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be thou my vision. lento. rubato. [k.s. friday]

be thou my vision songbox

were i to record this old reassuring hymn BE THOU MY VISION again, i would play it much, much slower.  not the andante of the recording, the tempo of singing these verses.  instead, i would realize that this kind of guidance doesn’t necessarily happen in my version of time but, instead, in the universe’s version of time.  much, much slower.

it was 15 years ago, back in 2004, when i sat on a leather piano bench at yamaha artist services in nyc recording this piece and the others on the hymn albums.  i was 45.  things seem to move a lot faster at 45; expectations are impatient, conflict needs quick resolution rather than measured, thoughtful parsing.

now, 15 years later, i realize that slow is key.  the right answers don’t come fast.  much as we want quick, answers take their sweet time.  we ask for guidance and wish for an immediate sticky note to float down in front of us.  we, d and i, can tell you, if you don’t already know, that just doesn’t happen.  post-it notes were created on earth and any sticky note floating down from the heavens, the vision we so desperately seek, is invisible.  it shows itself, slowly, in how things begin to fit together, how it feels.  slowly.

we were at the music store in town a couple days ago.  kevin, the owner and one of our favorite people to hang and chat with, asked us what was new.  we laughed, not ready to share all that has been happening, but described an ever-changing picture.  he asked us if it felt like “all the pieces were falling into place easily.”  although i wouldn’t choose any form of the word ‘easy’ to depict our sticky-notes-requested-scenario, we can also say we haven’t been force-fitting square pegs into round holes. “then it’s supposed to be,” he said.  he told the loaded-with-sticky-notes story of buying the music store, fraught with challenges, but so meant to be.  it’s not in our time.  our expected tempo of things happening has, we can see, nothing to do with it.

so, lento.  lento would be the way to play this.  slowly.  taking sweet time.  and rubato. freely.  for in the gift of vision is sweet freedom: the ability to take a breath, recognize, regardless of our age, how little we really know, sit in purple adirondack chairs, go beyond the jetty and count on a benevolent universe.

purchase ALWAYS WITH US CD or download on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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BE THOU MY VISION from ALWAYS WITH US VOL 1 ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood

 

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this heart outside of mine. [k.s. friday]

ffod song box copy

“…it overwhelms me what i feel…this heart outside of mine….is walking in another person, in another life…” (lyrics)

there is something mysterious and knock-you-to-your-knees-powerful about feeling like you have a heart walking in another person.  i know – now – how my sweet momma felt.  each time she asked me to let her know i arrived safely while driving cross-country, each time i shared good news, each time she checked in on me after any sort of gritty life-drama, each time she sent cards with messages of encouragement or congratulations, each time i saw her try not to weep upon my leaving.  i get it.  she could feel her heart – out there – moving around in the world, just outside her sight view.

motherhood is not for wimps.  it is, by far, the most gratifyingly-toughest-most-important job i will ever know.  i have had to grow two extra hearts and then let them go, wandering and exploring this good earth, finding themselves and their happiness.  i can feel it, these hearts – out there.  but, with the exception of the time i can actually put my arms around My Girl or My Boy,  it’s all just outside my sight view.  overwhelming.  yes.

and, although i have told it before, here is the story – again:

we walked The Girl to kindergarten.  it was spring and sunny and warm.  dandelions were everywhere.  on the way home, The Boy dropped my hand to toddler-zigzag around a yard where dandelions > grass by far (kind of like ours.)  he bent down and picked yellow flower upon yellow flower.  until he came running back to me.  he held up his sweaty-dirty-little-boy fist, full of bright yellow and green dandelions and said, “woses for momma.”

better than roses.  what more could a momma want?

that is the moment this song was born.

happy mother’s day.

