reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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bowling at the airport. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

 

at the beginning and the end of the movie LOVE ACTUALLY are these really fantastic  scenes of people coming together, vignettes of greeting each other, hugging and kissing.  a warm feel-good movie anyway, these scenes are the reasons i love to go to the airport.  i love to watch people…in their excitement about travel, in their absolute joy in seeing someone they have missed.  we have our own airport stories…of meeting and coming back together, of skipping and champagne, seconds and minutes memorized for all time.

we spent a little bit of time in airports this past week.  we people-watched, wondering about each person’s story, where they were going, where they were from, what was in their heart.  we watched children run to loved ones upon seeing them; we watched couples embrace.

for a little while, with a late-evening departure, we sat at one of the bars at the milwaukee airport (which, incidentally, also makes me think of the movie LOVE ACTUALLY – you must see this if you haven’t already!)

we had promised gay and dan and jay and charlie and sandysue that we would bowl with our new christmas-crackers-bowling-set, and we had no intention of going back on our promise.  so we painstakingly set it up and struggled to hold onto the tiny ball.  giggling, we bowled at the bar, the bartender thinking for sure we had lost it.

sometimes you just have to be goofy.  it makes people deep in thought around you laugh.  what’s better than that?  it’s not the opening or closing scenes of LOVE ACTUALLY but it, too, elicits smiles.

here, a teaser from the movie:

ps.  you can borrow our bowling set anytime.  just message us.

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

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oversized joy. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

copley place - back bay, boston copy

we spent a wonderful day thanksgiving friday in boston with craig and dan.  taking trains here and there, we had brunch at the greatest little dietary-restrictions-aware-diner called the friendly toast, walked through a magnificently decorated copley place, had drinks together and went bowling, a tradition that has been established now for a few years.  it would have been hard not to feel the holiday spirit; carols were playing and everything was decorated…and we were together.

copley place had enormous decorations.  i mean eNORmous.  everywhere you looked there were oversized ornaments and lights.  now, normally i might find that gauche; in this case it was stunning.  they really made you take notice.  i wanted to sing carols and skip through the mall.

i keep carols on pretty much non-stop in this season.  in the house they play on a boombox booming out of my studio.  we drive with them on in the car.  i sing in the shower.  i make up new words to old standards and sing LALALALALA really loudly when i can’t think of the lyrics.  joy joy joy!  big joy!

thank you to copley place for the reminder that THE JOY of the season – those moments we are together – is enormous.  it is oversized.  it is stunning.  take notice.

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

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playing the same stuff. [merely a thought monday]

string bass with frame

just last saturday evening, out on cape cod, we lingered over seafood and glasses of wine with jonathan, our bass player.  we were sitting around his table, chatting about music.

he told us about a group of musicians he rehearses with on an irregular basis.  they play a wide variety of instruments and they all just gather casually together and jam on some “good music”.  “…and once in a while we play the same stuff…” he stated.  his voice trailed off as he thought about what he had just said and we all laughed.  we can picture a whole group of jonathans in the room – all exuberant and, each, lovers of all music, all pick-ready, mouthpiece-ready, reed-ready, hands-poised-over-the-keys-ready.  that kind of enthusiasm shouldn’t be curbed or restrained.  the sheer joy of playing – now that’s the reason to be all together.  it’s not about playing all the notes on the page, playing them all perfectly at the same time, playing them with no mistakes.  it’s about heart.  it’s about the breaths and the rests of silence, the flip-flop your heartbeat makes when soaring notes come together in a sweeping harmony, the tears you get in your eyes when something you just played or heard is sublimely sweet, dynamically touching, deeply resonant, the belly laugh with the ridiculously dissonant moment.

the ukulele sip ‘n strums are about just that.  if we can choose to teach anything at those sip ‘n strums, i would choose to teach just these things.  the things of joy.  music is all about individual hearts…coming together with the immense gift of twelve notes at our literal fingertips.  no matter what we play, we are playing the same stuff.

ukulele laughter

what playing music looks like.

christmas sing dec 7 sip n strum copy

rackcards for sip n strumtake 2.PRINT copy (deleted b'87d4bf65abee4940dca3fe6ba53c1bc6') copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

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UKULELE SIP ‘N STRUM ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson


