reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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big red. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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colorado to wisconsin.  with a stop in columbia, missouri.  the first day is long.  twelve hours give or take.  we drive out of colorado into kansas, which has to be one of the wider states in the journey, and head for wendy’s.  she and keith are tolerant of whatever-time-we-get-there, knowing the challenges of a long drive.  this time, it was different.

this time we weren’t in our littlebabyscion toodling along, huffing and puffing up hills.  this time we were in Big Red, a giant ford F150.  she hadn’t been driven this-far-at-one-time in years.  we were high up and felt like road warriors.

columbus gave us a couple cassette tapes to play in the player and, in planning ahead, i had brought a dozen favorites from years past (ok, the 70s are many years past.)  we played each of them, singing along.  and then switched to the radio.  it only seemed right that country music be blaring out of the speakers, so we obliged.

although we blasted cassettes of john denver, loggins and messina, alabama, england dan & john ford coley among others, i have a few favorite radio songs of the journey east and north.  one direction’s what makes you beautiful, lady gaga and bradley cooper singing shallow, toby keith’s i wanna talk about me and my new fave, billy currington’s good directions and turnip greens.  a sweet country-music story.

we were talking with jen and brad last night in their kitchen, lingering over our potluck together.  we talked about compromise and life and decisions and chance.  like everyone, david and i have had our share of each of those.  decisions sorted and pondered, and compromises, bending to the things that make life meaningful, balancing reality with idealism.  and then there’s chance.  we could relate to the story of turnip greens…happenstance changing life.   a choice, one direction taken, a turn, one click…and everything changes.  what comes is predicated on what was and what is this very second.  we second those lyrics – thank God for good directions and turnip greens.

we turned up the stereo in Big Red and opened the windows with the AC on.  somewhere along the way, we decided it was a she, for she had gently mothered columbus as he drove a bit more gingerly in recent days and she sturdily and protectively lumbered us across the country.  laughing and certain of everything and absolutely nothing, we turned this beautiful big old pickup truck toward home.

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

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respect & protect. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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hilton head, south carolina cares.  it is an honor to be in a place that has committed itself to protecting creatures put at risk by human behavior.

each night, right before 10pm, one of us (often it was dan) would run to carefully lower the shades on the ocean side, turn off the outside lights, and double-check that there was no light spilling out onto the sand, something that could confuse the loggerhead hatchlings on their pilgrimage from nest to water.  large sections of sand and dunes were roped off to protect shorebirds and information is readily available that explained how one should not run into a flock of birds or go too near an obvious nesting area.  the piping plovers are endangered, as are the loggerheads. and hilton head is dedicated to them.

these creatures deserve our respect.  this world deserves our respect.  how many creatures, how many species are endangered?  how are we making an effort to respect and protect them?  how are we not?

there was something very sweet, very encouraging about seeing My Girl, My Boy and our Dan all immediately acknowledge the importance of these simple rules protecting the shore wildlife.

it gives me infinite hope, despite the current efforts of our country to ignore the plight of our good earth, that this next generation will not stand by and watch it destroyed.  it’s pretty simple, they said, referring to the rules environmentalists had written.  yes.  it is.  respect and protect.

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

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new eyes. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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“the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  (marcel proust)

sage words.

i once found an unwritten card in a drawer that had this saying on it.  i wondered how it had gotten there.  i revisited this card from time to time,  trying to take in these words of advice in a time i needed words of advice.

in a society that always seeks the newest, shiniest, most chic, it is easy to fall into the trap that new is better, that new will be satisfying.  in a society that is seemingly full of consumable products, replaceable employees, expendable friendships and relationships, we need be reminded that the new will not continue to be new; it is not new instantly  – the moment – after it was new.

were i to stay in front of this tree and look through the knot-hole in its trunk and only see waning lifeless brown, dried late-fall, believing that my little view was static, i would miss the blink of an eye in which this knot-hole lens turns the scene into rich verdant green, hope-filled.

the same landscape.  the same work.  the same relationship.  the same thing, day in, day out.   the same old same old.  but is it?

sage words.

