CLOUD WATCHERS/MORSEL ©️ 2002-2006/2018 david robinson
CLOUD WATCHERS/MORSEL ©️ 2002-2006/2018 david robinson
wendy aka ben aka saul brought the movie so that we could watch it together. the musical the greatest showman was completely entertaining. there are so many quotes and moments in that movie that are worthy of repeating but the one that is on-screen at the conclusion is by far the umbrella quote. “the noblest art is that of making others happy.” (p.t. barnum)
so often, it is the arts that people turn to for a breather, for something beautiful, for something to relieve their stress. a person will listen to music, gaze at a painting, get lost in reading a book or watching a play, feel their breathing slow down during a ballet, sink into a poem. invaluable offerings of peace, of happiness, the arts give pause.
it is humbling when someone tells me that a piece of music has touched them, that a song has made them weep, that something i wrote made them stop a second and ponder. it is my job as an artist to do my best to reach out with my work. i can’t determine if it will resonate with anyone; i can only “put it out there” as they say.
it is more often lately that i bemoan the priceless value of the arts that coincides with the oft-price-less earnings of the arts. for what better work than to make others happy. what better work than to be part of what people turn to when they need to breathe, when they need beauty, when they need to de-stress.
it is noble work. however you achieve it. for at the end, will we remember anything other than what made us happy and, more importantly, how we made others happy?
“..but i look up high to see only the light, and never look down to see my shadow. this is a wisdom which man must learn.” (song of the flower by kahlil gibran)
in these times…times of division…times of marginalizing…times of anger perpetuating anger…times of disrespect…times of hopelessness…we implore each other, our universe, our God – for answers, for fairness, for unity, for peace among all persons.
as the flower, we look up and see the light. knowing the shadows are there, but believing that the light overcomes them. for as the sun moves, so do the shadows change. as the day dawns, the night fades.
the light. reach for it.
reach. ©️ kerri sherwood & david robinson
every time we get a text from david or molly with a picture of sweet dawson coloring i believe i see an artist-in-the-making. he is intense, all not-even-two-years-old of him. his crayons seem deliberate choices, his drawing coming from a place inside that beckons him to the paper, the cardboard box, the canvas. it’s innate.
charlie is a second grader. he practices batting every day. he has ground down an area of the backyard so much that seth thinks there will never be grass there again. charlie can cite all the players on the kansas city royals and their stats and he will narrate his own one-person ballgame in the backyard, an announcer with great animation and accurate details. such a small person with such a big passion for the game. it’s innate.
khloe, a teeny but mighty seven year old, would come up to the chancel each week and john would let her play the drum set. she didn’t pound, she didn’t arbitrarily hit drums or cymbals. you could see by the combination of joy on her face and an expression of concentration that she was pretty serious. she has the beat. it’s innate.
when my sweet beth and i talked on the phone she said, “i’m not sure how i feel about her going into music.” she was talking about her older daughter, who already has been cast as the lead in three plays this coming school year. i don’t think she has a choice. for emme, it’s innate.
each of us spokes-in-the-giant-wheel come into this world with something. something that is just ours. ours to do. ours to bring. it’s innate. already in us.
if you’d like your own, your child’s or grandchild’s handprints or would like an I CAME INTO THIS WORLD product to read BASEBALL or SOCCER or READING or anything else, we are offering a new option – designing for you and personalizing your own product line. please click on the product collage boxes above to access information about personalizing.
i came into this world with art already in me ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood
if my sweet momma couldn’t find me in the house, she knew to go outside, round the house to the maple tree just beyond my growing-up-window and look up. there i would be, sitting in a crook, notebook and pencil in hand. it was a place of inspiration for me, a perch for penning thoughts, reflections, poems, stories, lyrics.
i think we all have one…a poetry tree. it may be the kitchen table, an adirondack chair on a porch, a blanket on the beach, a desk tucked away in a quiet spot of the house. or a time that gives us more room to think; for me, it can be walking, blowing my hair dry or those moments that brilliant (or not-so-brilliant) ideas strike in the shower. we have a spot that helps us think, sort, dream, create, rest. a spot that fills us with creative juju. mine was a tree, just like chicken’s.
find your poetry tree ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood
the sound of the cicadas outside brought me back to my childhood home on long island. we had woods behind our yard and the summer days and nights were a symphony of crickets and cicadas. i would sometimes sit in my poetry tree (a maple outside my bedroom window with perfect limbs for climbing and sitting) late into the day, writing or reading and, although i probably never appreciated the crickets and cicadas as i do now, i would listen as the day would softly pass by. my sweet momma would know where to find me; if i wasn’t riding bikes with sue, at the dive center, fishing with crunch or at the beach, i was likely in that tree.
i wrote a lot of poems in that tree, a lot of reflections, a lot of stories and maybe even a little music…the kind without the music. as i think about the people who encouraged me in writing, one of the first people i think of is andrea. andrea was my high school english teacher. she, along with kevin, were the coolest in the english department. andrea, with kerchiefs in her hair and peace sign necklaces, long skirts and funky glasses, was the epitome of hip. we, painlessly, learned from her teaching style, her quiet wisdom, her laugh, her smile.
andrea was the teacher coordinating the art and literary magazine ‘gemini’ at our high school. i was involved with this annual publication each year, but was the editor-in-chief during my senior year of high school, a job i adored. not only did i get to immerse myself in a lot of poetry and art, but i got to lay out the publication and handle many of the details, all the while hanging out with andrea and having conversations about life and writing and balance.
in the (aaack! many) years since high school i have thought about her often and finally, over the last eight years or so, was able to get back into contact with her. not only did i want to know how she was, where she was, what she was doing, but i wanted to share with her where i was and what i was doing. mostly, it mattered to me what her thoughts were. during that time we shared snippets of life. i found i could still learn from her teaching style, her quiet wisdom and her smile, even without physically seeing her. at one point she wrote to me, “nothing is idyllic. i think we have idyllic moments. we have to take time to savor what is around us.” yet another invaluable reminder. how often must we learn these things, i wonder.
when we were planning our trip to boston for this summer, i found myself hoping that we would have the chance to see andrea…meet for coffee, have a glass of wine together. i worried when i didn’t hear back from her; she usually answered email. i was anxious to visit with her, thank her in person for the influence she had had on me, hear what she thought about a project i had sent her. it was about a week before we left, when i was online pondering whether to send her another note, that i saw the very sad news that she had died. i was stunned and (what would maybe seem) inordinately devastated. the connection backwards in time was broken; the opportunity to sit with andrea now vapor.
i thought about extending my sympathies on social media but for some reason that seemed too shallow. there is a loss i feel when i no longer hear the cicadas in the fall…something visceral that i feel inside. the loss of andrea was intensely visceral.
all throughout our home you will find peace signs; each of these signs make me think of this beloved lady in my life, this positive force who, without knowing, kept me writing, thinking, writing.
in my mind’s eye, i can feel sitting in my poetry tree. the cicadas’ song was all around me. as i write now, i cannot help but think about andrea and the things i learned from her, most of which had nothing to do with grammar and punctuation, but instead, with honoring the words within, the emotions, things palpable and things we can’t see or touch. and so, savoring that learning, in fact, leaning into it, her song is all around me. it’s idyllic.