reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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“you’re my favorite pain in the ass.” merely-a-thought monday

you're my favorite

we bought it on our honeymoon.  we knew, even by then, that we would need this sign’s lighthearted truth to remind us – some days – of what we even liked about each other.  in these days of isolation it’s front and center.

these are profoundly difficult times.  without the balance of getting out or having a little space, we are all finding ourselves in close isolation with the others in our home.  we two, here, are often together 24/7.  we work together in a variety of capacities, so we have gotten a little more accustomed to the dynamics than, say, some of you who have been thrown into the deep end with no feathering of getting-used-to-the-water time.  but…that doesn’t mean it’s always pretty.  so we are all here, separately together, figuring it out.

we wonder about the future.  we worry.  we stew.  we get excited.  we get scared.  we get weary.

the stress level is palpable.  you can feel the world out-there functioning at a completely different frequency than it had been.  it is like that high pitch in your ears, making you teeter on yelling, “make it stop”.  we all try to go with the flow, try to make the best of it.  we are fortunate to be here together, at home, in a safe place.  we seek ways to stay relevant and do meaningful work.  we follow stay-at-home orders.  we reach out to visit, virtually, with our family and friends.  we video-conference with colleagues.  we wear leggings and sweatpants on a daily basis.  my boy, in a city with ever-exponentially-growing-covid-19-numbers, said that’s a given – sweats, sweats, sweats and the perfunctory button-down shirt.  we know what’s visible and what’s not.  we desperately hope for the best.  we get in each other’s way.  we help each other.  we brainstorm new ways to cope, new ways to work, some with steep learning curves.  we sigh.  we take naps, tired and wrung out.  all are true.

we wonder about the future.  we worry.  we stew.  we get excited.  we get scared.  we get weary.

and we try to stay in touch.  we desperately miss our children, our family, our friends, the people in our day-to-day life route.

even in times of ‘normal’, if my daughter, whose home is in a covid-19 hotspot and whose work, like too many, has been decimated, texts me with no punctuation and clipped answers, i know i have either a) stepped past the edge of the chatting time limit b) asked too many questions c) said something completely too mom-ish or d) encountered her at a time she needs space for herself.  no matter which option, it’s smart (and in my best interest) to back up.  she, just like my son, knows she is loved beyond words and i know that, in order for me to stay loved, or, er, tolerated, i need to utter less painintheass words.  but i am their mom and it is an intrinsic part of my job.

we wonder about the future.  we worry.  we stew.  we get excited.  we get scared.  we get weary.

if david, the other artist in my two-artist-household equation, mentions an idea to me, i dig under the idea pile of leaves to find the base of it – to order the details of what the idea means, to parse it out.  i can’t start at the top and assume thebigidea will work.  i have to see how the ingredients of the idea will work, the steps to get there.  if the tiniest piece of the idea doesn’t seem plausible, i argue, how could thebigidea be possible.  i don’t mean to be a bigidea killer; i just need to see the practical details.  i’m sure he invokes the youareapainintheass eyeroll when i am not looking, but that’s ok.  he can’t see me rolling my eyes either.

and so, we wonder about the future.  we worry.  we stew.  we get excited.  we get scared.  we get weary.

in the biggest way we have seen in decades we have a challenge.  to stay healthy.  to keep others healthy.  what we do affects you and vice-versa.  we all have to be responsible.  we all have to work together.  we are not all favorites of each other.  some of us are the biggest pains in the ass to others of us.  we are learning, bending, flexing.  we are finding out that we are more resilient than we thought, we are capable of negotiating the bumps in the relationship-road.  we are gumby in the real world.

and we are all here.  separate and together.  despite our wildly differing stories, we have a common story.  we are here.

and we wonder about the future.  we worry.  we stew.  we get excited.  we get scared.  we get weary.

i, for one, am grateful for my absolute favorite painintheass even though he is totally a painintheass.  for what would i do without him?