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

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©️ 2019 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 


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the curious. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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my niece (well, technically d’s niece) posted this on instagram.  she and her husband, a pastor, are missionaries and have done pure and amazing hard work in the world.  she encountered this sign on a mirror in cairo, egypt while they are out gathering information to make a decision on their next placement.  i can’t think of two people more curious about others and the lives that people live outside our country; they have done impactful work and are seeking the next location where they can make a difference.  this sign must have felt like a sign to her – a reinforcement of their choices, their passion, their dedication, their direction.

it would be my guess that the moment you cease being curious is the same moment that you cease learning.  curiosity takes guts.  so does learning.  and adjusting.  at any age, we like to think we know.  and yet we don’t.

when my sweet momma entered assisted living, she was, quite understandably, apprehensive.  a person who adored her own home, but yet loved to converse with others – all others – it was hard for her to adjust to a new place outside of her own place, a new rhythm, new people, new things to do.  but she had great courage.  and she participated.  confused on lingo, she called to tell me that she was going to “taize on chair” but what she really meant was she was going to “tai chi on chair”.  and she liked it!  i was speechless with respect for her ability to try and learn new things, even at 93.  she was curious.  she kept asking questions.  she kept learning.  she kept having new adventures, albeit small adventures.  it mattered not to her that these adventures were not staggeringly earth-shattering.  what mattered to her was that it changed her.  it made her grow and think.  it made her try something new.  it made her braver.  it made her even more curious.

like hannah, like my sweet momma, i hope to stay outside the box.   to try new things and walk to the edge.  to look to others for inspiration.  to ask questions and listen to the answers.  to trust being curious.

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

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purple adirondack chairs. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

purple adirondack chairs copy

deb said, “you need to go sit in the adirondack chairs.  and just breathe.”  being a lover of adirondack chairs, any color whatsoever, i immediately agreed.

and so we did.

we sat quietly, in purple, in this very important time, as the sun warmed our faces and we could hear the gentle lap of the waves of the bay on the shoreline.  there was nothing else but birdcalls and a bit of wind.  it was sans noise.  no traffic sound.  no sirens.  no trains.  no loud stereos.  just quiet.  and the sound that sunlight and blue sky make on ever-greening spring.

north of the tension line. indeed.

what and where are your purple adirondack chairs?

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

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Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 7.13.32 PMwishing the happiest birthday to my amazing & beloved daughter, The Girl. Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 7.13.32 PM


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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.

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a few warts. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

barnacle tree 1 copy

a burl on a tree is caused by the tree undergoing some form of stress.  indeed, if this were true for humans, we would be loaded with burls.  instead, our burls are inner-burls.  they don’t generally manifest as growths on the outside or present as small or large bark-covered lumpy warts.  instead, our worry makes us lose sleep, have intestinal issues and headaches.  it makes us eat too much, pour the glass of wine a bit too early, seek medicinal solutions or drugged numbing.  it makes us argue and lash out, insist on our own way, slam doors both figurative and literal.  it causes sickness, physical exhaustion, loss of relationship or work or time in our lives.  we become afraid to share our burls with the ‘outside’, scarcely making headway, fearful of the opinion of others, confused by the wart in our lives.

we should be like trees.  the burls cover with bark, insulating from the outside yet evident to the outside.  they grow in response to the stress of disease or injury or insects, but a tree may continue to live with these burls indefinitely.   actually removing the burl exposes the tree to infection. the burl wood is prized, with swirling grain patterns.  often, burls are harvested (both legally and illegally), with stunning furniture and wooden bowls the goal of burl-wood-turners.  these trees stand tall and mighty, growing from seedlings, co-existing with disease, injury, insects and, even, together with trees more beautiful sans burls. they wear their wrinkled protuberances with grace.  they don’t rid themselves of the evidence of life amid stressors, seeking botox to hide irregularities and minimize affirmation of living.  instead they continue on, growing and growing and growing – despite a few warts.

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

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