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the path back is the path forward


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kneel. [d.r. thursday]

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of all his watercolors, i remember this one.  maybe it’s universe-timing but the image of a person kneeling silently in reflection, in prayer, fading into the blue of eternal sky and the hinted suggestion of sun seems particularly synchronistic.  the fluidity of line, the brushstroke revealing the image of humanity – in a transitory time here as part of the whole.  a blurry-edged fleeting existence in all of time’s galaxy.

but the destruction, the disregard, the disrespect.  people who disassociate with the truth of here and now, gone tomorrow.  intent on pillaging the universe’s glee that each of us is here, each of us is exquisite, each of us can positively impact another.  this place is a place of profound beauty, the sky and the sun sure day to day.

perhaps the lure of this painting is the inkblot-exercise.  depending on what you focus on, the figure will be there, the figure will disappear.

perhaps the point is the earnest time on our knees, whether or not literal.  the questions we ask, the things for which we give thanks, the time to focus, the imploring to help us notice it all.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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©️ 2000 david robinson

 


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sigh now. held in grace: pray now. [d.r. thursday]

PrayNow framed copy

“a state of detente”

i just read these words and stopped and re-read them.  for no specific reason – just because, i had taken the sarah ban breathnach book simple abundance out of the old wooden north carolina cabinet on the other side of the bed.  i flipped open to december 5, old cards and notes and newspaper clippings trying to slip out of the pages into which they were tucked.

the quote at the top of the page read, “most of the sighs we hear have been edited.” (stanislaw jerzy lec) and the meditation for this day was about sighing.  in fact, one of my favorite sentences reads, “women sigh so that we won’t scream.”  oh yes!  sarah continues, in rare exacting form about screaming, “there are several occasions in the course of any woman’s day when, without question, screaming is the appropriate response.”  sarah continues, in rare exacting form about sighs, and writes, “the act of sighing is a quiet vote of acceptance – of … moving on.  …letting it out.  letting it go….”  resilience.

sarah’s quiet wisdom touches a nerve:  “…sigh more… because … preferences, needs, wants, wills and demands to be dealt with, if there is to be a state of detente in the daily round.  more bending in order not to break…”  sisu.

i hadn’t thought about my sighing, but i know i do it.  the intake of breath and the slow exhale.  the thought i-have-no-idea-what-i-can-actually-do-about-this-anyway or the thought i-have-no-control-over-what-others-are-doing-or-thinking-or-feeling.  my own feeling of being astounded by someone or something.  the feeling of hurt.  the feeling of exasperation. fragility.  fortitude.  both.

the sigh.  a release.  from my heart into the hands of the universe.  isn’t that prayer too?

sigh now.  pray now.

visit HELD IN GRACE: PRAY NOW on david’s gallery site

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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PRAY NOW ©️ 2010 david robinson


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in prayer. together. [d.r. thursday]

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powerful emotions swept through me the first time i joined hands with d and prayed.  it was quiet so any talking or wild display would have been inappropriate, but those tears…i was struck by the rush of it.

there is deep strength in the joining of hands or the kneeling down together and a universal ask for wisdom, for healing or an expression of gratitude.  it matters not what your deity is called.  what really seems to matter is that together you face the world, together you figure it out, together you give thanks, together you create love, acceptance, peace.

had the presence-most-powerful-and wise-in-the-universe wanted us only to be solely and inwardly and separately focused, perhaps there would have been just one person – ever – on this good earth.

but there are about 7.7 billion people.  indeed, there must be at least one with whom we can each choose to join hands.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

click here to view this painting IN PRAYER on david’s gallery site

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THE YOGA SERIES:  IN PRAYER ©️ 2014 david robinson

 


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island prayer flags. [two artists tuesday]

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on march 19 of this year i wrote about our prayer flags.  the ones at our home, i cherish their presence as they flutter in our backyard breezes.  the prayer flags in this post are at our littlehouse on island.  they stretch between a tree and a covered wooden rocking loveseat that plants itself firmly gazing at the lake.  my sweet girl got me these as a gift, from the same little shop in ridgway, colorado that our home-prayer-flags come from.

