reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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weeping man. [d.r. thursday]

Weeping Man copy

we watched global citizen’s concert ‘together at home’ on saturday night.  this virtual concert featured a wide spectrum of celebrities and musicians and raised about $128 million for the world health organization as well as local and regional frontline healthcare workers in support of covid-19 relief.  despite wildly varying opinions about this effort, i would have been proud to play in the midst of this.  it was about humanity.  some of it was pretty raw.  people were in their homes, many the likes of which i will never enter.  they were with their instruments, they were playing or singing songs they felt would resonate with those watching.  a few were, as expected, clearly voice-tracked.  a few were, as expected, a bit ego-tainted.  split-screen performances and technology raised the bar for musicians everywhere.  but it was a moment in time – eight hours in total between online and on-air – when you could see that all of us grieve and yearn the same way.  no matter the size of your mansion or tiny house, no matter the grammys on your shelf or the lack thereof, this global pandemic is just that – global- and is not discerning of your privilege.  it does not care.  it can take anyone.  and so we weep.

if there is a painting that depicts the face-holding grief and prayerful yearning for hope, it is this painting WEEPING MAN.

i wonder if he weeps for those who have fallen ill, those who have died.  i wonder if he weeps for those who refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of this pandemic.  i wonder if he weeps for those on the front lines, helping.  i wonder if he weeps for those who have hidden in extravagant bunkers underground in far away countries.  i wonder if he weeps for our isolation.  i wonder if he weeps watching people intolerant of the isolation that will protect others, people who are selfishly and arrogantly protesting stay-at-home orders.  i wonder if he weeps for the unrelenting non-discrimination of this contagion or if he weeps for the divisiveness of responsibility-taking, the it-doesn’t-affect-me attitude.  i wonder if he weeps for the continuance of humanity.  or if he weeps for the loss of humankind.  or, if he weeps for the lack of humaneness.  i wonder if he weeps because, in the middle of this trying and profound now,  Next will come.  i wonder if this painting is tomorrow’s tomorrow and he weeps with relief and hope.

THIS all exists.  for each of us.   it isn’t always good.  it isn’t always not-good.

there are those moments.  the moments you weep openly, the moments you cover your face to cry, the moments of overwhelm, the moments of absolute weariness that, despite all evidence to the contrary in your tired mind and body, actually do lead to Next.  times you feel alone, times of sorting, times of grief, times of fragile vulnerability, times of regret.  the times you put your face in your hands and weep…

and there are those moments.  the moments you weep openly, the moments you cover your face to cry, the moments of stunning awe, the moments of sheer exhaustion at your goal-line, moments that actually do lead to Next.  times you feel enamored of life itself, times of incredulity, times of unquestionable good fortune, times of serendipity, times of simple all-consuming sweet love.  the times you put your face in your hands and weep…

we recognize it.  we can feel it.  and we know that in another moment he -or she, for there is no pronoun-hogging here- will slowly raise his head out of his hands and Next will have arrived.  (reverse threading, and so he weeps, january 17, 2019)

read DAVID’s thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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WEEPING MAN ©️ 2015 david robinson

 

 


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this morning. [k.s. friday]

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i unfriended someone today.  i was so shocked at his response to the vital importance of continuing to social distance in this global pandemic i found it reprehensible.  his crass “everyone will die eventually” was deeply disturbing.  he actually used the term ‘survival of the fittest’.  i, in browsing for how my family and friends are doing, found no peace in his words, only a shortfall of empathy.  i shudder to think of anyone who read or who will read these callous words who has been ill, has had a loved one ill, who has lost a life in their circle of life, who has been deemed unemployed, who has missed paying their rent and who stands in line for food, who is frightened.  anyone with a heart.

i’ve unfriended a few people along the way these last few years.  this hasn’t been because i merely disagree with them.  i am open to disagreeing with you if you are open to discussion.  but these have been folks who have been closed.  closed to facts, to truth, to research, to conversation.  closed.  to me, it feels as if their hearts are closed.

for what is the importance of the next morning if what you care most about in the world is copious amounts of money or holdings?  my sweet poppo used to say, “you can’t take it with you.”  what is the importance of the next morning if you will throw others under the bus to elevate yourself?  my sweet momma used to say, “be kind.  be kind.  be kind.”  what is the importance of the next morning if everything is measured by black and white, an excel sheet of differences, all listed and highlighted.  my big brother used to play his guitar and sing, “there’s a new world coming…”  what is the importance of the next morning if you only measure yourself against others, their net worth, their houses, their jobs, their wardrobe, their vehicles, their exotic trips, their success?  in high school i recited these words from desiderata, “if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

instead, what about that morning someday?  the one that presents you with the challenge of a lifetime, the one you have worked on honing your whole life.  the challenge to accept who you are.  the challenge to stand up straight in your integrity, to freely and generously love, to do your work, to look out into the world with open eyes.  the challenge to not compare yourself, to believe in the betterment of humanity, to be kind, and to know that you can’t take any of it with you.  the challenge to surround yourself with goodness and live now.  this morning.  tomorrow morning.  the next morning.  heart open.

