reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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as you is. [two artists tuesday]

THIS AsYouIs copy

spoiler alert to the girl, the boy, family and friends:  do not be surprised if one of your christmas/holiday presents from us is a shirt or sweatshirt or hat that says “AS YOU IS”.

we encountered michael at the farmers’ market one beautiful saturday when the sun was warm and the yellow jackets plentiful.  i was drawn to the simple stand of breeze-fluttering t-shirts, the saying AS YOU IS on the banner and the byline “big boned or small featured. thick-haired or bald-headed. married or single. A or C student. white or black or in-between. male or female. or in-between.”  we stopped to talk. i’m so glad we did.

michael was disarmingly charming and honest and zealous and positive – a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to be full of negativity and judgment these days.  he spoke of the origins of his cottage business and his simple philosophy, arrived at through years of painful learning and experience and after a long career outside of this new mission.  we could relate to him.  he told us the point of AS YOU IS:  “As You Is” is a rally cry for anyone and everyone that has a good heart, regardless of race, color, faith, age, gender, nationality, physical or mental limitations, or appearance. 

the pull to stay and talk was strong, but that would have precluded michael from introducing others at the market to his new line, his new business.  and so, we grabbed business cards, asked him to design some sweatshirts as well and continued on our way.  but AS YOU IS has remained in our conversations together.  his AS YOU IS.  our (sweet momma/beaky-inspired) BE KIND.  twinsies.

i suspect we will seek michael out to talk some more.  because chatting with someone about acceptance and hope and goodness is, as michael says, one hella gift.

AS YOU IS

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click here or on the box above to visit ASYOUIS website

As You Is® was created to start conversations…to cause total strangers to smile…to make people think…to get others to feel so accepted they break out in impromptu dance…and to put a serious chink in the armor of racism.

Our hope is one day children can embrace being uniquely themselves, where they feel safe being different and where old people – like our founder Michael Fornwald – can age gracefully or ungracefully sans self-contempt.

Please join us by infecting others with hope one hella cool t-shirt or cap at a time.

BE KIND

be kind collage with color font copy 2for our BE KIND products click here or on product collage box above & be sure to scroll down for the whole product line

“Be kind to each other. Always.” (my sweet momma/beaky)

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BE KIND designs ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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a beautiful world. [merely a thought monday]

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my dearest daughter and son,

it is monday morning and i suddenly realized that this blogpost posted without my finishing it.  there is so much i wanted to say, too much.  my heart breaks, thinking of this world you are inheriting.  and my heart soars with wishes for you.  both of these.

and so, rather than speaking of vast and chaotic brokenness as well as hopeful and inspired possibility, i’ll take it as a serendipitous sign to let desiderata say it for me.  this really sums it up, better than i could.  it IS still a beautiful world.  in the middle of glowing aspens or the front row of the ballgame.  in the high mountains or on the shore of boston harbor.  anywhere you are.  anywhere you go.  you bring it – beauty – and you are standing in it.  remember that.

i love you,

mom.

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read DAVID’S thoughts about this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

(Max Ehrmann, ©️ 1927)


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you can’t hold the sun. [d.r. thursday]

Angel Morsel

it goes by.  time.  no matter how much you want to hold onto it.  there are THOSE moments…the ones you treasure.  there are THOSE moments…the ones you want to forget ever happened.  the only thing we can depend on, despite wishing otherwise, is that either moment – the one we cling to or the one we abhor – either moment will go by. we can’t hold the sun.  it is elusive.  it is fleeting.  but a new day will come.  we can look to the dawn for a fresh start, one more try, a little hope, another moment to cherish.

Angel copy

Angel 48″ x 24″

read DAVID’S thoughts on this D.R. THURSDAY

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you can’t hold the sun/angel ©️ 2018/2004 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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scattered news. [dr thursday]

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we look at the news app often these days.  it’s kind of like we don’t want to miss anything.  so much seems to teeter on the edge it makes us feel we need to stay apprised.  the news is scattered all over:  places in the world suffering, places in the world ravaged by war, places in the world devastated by natural causes, places in the world with people who do not have good intentions and countries divided by selfish, self-righteous motives.

