.  practice.  faith.  repeat.  not necessarily in that order.  through the ages, a common challenge – faith without seeing.  ‘we’ are no different now than ‘they’ were ‘back then.’  faith.  it’s ambiguous.

it’s funny.  you might think that the most faith-reinforcing moments come during a service and this true for some.  as a minister of music for three decades, i have always sought to create those moments for others…when all things come together:  music, lyrics, emotion to amplify the words (and the word) spoken in the service and resonate within someone’s heart and reinforce their feelings of faith. it is a job i take seriously; sometimes you only have one chance to help connect a service with a person’s heart, one chance to reassure, one chance to raise awareness, one chance to have them ask questions within their faith, to challenge their assumptions for and otherwise.

for me, though, the most faith-reinforcing moments are outside of the faith-based venue, be it a church, temple, cathedral, mosque.  they are the moments that i can feel the hugeness of this universe of God and my absolute tiny-ness within it:  walking in the woods, standing in the sunlight, looking out on a mountain, holding hands, seeing the moon rise over the lake, watching the surf, seeing love pass between two people’s eyes, hearing my children’s voices, finding the right chord for a song, eating breakfast on the deck in the sun with cardinals, hearing music swell…

as a minister of music, i have heard a lot of sermons and been at an un-countable number of services.  think about it.  (and this is not counting all the years not spent in this position, nor does it count all the extra services at certain times of the year…you’re thinking, “ok, ok, ohmygosh, we get it!” )  so thirty years multiplied by 52 weeks multiplied by at least two services a sunday (sometimes three, but we will round it to two, as you roll your eyes.)  that equals 3,120 services and sermons.  and let me just mention, some have been…ummm…way better than others.  so you would likely deduce that i would know all the stories of the old and new testaments pretty well by now.  well, i beg to differ with you.  for me, those stories are peripheral.

what really counts for me is the stuff you can’t see with your eyes, the things you can only experience:  love, kindness, peace, generosity…  simplicities.  complexities.  these are the foundations of my faith.  faith in goodness.  faith in being held.  faith in grace. choosing actions that are life-giving.  knowing that if i fail today, i can try again tomorrow.  walking the broken road, faithfully believing that there is a higher power that i can’t see but i can experience.  one that surrounds me in my joy and in my pain.  ptom, in his lenten sermon the other evening, said, “God is for you.”  it takes a little (read:  a lot of) practice; it’s a new day every new day.  but i believe.

FAITH TAKES PRACTICE – we have different products for this on both www.society6.com/chickenmarsala and www.society6.com/kerrisherwood

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

faith takes practice FRAMED ART PRINT copy

wall art, cards, home decor

 

faith takes practice SQ PILLOW copy

 

faith takes practice LEGGINGS copy

‘faith takes practice’ LEGGINGS

 

faith chicken mug copy

 

 

 

faith white mug copy

 

faith chicken iphone case copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on FAITH TAKES PRACTICE

 

sometimes faith takes a little practice ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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the faces of my life.

IMG_1991“…in the nighttime of your fear…” the lyrics of this hymn jump out at me. how many times have i been awake in the nighttime…wrapping my arms around fear of some sort. how many times have i been awake in the daytime with ‘the nighttime of my fear’? being awake with fear makes every muscle aware, every hair stand on end, every emotion close to the surface. and the fear doesn’t have to be physical…sometimes it is fear of the unknown, fear of change (no! really?), fear of differences that set you apart. any way you slice it, fear becomes visceral and, as carol used to always say, you can taste the adrenaline. in these moments, there are voices i pine for, people i want to be near, reassurances for which i yearn. how many times have i told david i wish i could just talk to my sweet momma. how many times have i asked my dad aloud – hoping for a sticky note to float down from heaven – for his words of wisdom. i’ve asked my brother wayne for car and fixing stuff advice; i’ve asked my friend richie for a tad bit of his sense of humor in a tense moment. the list of people on the other side extends out, in ever-larger concentric circles, as i realize how much i miss their words of wisdom. the faces of my life. and then, often in an awakening moment of grief, i realize that there is indeed wisdom and reassurance all around me.

the ukulele band rehearsals are at our house in the summer. most often outside on sometimes-warm-sometimes-cool summer nights on the patio, last night was inside with impending storms in the area. i had broken my little baby toe earlier in the day and was limping around a bit (and maybe whining also.) betsi and jay offered advice, carol and helen grimaced with me, remembering breakages of their own, david jokingly spoke of designing steel-toed flip-flops. a posse of people making my little toe feel better. there were conversations about dietary/lifestyle changes, inexpensive backyard solutions, growing herbs, new albums out, nitrate-free bacon, up north… really, anything you might want some solid talk-talk about was possible. the faces of my life. “…we are pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers on the road.   we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load…”

in conversation with susan or linda or jen or heidi, we talk about loss of a parent or we talk about children growing up and away or we talk about where we are in life…they have been there when i’ve cried…they have shared tears with me. they have laughed with me till it hurt. powerful moments of empathy. with david, the sharing of raw emotion, the frustrations and the bliss of being “too close”, the tears and the laughter are full spectrum. the faces of my life. “…i will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh i’ll laugh with you…”

we were standing on the opposite side of a stream from where we needed to be. three times while we were in the mountains this was where i found myself.  (well, metaphorically, i suppose that would be countless times, but who’s talking in metaphors?) the first time, david crossed over, using stones and a wayward log that had fallen. even now, my feet tingle thinking about it. he quietly told me that i could do it and reached out his hand to me so that I could grasp it as soon as i was within reach. his eyes, unwaveringly gentle and reassuring, convinced me to work with the fear i felt and move forward. “…i will hold my hand out to you..” IMG_2744one of the other times becky, david and kirsten (the girl) had already crossed the stream. it wasn’t a huge chasm, but it was enough to make me think about going the “other way”. and yet, it was their faces on the other side that helped the nugget of fear i felt go away.   the faces of my life.

” …i will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through…” our time on this beautiful earth is forever and fleeting. both. this journey is filled with design of the universe and gorgeous wisdom and warm reassurance. the faces of our lives. on this side and on the other side. they will hold us in ‘the nighttime of our fear’. they will hold us in the moment.  we are never alone.

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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.