download THAT MORNING SOMEDAY on iTUNES

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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THAT MORNING SOMEDAY ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 


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butterfly moments.

wonder app quote

as we walked yesterday we were aware of how many butterflies were around us.  flying, flitting, dining on nectar-filled wildflowers, they swirled around us and seemed to be going along, hiking with us.  these amazing monarch butterflies during the summer breeding season will only live weeks.  some will live a bit longer, migrating south to mexico when fall tips the tree-green of leaves to fiery reds and yellows and oranges.

i remember a day sitting in an adirondack chair in our front yard at home.  many years ago now, it was mid-july, a sunny and warm day.  stunningly, as i sat there a monarch butterfly flew past, close to my chair.  it wasn’t but a few moments later that it landed on my knee.  gently opening its fragile wings, it basked in the sunlight as i basked in its beauty.  it was in no hurry to leave its perch on my knee and i was in no hurry to move.  it seemed unconcerned about next.  it seemed unconcerned about quantity of time.  it was present in now.  and now seemed enough.  time seemed to stand still, my breathing slowed down, my worry forgotten as i watched this tiny creature drink in this very sun-moment.

“the butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” (rabindranath tagore)

time and again we are reminded of this:  that every single moment counts.  time and again we forget.

wishing you a day of monarch-inspired moments…drinking in the sun, gently fluttering your wings and flying unfettered.

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

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written in your life. [k.s. friday]

written in your life songbox

from the book and the movie the fault in our stars:

i know about you.

the fault in our stars quotes

arrowthis.  this is what this song is about.

 

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read DAVID’s thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood


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transience. [k.s. friday]

TRANSIENCE songbox copy

“…dawn turns to daylight. to dusk. to full darkness. always to dawn again…” (liner notes)

brad's snowman

brad built a snowman in the woods while we were snowshoeing.  with a nod to our wit and creative pet-names, he cleverly named it “snowman-snowman”.  he was a charming snowman and we lingered by him for a bit, all chatting in the quiet woods.  because he is, well, a snowman, we left him behind as we continued on the trails.

yesterday we went back to the woods.  there was still snow, even more in some places.  but when we got to the spot where the trails split off, i, sadly, saw that snowman-snowman was no longer there.  i didn’t talk about it.  the magic of snowman-snowman was still in the air despite his absence on the trail.

we hiked a bit farther into the woods and when we stopped for a moment, i started packing together some snow.  it was that really-good-packing-snow, so “valentino” came together easily.  we searched for his eyes and the perfect nose, tucked a feather-leaf in his ‘cap’ and fell in love with our little snowman.  his magic was instant.

our snowman

transient.  all daylight.  all snowmen.  all of us.  life.  it’s a minor key.  all-consumingly-beautiful.  gut-wrenchingly-fleeting.  every reason to revel in every ray of sun, build a snowman, embrace those you love, bravely live every moment.  even if our footprints aren’t still visible, our magic stays in the air.

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read DAVID’S thoughts on this ANNIVERSARY MELANGE K.S. FRIDAY

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TRANSIENCE from RIGHT NOW ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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make time for clouds. [chicken marsala monday]

maketimeforclouds WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

the crystal clear water was cool around my feet, cold actually.  the current pulled at my flipflops, necessary –  for the rocks below were slippery and i didn’t have the cool sandals My Girl had on.  the hot-hot high altitude sun blazed into my hair; it made me think i should have worn that new packable hat i got last year.

i scanned the horizon, a 360 of mountains and trees and sagebrush and blue-blue sky.  and this river.  going on and on.  as far as i could see, it meandered through the landscape i was reluctant to leave.

and i stood in the water.  never-minding the feeling of almost-numbness of my feet.  because in this moment, i could feel.  the very hot of a brilliant sun, the very cold of snow-capped mountain runoff.  this time of cloudless sky and the murmur of the river.  this time of being with my daughter.  this time of dreaming and imagining and creating scenarios in my mind that would allow me to stay in this very spot.  this time of (in this case, metaphoric) cloud-gazing.

every good cloud-gaze creates a story.  every good cloud-gaze builds a memory.  every good cloud-gaze gives you pause to breathe.  it’s the same with your feet in the river, your blanket on the beach, your chair in front of the bonfire, your boots on the trail.  make time, i say.