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

not our best morning minturn website box

 


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weddings. [k.s. friday]

my best friend with frame

we are watching.  two lovely young women, the daughters of dear friends, will be married this year.  we will be attending each of these weddings.  i will have the honor of playing at them.  they are excited, immersed in the details of their ceremonies and their receptions, the times that people will gather around them and celebrate their joining of lives, of families.  it is a time of immense joy for them and it’s certainly fun to be included, hearing about gowns and venues, songs and vows.  they are amazed at how quickly these days are approaching.  it’s that life thing.  it keeps moving. faster and faster.

when my niece got married on the beach, she had her dj play instrumentals of mine as her bridal party, including me, walked across the sand.  but a couple weeks ahead, when we were talking about all the tiniest details, she asked if maybe, just maybe, i could write her and her husband-to-be a song, something that would be solely hers as she walked toward him over the warm beach, bright sun low in the sky.

this is the song i wrote for them.  no time to run to nashville or even chicago, i ran to a studio in town and quickly recorded it, just piano and voice, nothing fancy.  i was moved to hear it broadcast over the sound of waves, watching as she walked into a new chapter of her life, directly to her best friend.  and now, there’s so much more.  life keeps going.

i wore a pink dress with puffy sleeves (yes, shockingly, a color) for my other sweet niece’s wedding.  twice as long ago, i was touched at being included.  i have watched her grow (she’s amazing!) and have watched as she and her husband have built a home together and lovingly raised their two boys.  life.  keeps moving on.

i recently heard from a nephew of mine after a pretty long time of silence.  he sent a picture of he and his husband together and i was thrilled to see him looking so content, so in-his-life.  it keeps moving.

we are at the age when many friends’ children are marrying.  each time we attend a wedding or send off a gift we watch as two people decide to be together, through thick and thin.  we wish them more of the best than the challenges, but we know that the challenges are also the glue.

each story is not as simple as it sounds.  we know that.  moving in together, whether post-wedding or no wedding at all, sharing a sink, worrying about life’s constant worries, dividing up household responsibilities, traversing family dynamics, navigating gigantic decisions, choosing which direction to put the toilet paper on the roller…life as two is both more difficult and less difficult than life as one. and, in the way of how it all works, the time of life both moves in slow motion and flies by.

it helps when you choose it with your best friend.

 

download the single MY BEST FRIEND on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

 

wedding pic with website

MY BEST FRIEND ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood

 


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our daisy. [d.r. thursday]

daisy framed copy jpeg

if there is an icon image for us, this would be it. the full image of david’s daisy painting includes language:  you said, “i’ll be the one.” yes. you are. 

i was the one holding the daisy.  way back when now, in baggage claim, thinking he would have no idea who i was, i texted him i would be the one holding the daisy.   we hadn’t ever met yet, but our backandforthandbackandforth email letters had been going on for about six months and it was time to see the face of the other half of the backandforth.

i was nervous in the airport waiting.  i got there early, which, in and of itself, is a feat because i am not a way-too-early-to-the-airport person.  i visited the mirror in the ladies room a number of times, checking my outfit, my hair, making sure i had no food in my teeth (linda can tell you bill t. had made me paranoid about this).  the evening before, i agonized over what to wear.  a nice outfit?  a dress?  leggings and a tunic?  i ended up with my favorite old jeans, my boots and a big oversized black chenille sweater.  i needed to feel like me.

the girl in the airport restroom was waiting for her fiance to return from the service; their wedding was merely two months away.  she asked me who i was there to meet and i told her the (short) version of the story.  she laughed and said, “ah.  it’s obvious.  you two will find out you are soulmates, ” which made me laugh.  clearly that was silly.

i only knew his face from a tiny photo on a website.  i had seen photographs of his coffee cup in various settings and his paintings (which i loved), but not his face.  the identifying daisy in baggage claim – in my belief – was necessary.

that daisy was quivering when this guy with jeans, boots and a black shirt and outer jacket was walking toward me and i realized the girl in the bathroom might be right.  a kind face and easy stride, he walked up to me and, laughing, we hugged.  we skipped out of the airport, the daisy cheering us on.

