reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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what you do. [k.s. friday]

ymad

“what you do will live beyond your lifetime.  it transcends the things of this earth.”

(YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE ©️ kerri sherwood)

when i think about my sweet momma and my poppo, my big brother, my godfather uncle allen, my grandmother-mama-dear, more beloved family and dear friends – all who have left this earth – i don’t think about their jobs or upward mobility, their income or the status symbols they owned.  i don’t think of the timeline of their school or work or whether they had finished a degree or if they had even gone to college.  i don’t ponder awards or certificates they received or resorts where they may have vacationed.

i think about what a difference they made in my life. my mom’s devotion to cheery kindness, my dad’s quiet and stubborn thoughtfulness, my big brother’s goofy humor and ability to tell a story in all its details, my uncle’s absolute commitment to his fun-loving smile no-matter-what-was-happening.  i think about the joy my mom experienced when my dad brought her grocery-store-flowers.  i think about big bowls of coffee ice cream with my brother, neil diamond playing in the background.  i think about my uncle generously paying for my very first recordings in ny, diligently holding me up and gently pushing me.  i think about simple moments with them.  in what could be a crowded-with-information-obituary in my head for each person, i hold a piece of their heart instead.  they have made a difference in this world.  they made a difference for me.  i remember.

(from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS)  “you know, this obsession you have, with being remembered?  this is your life!  this is all you get! you get me, and you get your family and you get this world, and that’s it!  ….  and i’m going to remember you.  …. you say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me.  i know about you.”

 

we live on an infinite continuum of opportunity.  chances to bring light and hope to others.  deeds we can do out of kindness, goals reached by collaborating together.  we face choice just as soon as the sun-peeking-over-the-horizon wakes us.  we innately or intentionally decide, we head in a direction, we live a day.

 

“We’re all traveling through time, together, everyday of our lives… All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable life.  I just try to live everyday as if I have deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it… As if it was the full, final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.” (from ABOUT TIME)

 

this song. i have performed it countless times.  in nyc’s central park for tens of thousands of people, in small medical clinics, in large oncological settings, in chicago’s grant park.  at a pharmaceutical conference in puerto rico, outdoors with the lance armstrong tour of hope.  across the country, in pajamas and jeans and all-dressed-up.  in theatres and at walks/runs, in schools and churches.  for organizations including y-me, the american cancer society, gilda’s club, young survival coalition, susan g. komen foundation, the annual breast cancer symposium.  and each time, heidi and i, working together in performance, fighting back tears.  the list is profound.  not because of the innumerable times i have sang this song, but because of all the people in these places and behind the scenes, joining together, remarkably touching the lives of others:  those they know and those they may never know.

we make a difference.  in every arena of our lives.  every place we go.  every interaction.  every gesture.  every assumption.  every conversation.  every every-thing.  every single thing.

what intention will we have?  will we be positive or negative?

“the truth is, I now don’t travel back at all, not even for a day.  …  live life as if there were no second chances.” (ABOUT TIME)

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read DAVID’s thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

 

 

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YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE ©️ 2003 kerri sherwood

 


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“it’s either joy or pre-joy.” [not-so-flawed wednesday]

pre joy joy

a fine line.  the place between pre-joy and joy.  for mike libecki there is no space on the continuum between the two.  it is merely one or the other.  pre-joy or joy.

mike is a mountain climber.  because i am an obsessive mountain-climbing-video-documentary-movie-watcher, we watched him and cory richards in their national geographic antarctic mountain climb to summits not reached before.  it was brutal.  the wind.  the weather.  the elements of the climb.  agonizingly difficult.

but mike was adamant, stating above the furious wind again and again, “it’s either joy or pre-joy.” any moment of torturous climbing or bearing the effects of the weather was a moment of ‘pre-joy’.  all other moments were ‘joy’.  it’s an amazing way to look at things.  an amazing way to look at life.  everything leads to joy.  you are always in joy or on your way there.

in what we would describe as a watershed time, this short quote is a lesson in staying grounded.  in sentiment i have heard before, but never as succinctly shorthand, a reminder to look always to the light, the horizon, not backwards, not at the dark, not measuring in the negative.  re-group, re-center, re-evaluate, re-perspective-arrange and move through pre-joy to joy.  a cup always with something in it, never empty.  always a portion waiting for you to add to it, make the best assumptions, hope, appreciate, carry the jug to the next waterhole for it is there.  “we must live sweet,” mike says.

we carry the torch so often for the negative.  we moan and complain and gossip and pick fights.  in this roller coaster of life, what about carrying the torch for joy?  what about lighting the way for yourself, for others, helping to find the light, the joy?  believe that we are only an ice-pick or a few carabiners or a length of rope away.  we are on the mountain.  all of us.

i would like to try to remember this “it’s either pre-joy or joy” and live and work and play by it.

because i believe in joy and the sheer power, potential of joy; it’s a force.  i just need remember to believe that all roads lead there.  one day is joy.  the next is pre-joy.  it is all on the same continuum.  it is all the same life.  we all share the same possibility.  all paths summit.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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new light. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

luminaria

it is a new day.  filled with new promise, new possibility, new adventure, new hope, new light.  no matter what, the light comes.  it cannot be snuffed out, for after every night there is day.  it is sure.

we look to the horizon and, like the most exquisite of tall-stemmed flowers, we lean toward the sun.  we grow.  we rest.

we know, intrinsically, that even in circumstance where our own light is dampened, when it is dark, when we feel extinguished, exhausted, profoundly saddened, the tiny light that flickers from deep within, from others, from sunrise, can reignite our zeal, rejuvenate us, restore us, bring us bravely back to day.

happy new day.  happy new year.  happy new decade.  happy new light.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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the pink. [k.s. friday]

inasplitsecond song

there is a moment when the sky turns a delicious shade of pink as the sun sets in the western horizon.  each beyond-the-crayon-box-color doesn’t last long; they morph into the next color and then the next.  each second, as you watch, counts.

there is a moment when before-night turns into after-day.  crossing the pink.