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make time for clouds ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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that morning someday [ks friday]

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when i wrote and recorded THAT MORNING SOMEDAY (you can hear it below) it was wistfully about any beginning…any beautiful or cloud-striated sunrise…any hopefulness…any new day.  my big brother had died and i was yearning for the peace of understanding, a feeling of being ok in the world, a wish to wake up to something that had given order to chaos.

many many years later, i can’t honestly say that i always have the peace of understanding or a feeling of being ok in the world and i often wish to wake up to something that has given order to chaos.  someday is still out there.

only now, a little older and the tiniest smidge wiser, i realize someday is waiting too long.  someday is right now and i am sitting right in it, with lots of time behind me and, hopefully, lots of time in front of me.  the only thing that really counts right now is right now.

i yearn to make it more peaceful than my last moment.  i step in the world, ok or not.  i try to help create order out of chaos.  maybe someday it will all come together.  but in the meanwhile, i will do the best i can in right now.

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click here (or on the product bar above) to browse SOMEDAY IS RIGHT NOW products

 

click here to download THAT MORNING SOMEDAY on iTUNES track 11 on the album BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL

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THAT MORNING SOMEDAY from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

SOMEDAY IS RIGHT NOW products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood, david robinson


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after the first half of the concert.

bcatForgetTheFirstHalfwe went to a concert a week ago or so. it was a group of us and we were all excited about going. the band we were going to see is creative, talented, sincere and full of energy. what’s not to like about that?!

we caravanned in three cars. well, we dan-a-vanned, actually, with dan leading the way. he is a GPS guru and, if you can keep up with him on the highway, a great person to follow going somewhere.

we got there, full of anticipation and excitement. sat in seats one row from the very top, able to look out at the whole audience. many of us have gone to concerts together before; we try to do fun stuff especially as the winter sets in.  we laugh a lot and that is a very good thing.

the concert started with an infomercial….on video and a live push as well. i thought perhaps that was it….one infomercial is plenty when you have purchased tickets to an event that is not a fundraiser. but that wasn’t the case. with the exception of two warm-up artists who played maybe 3 songs each, the whole first half of the concert was full of infomercial preaching and over-done talk-talk.

by the time we got to intermission, it was easy to be annoyed. the first half of the concert was over. we hadn’t seen the band we had come to see yet and now we had sat through what seemed to be agenda….i have yet to figure out why this was so. what symbiotic relationship is there between these infomercials and the band we were there to see? do these organizations host the whole concert tour? do they underwrite the concerts in venues of their choosing?  do they play the band’s music? no matter how dedicated the band is to these efforts, was it appropriate to take up most of the first half of this concert with this rhetoric? i was sitting in my concert-seat trying to figure out this stuff. is that where the band would want me to start?

so now, here we are, at the second half. and i have to say, i am not “feelin’ the love.” it took me a good portion of the second half to get back to open-hearted listening of this concert, to actually hear the music and embrace it.

because: the band concert i had come to see was colored by the first half of the concert.

and then – there’s life.

wow. i can’t think of a better metaphor than this concert.

WE are colored by the first half, the first part, the beginning and middle of life as we step into the Next of life. “of course we are,” you say aloud to me. cognitively we totally get it. we shouldn’t bring into Next what colored us from Before. we have to draw the line in the sand. lessons – yes. anger, frustrations, disappointments, prejudices – no. each Next is a fresh start.  for that matter, yes, each new day is a fresh start.

d and i have been doing a meditation that was offered free with oprah and deepak. it has been about awareness and making every moment matter. now, i am all about moments (that whole thready thing and all.)  but awareness is a much bigger responsibility than we realize.  it’s so much easier to react than to stop for a few seconds (or however long it takes) and be aware. sometimes i find i should Stop longer than i stop.  awareness can be slowww in arriving, particularly if i stubbornly hold onto all the negative stuff.  we sometimes cling to that stuff as if it were a lifevest.

now…i am thinking:  in those moments, when i can feel myself reacting (strongly or negatively or angrily or with preformed disposition) to something, i realize (metaphorically) that i am at the (in-real-life) concert and i am looking at the second half through first-half-eyes. it is becoming an amazing tool for me to stop and think – what about the first half of the concert is getting under my skin for this Next?  am i aware that the second half can be even just moments after the first half?  it’s not always years or decades that separates Before from Next.  it can be minutes.   it’s shocking how blind we can be to what we carry forward, one minute to the Next.

the Next is full of good and hope and moments and not-what’s-lost-but-what-is-still-there-ness (thank you, ptom). stepping over the limen, the threshold, is necessary.  leaving behind the first half of the concert, the part that colors us and clouds our clear-eyed-hopeful-stepping-into the second half, is absolute.

holding on, letting go

itunes: kerri sherwood


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stand still.

last night at the lenten service pTom spoke about a wisdom that had touched and stayed with him through the years. i found it profound in its simplicity and wrote it down when we got home after rehearsals.