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FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS from THE BEST SO FAR ©️ 1999 kerri sherwood

 


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part of the wind. [k.s. friday]

part of the wind songbox copy

with the sun not yet up over the farmlands, the hot air balloon lifted.  we slowly sailed over fields and stands of trees, watching the world wake up.  as the sun rose over the horizon, we could hear what was going on below us.  we weren’t that high up and any conversation in backyards and barns, on patios and decks or driveways was easy to hear.  we weren’t intentionally eavesdropping; you just can’t help but hear clearly up there in the wind.  it’s an amazing vantage point floating low in the sky, sharing the sunrise with the earth, an endless horizon.  a little wary, i had asked the pilot if he had any anti-motion apothecary suggestions.   he responded by telling me that none are needed, that you are “part of the wind.”  we were.  we are.  part of the wind.

when we go antiquing and wander around in vast collections of other people’s lives, we pass by paintings on the walls and in stacks against cabinets, displayed beautifully and piled haphazardly.  we stand in front of bins full of records and 45’s, stacks of CDs not even alphabetized, the vinyl and polycarbonate/aluminum blend all beckoning us to sort through and remember songs or moments in time.  and we, artists of the canvas and of song, draw in our breath.  it’s an amazing vantage point floating here in time, sharing this day with the earth, contemplating.

and we wonder if this is where all of our paintings and cds will end up one day…in an antique shop where browsers will pass by, exclaiming, “wow!  look at all those paintings!” or “wow!  look at all those cds!”  we wonder if they will stop, page through, recognize a track or two, an image or two, or if they will be curious or spellbound and buy something to bring home.  perhaps we will remain part of the stacks, the bins, ever-growing, the horizon endless.

either way, we are part of the wind.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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PART OF THE WIND from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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adrift. [k.s. friday]

adrift songbox

“from a visual place…adrift on long island sound late-night.  from an emotional place…living in the gray.” (liner notes – blueprint for my soul, 1996)

the gray.  it sounds dismal.  but gray is not devoid of color.  if you mix the three primary colors together – red, yellow and blue – and then add white, you will hone the gray of your choosing.  if you have ever stood in front of color samples at home depot or menards you know that gray, itself, spans a full spectrum.  so many choices.  all gray.  the only thing really pertinent about gray is that it isn’t just black and white.  it swirls together every color of experience, every emotion, every laugh and every tear.  it is not defined by distinct edges, but blurs one moment into the next.

the word ‘adrift’ sounds inactive.  but, in this vast world, aren’t we pretty much adrift?  we believe we are proactive; we act on things we believe in.  and yet.  we bounce off turbulent waves threatening to destroy us; we ride others into the beach.  we sit in calm waters and we try to navigate the waters that toss us wildly.  we make decisions in moments of incomplete information; we have successes, we have regrets.  we are adrift in the gray.

in moments of sunshine on trails in the woods i feel less adrift and more centered, more clear.  it’s the rest of the moments when i try my best to ‘go with the flow’.  we are surrounded by unknowns, caught in many an eddy.  we are uncertain, but we are all capable.  we are held in glimmering gossamer silks of grace by a universe that is benevolent.  adrift.

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ADRIFT from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 


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the two of you. [k.s. friday]

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the two of you:  two reasons why i breathe ~ my children (cd liner notes)

this will never change.  most of the things i gather around me are things that make me think of them, feel them near.  it’s as simple as framed photographs or collages or a peace keychain or lanyards that say ‘colorado’ and ‘boston’.  it’s a screenshot of a text message i want to remember.  it’s a note jotted on my calendar about something My Girl or My Boy said to me or a date that is important to them i want to remember.  it’s notes they wrote as children held by magnets to the refrigerator or in small frames bedside.  it’s laughter saved in a video.  it’s moments of tears driving away from their homes.  it’s a rock saved on a hike in the high desert canyonlands with The Girl; it’s The Boy’s childhood favorite ny taxi pencil on my piano.  nothing is huge.  everything is huge.

most of my also-mom-friends will agree that, outside of spending time together, the one thing certain to lift them up on any given day is a reaching-out-to-them by a grown-up child.  it’s the moment ANYthing else stops.  it’s the silently-agreed-upon, strictly-held-to and always-welcome interruption in the middle of visiting others, working, hiking, cooking, sleeping.  both The Girl and The Boy knew – and know – that they can call or text at any time of day or night and i will be there; i will answer.   ‘always there’ is a fierce inner motherhood promise designed to both ground and frustrate children, whatever their ages.   it’s a guiding principle, a mom-creed.   it’s absolute.  it’s truth.

