this. this is what this song is about.
WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood
this. this is what this song is about.
WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood
as you know, we are two artists living together. so everything around our house has meaning of some sort. each rock, each piece of wood, each feather, each vintage suitcase, each peace sign, each wooden box, each old window frame, each peeling screen door, each painting. before david’s paintings also found their way onto the walls, there were several paintings i had painted. well, “painted”. i spattered and brushed black and white paint to the beating of my heart onto large canvases until i knew the paintings were done and then hung them up. they each have a story – a heart narrative that might not be obvious to you, but is something i can feel each time i look at each of these paintings.
david’s work is stunning. although some of them are for sale, we have pieces of his displayed on our walls – stories on canvas, we have chosen to hang paintings that tell part of our story together. you never get tired of looking at something that is a piece of your life, a canvas of an intimate moment here or there. K.DOT & D.DOT SEE AN OWL is one of those. it’s an exquisite collection of color and movement and reaching. in our story, it is about seeing an owl in the big old pine tree in our backyard. on your wall, it could be about any moment in your life that you and your beloved looked forward, pointing into the future, embracing it, excitedly sharing together something inordinately full of meaning and just yours. paintings are like that.
K.DOT & D.DOT SEE AN OWL ©️ 2015 david robinson & kerri sherwood
what’s that saying?…’one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’? a walk through our house shows we drew this chicken nugget from our own lives. i’ve written before, ok many times before, about the stones in our home, the sticks and feathers, the old doors and windows, re-purposed old aluminum coffee pots as canisters, old stoves still working, my dad’s workbench wooden boxes, pieces of old desks or old wooden crates as end tables. everyone has their own definition of “treasure”; for us it’s just not always the shiny new stuff.
this weekend marks another earth day, a celebration of support for our beloved home planet. more than 193 countries now mark this day as a day of awareness and honoring. as we move about our days, we make seemingly miniscule decisions about how to handle our little piece of the globe. but each one of these has an impact and the ever-widening ripples will either be adding to the protection of mother earth or contributing to the harm that will adversely effect our earth in the long-term. yes, those blue recycling bags cost a bundle, but it helps. yes, those kitchen cabinets might look old for you, but they’d look better in someone else’s home (who maybe doesn’t have cabinets) than in the dump.
maybe a few sticks or rocks placed here or there in our home reminds us of all that. they are treasures for me. they always have been. we can’t fit all our treasures into our literal ‘special box’ of memories so they sit out. i can’t tell you specifically where each of them came from anymore, but i can tell that each one is meaningful and each one comes from our good planet earth.
FIND YOUR TREASURES ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood
late yesterday afternoon, after a day spent working on computers and designs, with technology sluggishness taking over our souls, we headed to the woods to take a hike. any time we feel tired or ‘stuck’ we walk. around the ‘hood, along the lake, or to the starbucks about 2 and a half miles away. any time we feel exuberant or elated we walk. sometimes in the mountains (ahh!!) or in chicago or the third ward in milwaukee. any time we need a ‘business meeting’ we walk. mostly in the woods, in a county or state park. walking and breathing in fresh air brings us back to the moment. it re-centers us.
we hiked up the small rise in the woods, the light was waning and behind us the sky was deep deep orange. in the clearing beyond the stand of trees stood, very still, a deer. it was clearly the ‘lookout’ as way back in the field were six more deer, easy to count in the almost-dark as their white tails bobbed when the lookout gave the alert. we stood perfectly still watching this beauty, a magic moment in the woods. neither of us wanted to leave the spot. i took a picture, not because you can see the deer in it, but because it preserved the moment for me. i didn’t want to forget. because, as you already know, i am thready like that.
around me, every rock or feather or piece of wood or ticket stub or scrap of notepaper carries with it a specific moment – preserved in time. i could not necessarily tell the story of each of those moments – there are far too many for my synapse-challenged-brain to remember. but i know that each one had meaning for me. each one defined yet another piece of me, my relationship with someone i love, a time i shared with another being, a learning, a moment of sheer bliss, a moment of deep sadness. each moment renewed me and brought me to my next moment of living.
as i have moved through life one thing has become certain. that everything changes. nothing stays the same. life is in flux, always fluid. what more do we have than each moment as it arrives for us? i ask myself, “how do i want to spend this moment? what do i want to feel about this moment?” for i can never get it back. i can never re-do it. time has moved on. and so i must keep moving. i write about moments, i compose about moments, i tell stories about moments. for me, those details count. attempting to put succinctly (ha!) into words my philosophy-of-what-moments-mean is impossible; it is the umbrella that skies over everything else i believe, everything else i think.
when The Boy was little, he called the rearview mirror in cars the “review” mirror. particularly poignant i think. i have seen it written “don’t stare into the rearview mirror. that’s not the direction you are going.” instead i try (read: TRY) to review the past moments, learn from them, find grace in them, save the memory threads. and wholeheartedly embrace the ones to come. the moments. unique. in every way. i love this chicken marsala image.