the rest is history, as they say.  there have been uphills and downhills; the roller coaster for two artists living together would challenge any six flags amusement ride.  life beginning together as two grown-up adults is navigable but requires much negotiation.  two people with different pasts – one of us with children, one of us without – is full of lessons and storytelling and learning curves.  the smack-dab in the middle of middle age brings its own neuroticisms; the late 50s is not necessarily a time that you feel at the very apex of feeling good in your body.  we pay attention to health and diet and know our time together is not the decades and decades of our parents’ times together.  we try to maximize moments.  and we sometimes struggle with the feeling of starting over.  not the resilient twenties or thirties of our first marriages, yet starting again with much of the same arduous uphill climb.

so in the roadtrip of this life together were i to assign an icon it would be this daisy.  because this daisy in the painting on our wall reminds us:  i’ll be the one. yes. you are.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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Gate F8 website box copy

daisy ©️ 2012 david robinson


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and now. the song. who knew? [k.s. friday]

and now songbox .jpg

the sun set on another day on island.  and the moon rose.  who knew?

four years ago, when david walked down the aisle to this song, who knew?  who knew what would come, what adventures would appear, what challenges would rear up, what tiny moments would tear up in our eyes, what heartaches would befall us?  who knew?  who knew what chaos would reign our world, what gentle calm would envelop us, what times with family would look like, what times without loved ones would feel like?  who knew?

four years ago, when david walked down the aisle to this song, we were decades younger, starting out all over again, baby-stepping into an unknown, beguiling, mysterious future.  who knew?  who knew the times of decisions, of direction-choosing, of sacrifice, of abundance?  who knew the dances we would dance, the cries we would cry, the pages of life filled with, well…life?  who knew?

there we stood, last night, on the back porch, white happy lights glowing on the railing, watching the moon rise over our little bay, high in the sky, gigantic, tiny hog island in the distance.  we wondered aloud, in wonder, about the wonderment of it all.  who knew?

and now…….looking forward…..outward….onward….with great love….

download AND NOW on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

BootsWeddingBoots website box

AND NOW ©️ 2015 kerri sherwood


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and now. the painting. [d.r. thursday]

and now painting copy

this painting is magical.  it is the stuff of dreams, the stuff of hope, a vision of the future, the thready sharing of life and love.  it looks more to me like flying than resting and, perhaps, as the wedding gift that d gave me four years ago today, it was prophetic.  with the presence of mountains and a daisy, holding hands, embracing, perhaps dancing in flight, it is what we knew then.

what we know now is so much more.

our journey, our flight, together has, in its rawest form, a newness.  meeting smack-dab in the middle of middle-age has its interesting elements.  not that either of us is rigid…oh, no….of COURSE not.  but when you are nigh 60 years old you do have your ways of doing things.  add to that the fact that we are two artists artist-ing together.  sheesh! there are some lively chats in these here parts.  and to feel like you are starting over again – in your middle 50s – is time-warpy.  there’s a lot to learn…but i guess that’s always true.

i have to say that i have never argued as much with another person.  i’m quite sure that we agree the sign we purchased on our honeymoon in the mountains of colorado says it all, “you are my favorite pain in the ass.”  it goes both ways.  we definitely have a full-spectrum of emotions together.  we are the best at disagreeing; we are the best team together.

i’m eternally grateful for this gift.  i cannot adequately put this into words, so it must suffice that – this is the man i skip with.

i have no idea where this journey with mountains and daisies will take us.  we are open to the mystery as we continue this amazing flight.  allways.  always.  magical.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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wedding pic with website.jpg

AND NOW ©️ 2015 david robinson

 

 


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three graces. [d.r. thursday]

ThreeGraces.JPG

i don’t purport to understand every painting of my visionary husband.  if i ask him what a painting is about, he posits a question back to me, “what does it mean to you?”  in normal conversation, this kind of question-question response is not troubling, but in husband-wife conversation it is slightly irksome, one of those times where you gently roll your eyes at your partner and sort of hope that coffee grounds find their way into the bottom of their first cup of coffee the next morning.  ok, so maybe not, but it is from a little bit of laziness that i sometimes want him to just TELL me.  instead, groaning, i take a tiny step back away from the painting and let emotion take over.

the title of this painting THREE GRACES suggests (from research) the goddesses of things such as “charm, beauty and creativity”.  a wealth of goodnesses, a wealth of possibility.  an appreciation of every little gesture, every honey bee, the creation by others of a world of wonder and challenge.