from the moment they were born everything changed.  and, from that moment on, one thing didn’t.  the two of you ~ two reasons why i breathe ~ my children.  ❤️

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THE TWO OF YOU from AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood

 


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tomorrow. lettuce and erle. [k.s. friday]

THIS erle cover

one of the gifts i received for my 60th birthday this week – an envelope with seed packets of lettuces in it, dirt and manure.  on the outside of the envelope of seeds was this:

“to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” (audrey hepburn)

early november. moab, utah.  i was standing on the precipice of a vast and deep canyon and was filled with wonder.  My Girl encouraged me a bit further out, a bit higher.  she was right to push me.  the gorge inches away, unforgiving, i didn’t lose my breath until the very edge.  but i breathed in so much more.  i felt like ME. me, in my old hiking boots and ripped jeans, a couple black layered shirts and a vest, fingerless gloves linda made.  ME.  the air of the high desert mountains seemed to fill me and, as i stood there, pondering my very existence in this place, i felt renewed.  a meeting ground, i could feel all the yesterdays that brought me there and the tomorrows that stretched forward.  it is a spiritual place.  she was right and i tied my heart to it just as she had predicted.  the sun and i were each merely a tiny piece of the enormity.  we watched day end and shadows paint the canyon walls until dark filled the void. we laughed uncontrollably.  i cried.  no matter what, the next day – tomorrow – would come to that place and sun would spackle the walls until it would -again- be light.

THIS will be the next album cover.  in some tomorrow time.  i wish to bring burning sun and immense canyons into that project.  mountains and Spirit and old boots.  a bow to yesterday and to tomorrow and the place inbetween.  the air in me.  i don’t know when or exactly how.  i just know i need to somehow make the chance.  i need to stand on the very edge, once again.  it matters not whether i am relevant in these times.  it just matters that i plant it.  lettuce, here i come.

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

thank you to old friends who called or texted or FB-messaged me this week.  i can’t begin to tell you what you mean to me. with love.

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erle. ©️ 2019 kerri sherwood

OLD FRIENDS REVISITED from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

 


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missing. [k.s. friday]

MISSING song box copy

it comes in waves.  in less than two weeks i will be 60.  i’m not a consumed-with-my-age-person, but this particular birthday is proving me different.  without any prompts, i find myself sorting through my life, the six decades that lead me to right now.   memories flow in and ebb out like the tide on a surfboard of emotions.  trying not to resist, i ride the wave as it brings me growing up times on long island…my nuclear family all together, all alive, gathered in our dining room on abby drive or up in the catskills in a rustic state park cabin….bike hikes and carvel….simple times of arguing for john denver over bob dylan….time walking or sitting or playing frisbee on crab meadow beach…late sunday morning mc-arnson sandwiches or waffles and ice cream around my sweet momma and poppo’s table in florida…the time of building the first home i ever bought, a big choice for us as a young couple…the sheep farm in new hampshire….moving to wisconsin away from family and the challenges that raised…celebrating the amazing birth of our daughter and son and watching them grow into the people they are….recording my first album and what that meant….letting go of the day-to-day mothering as my children became adults and still being an every-single-day mother….balancing the impact of good decisions and bad decisions….times of intense grief….choosing love….starting over….wondering what is coming next….

the inner monologue chronicles through all of these years…i sit in quiet watching the slideshow in my mind’s eye and ponder.  what was most important, what is most important, what will be most important.  what it all means.  and it’s clear most of the time.  the people who have surrounded me, who have loved me, who i have loved.  the people i am missing – and will always miss – as well as the people who are right here.  the times i am missing – as well as the times -moments- i could miss right now were i to be too engrossed in something else.

on the album RELEASED FROM THE HEART, the track that i selected to follow MISSING is called CONNECTED.  because it all stays a part of the vast ocean that is each of our lives.  the missing and the now and the wondering, all part of the whole.  all waves to ride.

theocean

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MISSING from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood