reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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it can wait. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

text rest stop copy

we drove into new york from pennsylvania and one of the first things we saw on this beautiful drive was this sign.  “it can wait,”  it declared.  so true.  what’s so important that can’t wait a few miles? traveling at just 60mph that would only be a mere 5 minutes away. i was infinitely proud of my homestate of NY and the effort to acknowledge and accommodate today’s technology while not superseding safety.  distracted driving is against the law in many states, including NY and for good reason.  we have all been privy to devastating stories, accidents that might have been avoided, moments when paying close attention should be paramount.  providing a place to communicate is smart; these text stops were fairly frequent on the road and there were always cars and trucks parked there.  but on the road, speeding down the highway?  no technology present.

we are kind of at the back end of technology, david and me.  the girl and the boy are smack dab in the middle of it.  and the little children and young teens we see running around with ipads for entertainment or their own cellphones are clearly at the leading edge.  we’ve watched while standing in line, even at the post office, as a mother hands a small toddler a phone to play with while waiting.  i’m not sure where conversation or making up games or riddles on the fly went.  i remember standing in a zillion lines in the post office with the girl and the boy (shipping has been key in my business) and they seemed perfectly content to wait or, ohmygosh, just talk.  no technology present.

but it’s different now (saying this is a sure sign of us getting older) and everything is more immediate and more distracted.  how many times have you seen a couple together in a restaurant with cellphones at the ready, lingering halfway between their tablemate and the pull of the internet or the text or instagram or twitter…  the look on one of the faces an expression of defeat or, worse yet, an aloofness that comes with not being able to compete with the magnetic pull of that small device across from them.  “it can wait,” i whisper silently, wishing the other person at the table could hear.  what’s so important it can’t wait? what’s more important than those moments spent together, really together?  paying close attention.  no technology present.

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

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sisu. [merely a thought monday]

sisu box

sisu.  perseverance.  fortitude.  stamina.  courage.  determination.  my grandmother mama dear used this finnish term all the time and passed it down to my sweet momma beaky who passed it down to me.  a philosophy of life, a mantra, “you gotta have sisu!” mama dear would say.  if up against the odds, if forging upstream, my sweet momma would say, “you gotta have sisu!”  and so it was without a second thought when it was time to name my own company, the independent recording label that has been sisu music productions for the last 23 years.  i can’t think of a better name for all the challenges that have risen – and continue to rise – as an independent artist.

any moment of fear, of uncertainty, brings me to draw on that sisu…digging in my heels and standing firmly in it.  it’s kind of a blind faith and has everything to do with that.  in the face of adversity, of the scales tilted not-in-your-favor, you just keep on.  in the face of fear…everyone has their thing…the thing that makes them afraid…the thing that makes them white-knuckled…you just keep on.   sisu.

i was flying back from telluride to denver a couple days ago – in a smaller plane.  there was a big strapping guy all dressed in camouflage who got on the plane before me.  he told the flight attendant he had been out in the middle of nowhere hunting (successfully) elk and mule deer.  he was a rough and tumble kind of guy and ended up seated just across the aisle from me.  when the plane hit turbulence, particularly over the front range, his face turned red and he looked over at me with a deer-in-the-headlights look and said, “i hate this part!!”  i started talking to him then, trying to ease his obvious fear, talking about the wind currents and the mountains…how i could see the airport…we are almost there…just a teeny bit further…wheels are going to touch down any minute….  he was gripping the lock on the little tray table and finally relaxed his grip and smiled.  everyone has their thing.

we can loan others the sisu we carry with us.  we can bank on the sisu we carry with us.  i often credit being-from-new-york for times i have just forged-ahead-anyway, but my sisu roots go way further back than that.

sisu.  i stood back from the edge of a deep deep canyon the other day, my beautiful daughter on another boulder a few hundred yards away.  i looked at the sky, the sunset playing over red rock.  thought about that very moment in time, this moment i was sharing with the part of my heart known as kirsten…this moment that wouldn’t be repeated.  and i heard the voice in my head, “you gotta have sisu.”  i stepped to the very edge of the canyon, stretched out my arms and laughed aloud.

moab edges with website

read DAVID’S thoughts on SISU

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where i’m from. [k.s. friday]

where i'm from songbox

it’s circuitous…the way i would define where i’m from.  you have to be prepared to listen a spell if you ask me this question.

just like anyone, i have taken pieces – absorbed – every place i’ve been, every community i have shared in, every experience i’ve had, everyone i’ve met or been influenced by; indeed, those have become where i’m from.  in jeans and boots on stage i talk about where “home” is and try to differentiate by referring to wisconsin as “home”, florida as “home-home” and long island as “home-home-home” which sounds semi-ridiculous, not to mention annoying for people who cringe at redundancy.  plus it doesn’t include time living on a sheep farm in new hampshire nor profound moments i’ve had visiting places that have sought space in my soul.  but it might give you a place to listen from; with your eyes closed you may hear your own story.

when i wrote this piece, 21 years ago or so, i knew it needed to swirl around the theme, travel from one key to another, return to its theme…have continuity yet have places where it started again.  in celebrating my sweet momma and dad this week with the introduction of my song YOU’RE THE WIND it brought me back to my deepest roots, transplanted time and again though they may be.  no matter what, i will always be a northeast girl.  new york is in my blood and long island is ever a part of my heart.

where i’m from…it’s time ago…it’s now…it’s what’s to come.

if you listen you can hear the tide.  in and out…like day, like experiences, like finding home.  it changes.  it’s the same.

download WHERE I’M FROM on iTUNES or CDBaby

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

skipper's pub, northport harbor, ny website box

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WHERE I’M FROM from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1997 kerri sherwood