EarthInterruptedVI copy 2david’s painting EARTH INTERRUPTED VI: NEWS.WORTHY. makes me feel like i am looking at the earth with the earth (the blue of sea, the green of land) in the background, a kind of three-dimensional surreal view of our mother planet.

i chose this morsel SCATTERED NEWS because the play between the blackness and the newsprint intrigued me.  it reminded me that, despite the news app and the paper and the reports on tv, we are only hearing bits of news.  there is so much more happening each and every day that doesn’t make it to us, that we don’t know.  there is so much more impacting people all over our world.  the thing is, we are all in this world together.  like the pastor (bishop michael curry) who preached for the royal wedding said just a few days ago, imagine how the world would be if love were the way: “when love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.”  we may be scattered, but people are people.  we all breathe in and out the same way.  and we could all stand to remember that.

ah.  “a sanctuary.”  so if we step outside the world and look back, perhaps the scattered bits of news would all be stories of “a new world”.

click here (or on product bar above) for SCATTERED NEWS products

click here for david’s original painting EARTH INTERRUPTED VI: NEWS.WORTHY.

read DAVID’S thoughts on SCATTERED NEWS

DR THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY) – ON OUR SITE

earth interrupted VI: news.worthy. & scattered news products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 


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ks friday #3

jacketymadjpeg copyyears ago i was commissioned to write for and perform at the annual breast cancer symposium in san antonio, texas.  after talking with the producers, i had gathered enough details to know that this symposium is a very big research event in which new research is both shared and celebrated, at which researchers and physicians from all over are honored.  these folks are often the people in the foreground of new advances but the background as far as survivors and lay-people knowing who they are.  it was from that place that i wrote this song.

a couple of years after that, lance armstrong was leading the tour of hope across the country.  despite his more recent fall from grace, there were countless good people working on this tour of hope – bicyclists riding across the country with big rallies in various cities – to raise awareness for cancer and celebrate survivorship.  i performed alongside my cherished friend and breast cancer survivor speaker heidi on an out-of-season gorgeous day in october in downtown chicago at the block 37 on state street park that is now a high-rise.   lance was there and was laser-focused and passionate in his support of cancer survivors. at the time,  i was honored to work with him and i credit that day with meeting my dear friend scordskiii, his photographer, who brought many a laugh and hours of conversation during subsequent years when i really needed both.

this song is personal for me.  the moffitt cancer center in tampa, florida used it as a thank-you in a hospital-wide video to the staff for their work.  for me, their efforts included extending my poppo’s life 12 years beyond diagnosis.  i was proud and honored for this song to be featured.

in the last two decades, heidi and i have performed all over the country at innumerable oncology events together (walks, runs, survivor celebrations, conferences, hospitals, cancer centers, churches, memorials):  she, speaking from a survivor’s viewpoint; me, performing songs i have written to resonate with these events.  each event has been a shining light for us.

as i listened to this song YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE the other day, i realized, once again, that this is not a song dedicated to one effort, to one fight.  it is a song that is dedicated to any effort in which people gather together in community to fight against darkness, whatever that darkness might be.  it’s for the people in the foreground, on the front line.  and it’s for the people in the background, not looking for any credit whatsoever, just looking for change…good change.  it’s for all the people we don’t know who walk, strike, write, argue, research, march, petition, and present clear options to the light.

this week i would dedicate this song to those young students who have risen up from the pitch-darkness shooting at marjory stoneman douglas high school in florida.  to have a voice.  to bring light.  we are all proud of you.  you make a difference.

YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE single on iTUNES

KS FRIDAY

www.kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

read DAVID’S thoughts about YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE

you make a difference ©️ 2003 kerri sherwood

 


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WE are the light.

fullsizerender1i was standing in our old kitchen looking out the big window over the sink, reveling in the sunshine that is outside. light. it makes all the difference. all of a sudden i saw the fox running through the yard behind the yard behind us (yes, that would be two yards away)… gorgeous reddish brown, confident, its pace unhurried and elegant. fox_edited-2-jpega few minutes later, as i watched, it chose a spot under some low-hanging pine branches and curled up in the sun. that beautiful creature is still there, napping, soaking in the sun. what a reinforcement of what sunshine means to all of us living beings. revitalizing. hope-giving. a pure energy source.

it’s been cloudy for days and days and days here…weeks actually. we saw in the paper that there have been only two days of sun since the beginning of january. this is kind of unusual for wisconsin. i bragged to david when he moved here from cloudy (albeit stunning) seattle that he would love winter…that the bright snow and the sun would appease his need for light and counteract the cold temperatures. this winter has been different. the cloud cover has kept some of those distinctly freezing days away, but it has made a groggy world, grey and slow-moving, yawning for naps and staying indoors, despite temperatures that weren’t as cold. snow has been at a minimum and the light has been temporarily suspended.

many of us feel that way about our world right now as well – the light has been suspended. we ache for people whose rights to just BE are being undermined, we shake our heads in disbelief at policies that seem willy-nilly and are destructive, we wonder at how the lack of light might forever change lives – our lives, the lives of our families, friends, colleagues, countrymates, worldmates.

grave decisions are being made. powerful words are being spoken. in turn, people are expressing conviction and passion, some through anger and hurtful words, some eloquently, some in peaceful demonstrations. and while this cloud goes on, people are drawing strength from each other, gathering together to talk, to discuss, to share, to ask questions. choir rehearsal didn’t start for at least twenty minutes the other evening because people just needed to talk, to discuss, to share, to ask questions. we are the light for each other as we gather together. where two or more are gathered….