“don’t just do something. stand there.”

mmm. how often i feel compelled to ‘do something’. someone i used to know often said (in moments of impatience), “do something. anything. even if it’s wrong.”

doing something avoids sitting IN it, whatever IT is. it avoids being in the time of sorrow, the time of grief, the time of confusion, the time of anger. it allows you to step out of the moment. it gives you permission to step out of the moment. it gives you excuses (albeit well-intentioned) for not being in the moment.

now maybe that is a good thing, sometimes. those moments you know that it will only serve you poorly to stay in the frustration, stay in the anger, stay in the weirdness of an off-moment. those moments may be only asking for trouble and moving into the Next is healthier. but staying in the strife, in the sadness, in the confusion also gives you a chance to feel it. to maybe try and sort it. i am guilty of trying, sometimes, to sort too much. the perils of being emotional, being mushy. too empathic at times, it is hard for me to separate what i am feeling from what someone else is feeling that i am picking up. i am given to wanting to fix moments like that.

but i’ve learned i’d rather sit with someone in their moment than exit the building when they need someone else to be there. it’s not in my saying-something. it’s in my being-there. and i’m not ego-centric enough to think that it’s ME being there…it’s SOMEONE being there. another person. someone who thinks and feels and can hold a hand and just be quiet.

phil vassar has a song called “stand still”…i love this. (and…side-note…it’s wonderful to dance to). “stand still. i’m right where i wanna be…holding you in the middle of the moment of my life. the way i feel i don’t care what’s in front of me or what’s behind. i just wanna stop the wheel and stand still.”

in Now. standing there. not doing anything. just being. what better gift can we give to people? to ourselves? my favorite moments are not the big ones. they are the teeny ones where i feel present. where i get this huge rush of happy or satisfied or intense sadness or enormous gratitude. where i catch my breath. where the world stops for a second (even though it doesn’t) and reminds me that i am here. right now. living this second. hopefully doing the best i can. always learning. always growing. always feeling the presence of God and this universe full of everything we can count on and nothing we can count on. always held in grace.

heidi quoted to me this morning from a compendium inc. book, “scientists have discovered that there is no limit to your amazingness.”(not verbatim)

no limit. to amazingness. yours and what you bring. to the amazingness of the moment. a moment standing still in a giant spectrum of possible emotion.

“i just wanna stop the wheel and stand still.”

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itunes: kerri sherwood

 


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first after the deer

the snow had fallen and there were several inches of what my colorado mountain girl calls ‘fresh powder’ on the ground. many hours of desk-work inched us over the line of whether or not to take advantage of the snow. we’re kind of easy that way, though – the outside calls to us. both of us are kinesthetic and think better on a hike or a walk, moving, moving….

the woods were quiet. the sky was azure. the grasses were golden, standing proudly above photothe snow, having survived the wind and driving snow. vivid color. in heavy boots, bulky coats, long underwear, double gloves and earmuffs we set out. we weren’t far into our hike when we realized that we were the first out on the trail since the snow. first after the deer. first after the rabbits and tiny birds that had hopped across the path. first after whatever animal it was that made enormous tracks in the snow. longer than his boot, these tracks kept us company for a long way, meandering in and out of the brush, in and out of the woods. we wondered aloud what it was. we quietly pondered that these woods were not ours. they are home to beautiful creatures, big and small. creatures that depend on the turning of the seasons, the sun, the warmth, the snow, the rain, the ecologic responsibility of those of us who are out there, for a bit of time, with them.

photo-4mostly, i was bowled over by the fact that we were the first people to walk out there since it had snowed. the trail through the prairie glittered in the sun and in the woods, the trees reflected majesty on the snowy path. we were first; we weren’t first. but to make the first people-tracks in the snow…to know that in at least the last 36 hours or so, no one else had walked there…something about that was humbling. hugely grateful for the universe in all its goodness, in that place of quiet-quiet, that space of pristine clear that single digit temperatures make possible, the smell of sun in our hair, i was struck by our smallness. four footprints in the snow, walking together, side by side. hand in hand. on trails. through the woods. in life. that’s really it – four footprints. each set of prints count. each stride counts. each breathless moment that we get to breathe counts. now counts.  now is the only thing that really counts, the only thing that really is.

we are first; we aren’t first. we are living.photo-1