this moment…unique…in every way ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood
ever since the evening we were guests in the synagogue the word ‘kavanah’ has been haunting me. the rabbi used this word several times. i’m not one who always remembers new words in other languages – that must be a product of my age lol – but this one stayed with me. much like the way ‘bashert’ (a person’s soulmate; the person who will complete another perfectly) wrapped itself around my memory after helen told us about it, this hebrew word did the same. (not to mention that it sounds beautiful to your ears and feels good to say (try it.)) in looking it up i read that it refers to one’s intention, direction of the heart, the ability to refrain from distraction, to stay in that moment…”directing the mind to the meaning of words uttered or acts performed.” that sounds a lot like presence to me. intentional presence in a moment, whether that moment is acting on something or speaking something or quietly praying something. i read that there is an 11th century moral philosopher bahya ibn pakudah who has been quoted, “prayer without kavanah is like a body without a soul.”
we’ve been taking long walks. through the woods, along the lake, traipsing through meadows filled with a combination of snow and ice and mud. he calls me a ‘scavenger’…each hike i come back with something found – feathers, a branch, rocks, seed pods that have dried on the vine. they remind me of the hike…so grateful…the stepping from one moment to the next. on these hikes, i am so aware of the fact that these moments are the only things we are sure of. one at a time. we revel in the air, the sun on our faces, our hands in each other’s, the sound of our boots breaking through snow and ice. we ponder on our own thoughts as we walk, and we talk about our ponderings. we are aware of the newness of life that will happen soon – when the sun warms the earth enough, when the rains nurture the seed, when the wind gently encourages new life, when the elements intend.
relationship offers us this chance too – intention – to be warm, to nurture, to encourage, to intend – love. we can think we are about goodness, but we must intend goodness. for goodness, we have to choose goodness. in the moment. without distraction. joan wrote, in an amazing poem she penned for our wedding, of the restorative power of life, even in the midst of chaos and what looks like destruction, an amazing intention of our universe to bring life. always Life.
in each of our precious moments we have this chance, i realize, once again. always once again. i wonder how many lessons we get in our lives to learn this. i believe that it is repeated over and over, for, as humans, we forget. we get lost. we are the body, sometimes without the soul. we are the words without the meaning. we are the forest, yearning for spring, instead of reveling in winter. we are the seed pods, wishing we were still the flowers, instead of drinking in the possibility of new seed. we are prayer without kavanah.
three years ago the boy and his best friend and i went to the christmas tree farm. there was a lot of snow and we ran through it, dodging each other’s snowballs. plodding around, we found the ‘perfect’ tree and an extra little one to go upstairs as well. the boy and pierre sawed them down, we loaded the big tree on top of the car, drove home and had hot chocolate before digging out the tree stand from the basement. this ‘perfect’ tree held white lights proudly and felt like a celebration.
two years ago d.dot and i were standing with the boy in the snow out in the field and the boy said, with disdain, “not THAT one!” he was talking about a christmas tree we had moseyed over to, a christmas tree that was speaking to the ‘youtwoarenotnormal’ in us. the boy wanted a ‘normal’ tree – one that had a ‘normal’ shape – one that looked ‘normal’ – the kind of tree that everyone associates with all the hallmark movies and norman rockwell christmas plates. and so, since we had driven in his car and he vowed to make us walk home from the christmas tree farm in freezing temperatures, we obliged his wish for a ‘normal’ tree. and it was beautiful. it had ridiculously sharp needles (we later named it ‘satan’) but it held white christmas lights proudly and it felt like a celebration.
last year the boy wasn’t there when we went to the christmas tree farm. so that meant that two artists were let loose in the fields. dangerous. we stomped through the snow and mud, laughing and looking at every single tree there. it wasn’t all that cold out, and the light was streaming through the fir branches. it was glorious. we found our tree in the back of the farm. we nicknamed it ‘christmas-tree-on-a-stick’. (if you ever go to the minnesota state fair, as the boy and the girl and i did a few years back, you will find literally everyyyything on a stick.) this tree had a long trunk with no branches – about 3-4 feet up- and then the tree part started. everyone who saw it, loved it. it was a ‘perfect’ tree…a ‘perfect’ tree on a stick and it held white christmas lights proudly and felt like a celebration.
this year we drove past the christmas tree farm to see if it was still there. the land is for sale – 34 acres of oasis in town – but it is still there for all who want to have an adventure and find their ‘perfect’ tree. we didn’t stop right then; we planned on coming back another time. we laughed, pondering what this year’s tree would look like. it was likely we would pick out something even more ummm….artsy….than last year. we knew the boy would be thrilled. ha.
one morning, a few days after that, we took a walk. as we approached our home there was a big branch in the street that had somehow been knocked off the big tree in our front yard, a tree that has been there forever. this tree has been in so many pictures through the years. it has towered over the girl and the boy as they grew. it has been the base of snow forts, the shade for the summer, the harbinger of budding spring coming, the last tree to lose leaves in the fall. when i rocked the girl and boy as babies in the nursery, it was this tree i could see out the window, this tree that i see in my mind’s eye, this tree marking the changing of the seasons, the growing of children, the movement of time. i looked over at the branch in the street and then ran to get it. looking at d.dot i said,”what about this? this could be the perfect christmas tree for us this year.” we laughed and brought it inside so that it could dry out a bit. a couple of days ago, we placed it in the christmas tree stand, wrapped burlap around the bottom, and stood back to look. this branch, this piece of history, this year’s christmas tree – is holding white christmas lights -and a little metal star- proudly and is a celebration.
sometimes it is the simplest things.