and today? i suspect that many people feel just like this beautiful fox today. we rest for a few moments in the sunshine, we draw in hope and energy. we are revitalized by the light. and we vow to keep on keeping on, to not be complacent, to talk, to discuss, to share, to ask questions, to resist, to act, arcing our way to a better world, no, MAKING a better world.

~~~~~

If you’d like to listen to HOPE from the album THIS SEASON click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1hTs5QcMKQ

 

 


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it boils down to respect.

right now i suspect my daughter is high on a mountain, hopefully in fresh powder, celebrating her decision in life to be up on that slope, living her life the way she wants to live her life. i couldn’t be more proud. her courage to live and to be who she is will not always be easy. it’s not the most financially or socially rewarding choice, but it’s hers and she’s being real about it. it’s not the first time i have written that she is living fiercely and i know it won’t be the last. she is snowboarding fiercely, coaching fiercely, hiking fiercely, expressing fiercely, loving fiercely. i am awed. and i will always have her back.

right now i suspect my son is high in an apartment in the big city, hopefully looking out over the harbor, celebrating his decision in life to be up in that city, living his life the way he wants to live his life. i couldn’t be more proud. his courage to live and to be who he is will not always be easy. he has been living fiercely too, and he’s being real about it. as he contemplates and gets excited about a new job, he challenges himself to do work to which he can contribute, from which he can learn and grow.   these days i am often stunned by his words, awed by his moving from boy to man. i will always have his back.

i believe that each of them, the girl and the boy, have learned along the way about respect. often they have learned this because they have experienced a lack of it, a way that many of us learn about it. they are both learning more about open-mindedness than some adults-who-have-been-adults-longer-than-them i know. i believe that they will be zealous as they move forward in life, continuing to make choices that will reflect their respect for themselves and their respect for others. and the amazing thing? they will both continue to learn, their minds and hearts will continue to open, they will be citizens with voices based on experience and learnings and thought.

today, friends of mine are driving to washington dc to be in the women’s march; other friends of mine are posting messages of hope, reminders to stay in one’s integrity, issuing pleas to speak up. our 44th president encourages us to be active citizens of this country and to take part in its day to day and in its future.

our country has come so far, embracing differences, upholding rights for those marginalized, pursuing the growth of measures of inclusion and equality, encouraging, no, demanding respect for others. respect.

so many people are reeling from the disrespect shown in the last months. i cannot honestly say that i am excited today, inauguration day of the 45th president, because i’m not. truth be told, i’m glad that the girl and the boy are grown now, so that i don’t have to teach them to respect someone with so little regard for anyone out of the “norm”, with vast and sweeping (voiced) generalized opinions about people who he has never met, people he would never uphold or regard as equals. to say that he was so far off base of what is important when he announced that his new cabinet had the highest iq’s of all cabinets is an understatement. iq does not automatically beget compassion or common sense or an understanding of what it means to be part of a whole, as opposed to floating above everyone else. neither, might i point out, does fortune.

i’m glad that my momma and daddy don’t have to see this day, for my dad would never stand for the kind of disrespect that has been displayed. even in his worst, most-angered moments, he wouldn’t denigrate women or those with less than him. and my momma would be appalled, plain and simple. she hardly ever uttered profanity; if she did you knew that there was some passion behind what she was saying.   but she would have been sickened by what has transpired in recent months, and would have trouble finding trust, struggling to move past the basic personality characteristics of a person she is, as a citizen, supposed to regard highly in the most esteemed position in our country. and she is someone who is kind to EVERYone.

so what now? we talked about it when we woke up. what do we do now? i guess we are vigilant. we speak up. we help. we march, we hope, we act on that hope, we continue to be who we are, only we do it a little louder. we look beyond ourselves and realize that there really is no “normal”… people’s lives are what they are. we have different situations and different challenges, different purposes in this life. but we are all in it together. and if we cannot see the forest for the trees right in front of us, we are missing the ultimate point of community. we have to seek and see that forest. being reactionary is being stuck on the tree right in front of us; it is not ok (read: forward-moving) to be reactionary without some forethought, without mulling over the possible consequences, without looking beyond the foreground. what does our reaction set into motion?

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the sky right now

early this morning, on a grey and foggy day in the midwest (for even mother nature is confused), with hot coffee in our mugs, we wanted to ask if everyone could just think it all through. the worst decisions i have ever made have been when i didn’t think it all through. taking a breath would have changed my world. taking a communal breath would change THE world. we figure it out ourselves.  we figure it out together.  it all boils down to respect.

FIGURE IT OUT on itunes: kerri sherwood – track 2 on RIGHT NOW