in our world today, we first cover our disbelieving eyes with hands of despair. we look to the heavens for guidance. we ground ourselves, one hand firmly planted for balance, the other on our foreheads, thinking, thinking. we seek to find answers, ways for charm and beauty and creativity to thrive.  and the elusiveness of peace.

click here to view or purchase this painting in david’s online gallery

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

HH coffee cups website box.jpg

THREE GRACES ©️ 2012 david robinson


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you can sit on the tooth. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

you can sit on the tooth copy

i did not inherit good teeth.  were i to be a horse i would not be running in the derby or any other horse race (which, right now, sounds like a good thing.)  anyway, i blame my sweet momma and my poppo; i’m not actually sure who gets the lion’s share of the blame, so i will just blame them both (and all the ancestors before them who did not have great teeth – we might as well make this a class-action-blame-suit.)

when i was a child growing up, my parents were quite a bit older than most of my friends’ parents.  this is because my sister is sooooo much older than me.  i was born soooo much later and, so, had parents who had some, maybe, backwards ideas.

drumroll, please.  my sweet momma – adorable as she was – and my sweet poppo – equally adorable – never ever EVER had novocaine when they got fillings.  for some unknown reason, they just toughed it out.  now, i am quite sure you are cringing at the very thought.  those drills.  that hook thing that tries to pull your tongue out of your mouth.  the sounds alone are unnerving.  anyway, they seemed to reach deep inside, thinking they were getting extra points or something, and they endured the pain throughout drilling/filling procedures.

this brings me to me.  because that is what they believed in, i was subjected to the same torture and did not have novocaine until i was well into adulthood and realized it was a thing.  having had two children without the benefit of anesthesia, i can honestly say now that i would rather have more children than go through any more dental work without novocaine or some such numbing agent.

so, this is a long preamble to my story.

i broke a tooth during lent.  you would think things like that wouldn’t happen during lent, but, alas, it did.  my dentist, who is a saint, was out of town and i waited for his return. because of my ptsd from childhood dentistry, i cannot go alone to an appointment like this so david went with me.  he always does.  we try to be there for each other in each of our doctor/dental appointments; it’s part of the i-support-you-in-everything deal.

my favorite moment when we walk in (my REAL favorite moment is when we walk OUT) is when the dental assistant says to david, “you can sit on the tooth.”  it is pretty funny to see a grown man figure out how to sit on a tooth.  it’s even funnier to watch him not feel awkward.  he handles his tooth-sitting with great aplomb, alternately cracking jokes with dan, the dentist, and holding my foot, since he can’t reach my hand from the tooth.

for this dentist who has all the patience in the world for my terror and for david’s presence there on the tooth, i am eternally grateful.   i would totally sit on the tooth for him.

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

ps.  don’t believe anything david says in his post.  i suspect it’s all not true.

not our best morning minturn website box


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the blue notebook. [merely-a-thought monday]

why?

a text from 20

my sweet momma was an optimist.   growing up, she’d wake me up in the morning with a cheery, “good morning, merry sunshine” and she would happily start her day.  she would jot everything on her desk calendar (the kind with the base, two metal rings and sheets for each day that were replenishable yearly.)  for her, everything counted.  she would write down all of it, in her personal shorthand.  to read her calendars now is to see all parts of life – the magical parts and the painful aspects.  but momma? she just had a way of listing to the magical side.

we drove down to florida nine to ten times in the last couple years of her life.  we’d visit and laugh and listen to stories and catch her up on our life.  she was in assisted living then so we would listen carefully if she mentioned something she clearly wanted from the home she and my dad had shared.  her finnish wood carvings, a certain sweater, a jacket, a movie in the entertainment center…all things back home.  we all worked to be sure she was surrounded by things that meant a lot to her.

