reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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scattered news. [dr thursday]

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scattered news product BAR copy

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


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peace.

in this time of craziness, i strive to be an instrument of peace.

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in this season of hope, i hope for peace on earth.

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in this holiday time of wishing, i wish you peace.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/as-it-is/id507694171     (track 5:  peace)

PEACE. from the album AS IT IS. one of my favorite tracks ever, with eternal thanks to the best producer on the planet, ken abeling.

MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF PEACE gifts

PEACE.EARTH.PEACE ON EARTH gifts

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and now

i was surprised the first time i walked into the bathroom and my toothbrush already had toothpaste on it. it was one of those moments – you know, the kind where you get a little mushy (who, me?) and think “wow, that was so sweet of him!” it’s just a little thing, but in the overall scheme of life, it’s those little things that really matter. the big stuff will always pop up, lurk, threaten to overwhelm us, but the little things comfort us, reassure us, heal us.

the girl was home for just a bit. i was sooo excited to see her. i thought of huge things we could (maybe) do, places we could (maybe) go, even though i knew that there really wasn’t even time; she had commitments that would make any of those things impossible. still, a mom can dream. instead, it was the moments at the kitchen table laughing and doing a crossword puzzle that really counted. it was the girl holding on to the pen we were using, refusing to relinquish it to me, filling in all the boxes and just being herself -the amazing daughter i recognize- fiercely independent (see previous post) – that made my heart so filled, so grateful.

my big sister sat on the bed with me and we talked about the big day ahead of us. i was tired and she gently told me to put my head on her shoulder and rest. i can’t remember a sweeter moment i have spent with her in recent days. no shopping spree, mutual pedicure appointment, shared meal, anything, could have been better. i am, still, so grateful for that moment.

the hot chics (aka chics caliente) shared the reading aloud of ‘the blessing of the hands’. they have been there with me for three decades. three decades of time spans many changes, much turmoil, much bliss. in this reading aloud moment, the tears fell freely and the hugs were full of new life, new hope.

these are the miracles of life. the times we need for the rest of the times. it is a miracle sometimes that we even notice the miracles. we stand in grace all the time and don’t see it for the warbled un-grace we grant ourselves.

i stood in the balcony and looked down at the church (which right now, thanks to frank, is stunningly beautiful in its white-light holiday splendor) and remembered a day not too long ago. it hasn’t even been two months since i walked down that aisle into the future. i remember looking around at all the people there to witness these moments and then looking ahead to the man at the end of the aisle. the one who puts toothpaste on my toothbrush. the one who is infinitely tender, who loves to hold hands, who chooses to slow dance in the front yard in the middle of raking, who brings coffee to my pillowside, who reads aloud with me, who chops dinner ingredients alongside me, who makes me madder than anyone i’ve ever met, who makes me weep when i catch his eye, who is “my favorite pain in the ass” (a little sign we bought on our honeymoon). when i wrote this song i didn’t realize he would walk with it down the aisle into us. a miracle of life.

you wonder what the universe has in store for you. you think that you know. you think you have it covered. you think you have control of it, of timing. and when it isn’t playing out how you think, you rail against it, wondering why it isn’t working the way you thought/wanted/worked for. but the universe seems to have a way of connecting the dots, allowing these tiny little miracles to happen, forming the big picture…making the grace bubble around you bigger and bigger and bigger.

until now. when i realize that maybe all the things that happened before -the joys, the pains, the mistakes, the accomplishments, the huge things, the littlest things – add up to now. one of my beloved nieces sent me something on our wedding day. it read, “sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” wow. true. my other beloved niece sends me unicorns and rainbows and bubbles and reminds me all the time of the magic all around us at every moment. those miracles. showing up again.

just turn around and look. ahead.

and-now is showing up.

and now~a wedding song : on iTunes

 holiday CD sale on www.kerrisherwood.com

iTunes: kerri sherwood