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grateful. [k.s. friday]

grateful song box

8. grateful (5:31):  for all the blessings, the joy, for life itself.

download the album AS IT IS on iTUNES or CDBaby

laughing website box

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

GRATEFUL from AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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ready to bowl. [d.r. thursday]

bowling primary image BOX copy

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when you think about bowling, you can literally smell that distinct bowling alley smell.  each time we see the boys, we bowl.  it is becoming a tradition.  i think it is because we are erratic bowlers and they like to poke fun at our lack of bowling expertise.  no, truly, they are pretty kind about it.  and it is always a blast.  after we bowl together, i always say to d, “we should bowl more often.”

sandy and dan (brother and sister) bowl on thursdays.  every thursday.  they bowl with a team and i know that they look forward to it.  it is a staple of their week and balances out everything else going on in work and life.  it would be a unimagined joy in my life if i could bowl on thursdays with my brother.

this morsel is a piece of a much much larger painting, called joy.  the painting is gorgeous and colorful and one of my favorites of d’s yoga series.  when i sorted to this morsel, i was surprised and amused at the bowling ball and wooden lane that i could clearly see there (at least clear to me.)  but how perfect.  joy within joy.

Joy copy

JOY mixed media 50″ x 56″

click here to view or purchase the painting JOY

click here (or on product box above) to purchase our READY TO BOWL products

D.R. THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts about today’s DR THURSDAY

JOY painting and READY TO BOWL products ©️ 2014 & 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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enjoy the puddles. [chicken marsala monday]

todaychickenPRIMARYbox copy

enjoy enjoy PRODUCT BOX BAR copy

dogdog doesn’t like the rain much.  he pretty much avoids the puddles in the backyard…that is, until one neighbor or the other lets their dogs out.  then?  then he doesn’t care; all inhibitions are off and he runs like a maniac, his long aussie hair first flying, then clumping and muddy, joy joy joy on his face.

that’s probably a good lesson for all of us…inhibitions off and joy joy joy. despite the messy puddles and the bad hair day.  my sweet momma used to sign off her letters with “enjoy, enjoy!”  yes.  enjoy, enjoy.

click here (or on product box above) for ENJOY! ENJOY! products

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

enjoy the puddles nugget & designs ©️ 2016 & 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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the view-master

a couple sundays ago i had the honor of speaking for a few moments to our church congregation.  normally, the hat i wear at trinity is a minister of music hat, but i was happy to speak a few words (ok, maybe more than a few…i am not the most succinct person on this planet) during that service.  the service was called “a joyful noise” sunday and it was day dedicated to a hymn sing.

taking into account the lessons to be read during the service and expanding on a recent writing, i prepared a few words on Joy.  a couple of  people have since asked me to publish this here and so, this is what i said:

IMG_0021This is a view-master. It’s pretty old-school.  Each time I push the lever a new snapshot is available to look at, to ponder. I recently realized that this is the way I write. And so, with respect, I’d like to offer a few viewmaster moments that make me think about joy.

It’s that time of year. There are pictures in the Kenosha News of students moving into campus at Carthage. Any day now there will be pictures of the first days of school at Unified. Nine years ago, right around now, i stood on the University of Minnesota campus. We had packed up the little Scion till you couldn’t even fit a Snickers bar into any of the spaces left. The entire car was glowing pink. The girl – that’s my daughter Kirsten – and her roommate were decorating in pink. Pink everything. Pink comforters, pink bins, pink rugs, pink shower pails. We unloaded into the dorm….traipsing with everyone through the halls, lugging huge futon boxes and armloads of clothes. Organizing the dormroom through the day I struggled to keep finding tasks, maybe to delay my leaving for just a little longer. We walked outside and started to stroll on campus when she turned to me and said, “I think I’m going to go.” “Where are we going?” I asked. “No,” she said, “I am going to go – to the union.” I realized it was time. Every word of wisdom I had wanted to relay to her dropped out of the synapses in my brain and I stood staring at her. I told her to go be her, to be amazing and I loved her. She walked away, with great anticipation, grace, excitement. With great joy. I stood and watched, tears in my eyes. My cellphone buzzed. There was a text from her. It read – “Don’t be sad, mom. Be ecstatic. I love you.” I drove home – alone. When I got there I put on laundry, cause that’s what my mom did when she was upset. In the putting on of laundry, I had to move one load into the dryer. I took out a dryer sheet and out of the dryer sheet box flew an index card. It read, “Thinking of you. With love from Minnesota.” The girl had hidden 31 of these around the house. Bringing joy.