one day momma started to recollect another of the rich stories she and my dad had experienced on their trip to europe decades earlier.  she spoke of the brand new vw bug they ordered ahead and picked up in germany.  she spoke of roadtripping for six weeks around the countryside.  and she spoke of a red notebook in which she wrote down all her impressions, all their doings, all the adventures during their trip.  she wrote of tender moments and of the simplest of pleasures.  she wrote of what made that trip magical and painful challenges they had.  she didn’t write of the grandiose or the impactful tourist spots.  she wrote of what made that trip theirs and theirs alone, a deeply personal account.  and as she spoke of it, you could feel the presence of my dad by her side.  these were cherished stories and precious time she spent with her beloved husband.  clearly, she pined for this notebook – written memories of that magic.

we went back home that evening to my parent’s house with a mission – find the red notebook.  we started in the office, scouring the desk and the closet, going through bins and boxes, our eyes searching for a red spiral.  defeated in the office, we moved on.  every nook.  every cranny.  we opened every bin and box in the house, rifling through, trying to find it.

we moved on to the garage.  tall filing cabinets stood against the wall (for basements are somewhat inconceivable in florida).  i started pulling out drawers.  david headed for the stacks of plastic bins, piled in another part of the garage.

we kept at it.  determined, but losing some hope.

david opened the last plastic bin, the one on the very bottom of the piles.  he shuffled through the papers in the top; his eyes fell on a brochure.  a travel brochure.  from europe.  his pulse racing, he continued to dig through the bin.

and then he saw it.  a BLUE spiral notebook.  on the front was penned the word EUROPE.

the last time i saw my momma – ever – was the very next morning.  when we left her, she was clutching the blue notebook to her chest, tears in her eyes.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY

 

thebluenotebookproject

a sweet momma inspired project

momma, d & k website box copy


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peace. earth. peace on earth. [d.r. thursday]

peace on earth copy

peace signs.  the word peace.  ornaments of peace.  our home is punctuated with these.  i believe it is possible – peace.  but then, for truly big things, i believe in that which i cannot see.

the days older that i get, the more i see the simplest things are the things that bring me peace:  the moment in the car with my beloved daughter, driving and laughing in the high desert or standing on a red rock precipice overlooking a canyon, tears in my eyes.  the moment my beloved son let me link arms walking through the city or his hugging me -one more time- right before the train, yes…tears in my eyes.  being -anywhere- with my beloved husband. all the stuff of deep soul warmth.  the stuff of good tears.

i have found that peace doesn’t have to be complicated.  it is simply there.  in the very tightest concentric circle around me.  if i can be at peace, perhaps i can do my part, i can ripple that outward.  and maybe, eventually, with all our ripples, peace and earth will truly combine to be PEACE ON EARTH.

peace for me

peace on earth products copy

click here for PEACE. EARTH. PEACE ON EARTH products and scroll down SOCIETY6 page for a wide variety of gift ideas.

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

hands website box copy

PEACE. EARTH. PEACE ON EARTH. is a morsel of INSTRUMENT OF PEACE

InstrumentofPeace copy

PEACE. EARTH. PEACE ON EARTH./INSTRUMENT OF PEACE ©️ 2018/2015 david robinson & kerri sherwood


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two artists. living together. [two artists tuesday]

our two fingers

i had landed in denver, took the little plane for the small airport in the mountains.  The Girl picked me up and we did errands in town, because telluride is an hour and a half away and there is no target or starbucks or any chain store there.  when we got to the little house she just moved to and shares with three others, i looked for something to cut the stems off sweet flowers so i could place them in a facsimile of a vase.  having not unpacked all the way, and knowing she was also not all that familiar with her new place yet, i knew that i should just make do with anything that cuts.  i grabbed a large knife off the counter and starting sawing.  the only thing wrong with that is that i sawed my left pointer finger as well.  ouch!  i did everything to make it stop bleeding but it was stubborn and kirsten and i wrapped it in bandaids and paper towels to wander around town.  yowza.

i wasn’t going to mention it to d – the cutting-stems-with-a-big-serrated-knife thing and all – but couldn’t resist looking for a little husband-sympathy.  so after another hour or so, i texted him.  he texted back, “we are twins.  my left index finger.  i sliced mine hours ago…”  what?!?

we have this beautiful print in our home, a simple calligraphy by my big brother….it reads, “when one weeps, the other will taste salt.” hmmm.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

wideopenmouths website box copy

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