the lake breeze is stronger than the breezes in our backyard; sometimes the flags are horizontal in its fury.  the threads are loosening, loosening; the prayers are flying, flying.  these little prayer flags are already more quickly tattered than the ones we have at our home.  prayers for peace, compassion, strength and wisdom are perhaps more zealous these days, perhaps more often, perhaps more imploring.

at the end of this season we will gently take our prayer flags down and wrap them in soft cloth or tissue.  we will thank them and put them in our special box to bring home with us.  perhaps they will then hang with the flags-in-the-backyard.  or perhaps, after a time of flying and more reassurance than i can explain, they will rest.  we will see.

“we pass under them every time we leave the house and every time we return.  our prayer flags fly between the house and the garage…a welcome sight either way.  although better given to you as a gift, we purchased our flags in a little shop in ridgway, colorado and i consider it a gift that we were able to spend time in that tiny mountain town in the san juan mountains.  these flags represent that place to us, that time, and so much more.

each color is symbolic of an element…white is air and wind, blue is sky and space, green symbolizes water, red is fire and yellow is earth.  flying these in a specific order produces a balance of health and harmony.  flying these promotes peace, compassion, strength and wisdom; the wind blows the prayers into the universe.  i cannot think of  more visual evidence of constant prayer.  it matters not to me what religious practice is associated with them.  the prayers are so much bigger than that.  everything is bigger than that.

every time we watch any depiction of an everest story, there are multitudes of these buddhist prayer flags.  they grace base camp and the summit and each camp between,  the prayers issued by those people seeking to reach the highest place on earth.

we can’t claim trying to reach the highest physical place on earth.  but we can claim seeking peace, compassion, strength and wisdom, a balance of health and harmony.  for me, for us, those things are the highest place on earth.” (march 19, 2019)

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click here to browse or purchase ISLAND PRAYER FLAGS as wall art

island prayer flags - the five elements

click here to browse or purchase ISLAND PRAYER FLAGS – THE FIVE ELEMENTS as wall art

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island prayer flags photograph ©️ 2019 kerri sherwood & david robinson


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pray for our nation. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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i am a sign-reader.  whether i am driving or riding in the car, i read signs.  billboards, people’s clever license plates, bumper stickers, storefronts, oh, and road signs.  there are certain areas of the country where signs for attorneys are rampant.  other areas tout strong religious beliefs.  some signs are clever “buckle up next million miles” and some are deeply insightful “when there’s only one race and that’s mankind… love is in you.”  because we adore both road trips and short drives, we are privy to signs galore.  one of my pet peeves is to see blatant spelling or punctuation errors on billboards; it makes me rant for several minutes about editors and proof-reading and the propensity for people to ignore the amazing thing called the dictionary.

we took a drive the other day.  it was after all the services of the week were over and we were unplugging.  turning the car west we headed out in search of a new hiking trail.  on our drive we passed this sign.  PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  no fancy font, no centered spacing, just four simple words.  i don’t know how long that sign has been there.  it’s not in the front yard of any religious building; it’s just there, in a small park-like setting.  i thought, “no kidding.”  it seems apt timing.

instead of reading the paper first thing everyday now, we are reading meditations.  we are considering the mica moments of the day before, the mica moments to come.  we are trying to be hopeful, trying to slough off pettiness and disagreement, trying to avoid those who are clearly toxic to themselves and others, trying to engage in positive ways, trying to spend time doing things that advance us as humans in a big world rather than mire us in stunted selfish plots to further polarize and make inequity even more profound.

PRAY FOR OUR NATION doesn’t just start with folding hands and closing eyes, as much as that may help.  it also starts with reaching out hands, opening your eyes, listening, learning, believing that there is only one race and it is mankind.

buckle up.  next million miles.