Be ecstatic. Joy. Joy is our right. Joy is our responsibility.

My momma was rushed to the emergency room. Because we were there in Florida visiting her, we were able to meet her there at the ER. She had fallen and was in tremendous pain. At 93 a fall was dangerous and there was worry about her hip. For hours we were in the little examining room, waiting, watching, reassuring. It was the middle of the night and the attending nurse was obviously exhausted. She was a capable young woman, but had little patience and wasn’t friendly or smiling much. My sweet momma, in her pain, gazed up at her, smiled gently and said, “I wish I had your beautiful smile.” That moment. The moment that she brought joy to someone else, changed everything. The nurse was deeply affected by her words, which changed everything in the room, and, I suspect, in all the concentric circles that reached outward, including ours.

Joy. Our right. Our responsibility. Doesn’t one lead to the other?

When I interviewed for the job of minister of music here at Trinity they asked me several questions. Then they asked me if I had anything I wanted to add. (As you would suspect) I said that I did. I wanted to add that my mission as minister of music had formed through about 25 years of work in churches and with people volunteering to be a part of the music programs in those churches. The most important thing to me to tell them was that I feel deeply that the music and the music program in a church is about JOY. It is not about perfection. Like any musician (or anyone for that matter) I love when things go perfectly. But if perfection is the mission that they wanted at Trinity, I was not the right person. I have found if you expect perfection, you lose joy. If you expect joy, you find perfection.

We worship together and sing in community. Each of the songs we sing is a moment in time that we bring to worship, whether it is in a traditional hymn or a contemporary song. We offer songs of praise and songs of love and songs of yearning and songs of hope. We don’t come here expecting to get joy. We bring joy. And that? That begets joy. Our right. Our responsibility.

We were walking through Menards (like Home Depot, for those of you not in Menards-land)  and passed a sign that read “Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.” This immediately made me think of my best friend since the time I was three. This saying was what she had chosen to put in her yearbook under her picture. Somehow, forty years later, because I am ridiculously thready, I still remembered this. What was really funny was that when she and her husband visited this summer, she didn’t remember this at all. (I believe she just set about to live it.) These days we are surrounded by sayings and words of inspiration on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Menards. Sometimes they feel trite. But that’s only because they are so prevalent. They are no less real. No less worthy. They just flatten out because we see so much of them. We tend to not notice as deeply anymore. Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.

Sally’s momma’s farmhouse is for sale. Although, with a deep root there, she is able to find her way around the rooms, she doesn’t recognize it as hers anymore because she is in the throes of dementia. So when they were there, Sally said her momma saw the for sale sign and told Sally she’d like to buy it. Sally explained that then her momma would be far away – hours -from her grown children and they wouldn’t be able to be with her. She asked her momma what she would do all day. “Play the piano,” she said. “I’d play the piano.” Joy is not really complicated.

I read a striking CNN article about Hurricane Harvey and a man named Mr. Harding. I want to share part of it with you:
One of his sons is an avid piano player and was concerned the family’s piano would be destroyed by flood water. When Mr. Harding found the water hadn’t covered the piano, he sat down and began to play. “I decided to take a moment and play and take it all in,” he told CNN on Thursday. He posted the video of the moment on Instagram with the caption, “I think it’s all finally sinking in a little. What we used to have going as a city is gone. I really think God is going to do something completely new here. I am excited to see the new beauty in the suffering.” Joy.

Early yesterday morning we sat in bed, sipping coffee, early morning sunshine streaming in the windows, a cool breeze crossing the room. We could hear the birds, the squirrels, the sounds of our sweet neighbors John and Michele clinking silverware and plates, making breakfast. Babycat and Dogdog laid on the bed snoring. IMG_0024No matter the worries or sadnesses, challenges or problems that would befall us in the day or days to come, that moment was a picture of JOY.  A view-master snapshot of what is in our very fibre if we notice. Our God-given right. Our God-given responsibility.