“live in the present/grab onto this time/don’t look behind you/you gotta walk that thin line/of the future and the past/it’s all within your grasp/that second could come way too fast”

there is a moment – one that probably occurs multiple times a day – when you can choose how to react to things.  you can linger in the not-taking-it-personally-they-are-hurting-you-not-because-you-are-you-but-because-they-are-them zone or you can step over the line and bite back.  crossing the pink.  everyone in relationship recognizes this.  any relationship, be it spouse-spouse, significant others, parent-child, child-parent, colleagues, supervisor-employee, employee-supervisor, drivers stuck in traffic, customer-customer service rep, strangers in a long grocery line.  not biting back doesn’t render you powerless; instead, in the hardly-ever-easy not-taking-it-personally, it aids in your health and well-being.  you choose.  crossing the pink.

“you look in the mirror/today’s world stares back”

there is a moment – a split second – when you stand still and see all that was behind, all that is here and now.  it is impossible to see all that is possible, for surely if you were back many pink crossings ago you would not have imagined the now of now.

and so, this split second should tell us that we have no idea, that our imaginings of the future are both wildly over-feared and inconceivably understated, that with each split-second breath we take, we cross the pink into another split-second that is filled with hope of new.  but sheesh, we are human and we are worried, fearful, guilt-ridden, persistently trying to figure out what we did wrong to elicit ‘such a response’, repeatedly weighing everything, sorting, feeling powerless.

what if we stayed in the moment of delicious pink, watching the sun promise rest and a new day.

“take it slow/don’t let this moment go/it’s here and it’s now/use this gift somehow”

read more about this song IN A SPLIT SECOND here

purchase the CD AS SURE AS THE SUN or download on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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IN A SPLIT SECOND from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood

 


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right now. [k.s. friday]

right now songbox.jpg

i remember writing this.  i was coming out of storms and it felt like i was, at last, rising like a weak sun in the dense fog, slowly but surely burning off the fog.  it was my right-now.

i wonder how many times in life we re-do that.  like the movie groundhog day, we re-live again and again the process of coming out of the mess, the stress, the worry.   life seems fraught with those storms and fog sometimes.  we yearn for steady, for clear skies, for brilliant sun.

when the day is done and we go to sleep with wrinkled brow, we try, albeit sometimes futilely, to remember that right-now passes into the next.  this very ‘right-now’ will soon be ‘before’.

there will be a new day. a new right-now.  new hope.

purchase RIGHT NOW CD or download on iTunes or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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RIGHT NOW from RIGHT NOW ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood


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the dividing line. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

half and half

“the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.” (a. solzhenitsyn)

it isn’t without hesitation that i speak now of september 11, 2001.  eighteen years ago today.  both yesterday and an eternity ago.

there is a dividing line that is the place of before and after.  in many ways, this date, september 11, 2001, marks that line.  a time when, before which, we innocently and trustingly got on airplanes to fly to destinations we anticipated with great joy.  a time when, before which, it didn’t occur to us to be wary in crowded places, to know how to exit, to navigate fear, let alone terror.  a dividing line.

but the truth of it is, there has always been good and evil.  the division has always existed.  history demonstrates that evil – in all its iterations, big and small – rears up like a wild stallion, flailing at goodness, rejecting compromise.

and when i look around, at the world, at our country, at this little island microcosm, i see that our collective hearts have not learned.  it saddens me to know that as my children continue to grow, adults in 2019, this has not changed.

solzhenitsyn’s quote continues:  “And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.” 

i pray that this ‘small bridgehead of good’ will cross the dividing line and, like a snowball rolling downhill across a field of white, will grow…eventually bigger than any iteration of evil.  it’s our only hope. 

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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respect & protect. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

birds and turtlesHH copy.jpg

hilton head, south carolina cares.  it is an honor to be in a place that has committed itself to protecting creatures put at risk by human behavior.

each night, right before 10pm, one of us (often it was dan) would run to carefully lower the shades on the ocean side, turn off the outside lights, and double-check that there was no light spilling out onto the sand, something that could confuse the loggerhead hatchlings on their pilgrimage from nest to water.  large sections of sand and dunes were roped off to protect shorebirds and information is readily available that explained how one should not run into a flock of birds or go too near an obvious nesting area.  the piping plovers are endangered, as are the loggerheads. and hilton head is dedicated to them.

these creatures deserve our respect.  this world deserves our respect.  how many creatures, how many species are endangered?  how are we making an effort to respect and protect them?  how are we not?

there was something very sweet, very encouraging about seeing My Girl, My Boy and our Dan all immediately acknowledge the importance of these simple rules protecting the shore wildlife.

it gives me infinite hope, despite the current efforts of our country to ignore the plight of our good earth, that this next generation will not stand by and watch it destroyed.  it’s pretty simple, they said, referring to the rules environmentalists had written.  yes.  it is.  respect and protect.

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

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