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

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this great mystery. [d.r. thursday]

painting FOR PEACE I PRAY morsel copy

a morsel of the painting FOR PEACE, I PRAY

in this great mystery of the circle of life, i can think of no better prayer, no better mind-heart-talk, no better statement of living, than these words.  there is no partisan leaning, no self-serving ask, no specific request of a higher being.  just words to aid the step-step-step of life…words to accompany a walk on this good earth in wonder, in love, in light.

this great mystery, pointedly mysterious in moments high above canyons, on shores where waves crash upon the beach, in the hues of a new day stretching as far as you can see, in the million stars reaching further than you can imagine…a mystery of existence…the question why-am-i-here looking for an answer.

the answer of this great mystery?  never one thing.  the answer is found in hospital rooms and hands joined in hope, in gales of laughter shared with loved ones, the highest joy moments in one’s life, the lowest crushing moments in one’s life, holding a newborn baby, embracing a failing parent, hearing the voice of one’s grown child, walking side-by-side with another on a path, the about-faces and circular confusion on those paths, love at its best, love at its worst.

in every corner of the globe are people living this mystery.  each of these people breathe in and breathe out in the same way.  it is part of this great mystery that this breath is even possible.  if we can breathe in light, in strength, in love, in peace, in wonder, as one family, we will have embraced the prayer.   the mystery will continue to be.

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FOR PEACE, I PRAY mixed media 50″x60″ (sold)

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FOR PEACE, I PRAY ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

 

 


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prayer of opposites. [d.r. thursday]

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the first time i joined hands with david and prayed, i cried.  truth be told, we both cried.  it was a powerful moment…one i will never forget.  there is something deeply grounding about prayer with another person.  it is forging, like iron in a hot smelter, clay in a  kiln…seeking the solid base, making something stronger.

this painting, prayer of opposites, reminds me of that gift – the exchange, the sharing of peace and words of comfort, words of gratitude, beseeching words – with another.  the passing of that spiritual energy one to another.

were we to pray with opposites, would we not ultimately be drawn closer?

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ponder life. [chicken marsala monday]

ponderinglife WITH EYES jpeg copymy poppo would sit in the chair and gaze out at the lake behind their house.  in the house before that, he would sit out on the lanai and gaze at the pool.  in previous houses, he had chairs or his workbench, where he would sit or stand and gaze, clearly thinking, thinking, thinking.

now, when you’ve gotten to 91, there’s plenty to think about, many memories, many stages of life, many ways the world has changed.  my poppo was a POW in world war II, escaping and coming back at a time that PTSD had little to no attention given to it.  the atrocities he had experienced were his alone to process, with the help of my sweet momma, if he felt that he could burden her with it.  my parents lost a child, a little girl named barbara lynn, who would be my oldest sister – even older than my sister sharyn! – while my dad was still missing in action, a little person, a part of him, he never met.  i know that as they established themselves as a family, there were challenges that befell them, joys that they cherished, times of much sorrow, small moments and large moments of laughter and goodness.  plenty to think about.

i always wondered what my poppo was thinking about, quietly sitting or puttering.  sometimes i would ask, but other times i would respect his quiet-ness. now that i am getting older, i find myself spending time quietly thinking.  memories, moments, decisions, good things, sad things, questions, things that make me cringe, things that make me laugh aloud.  i think about what’s coming up…what is planned, what will remain a mystery. i wonder.  i give thanks.  i pray.  pondering is a good thing.  it’s necessary.

each time now when i sit outside or inside curled in a chair and find myself just staring off into space, i can’t help but think about my daddy.  and i kind of feel him right there, quietly staring with me. pondering.

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pondering life is a very useful thing to do. ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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prayer [dr thursday]

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i have a lot of conversations with God.  they aren’t really formal; instead we just chat.  well, i chat.  or implore.  or express gratitude.  or cry.  or ask questions.  sometimes my head is bowed and my hands are folded, but other times i am driving or playing the piano or walking or eyes-wide-open.  for me, prayer is not just that thing i do at church or before a meal or at night before i go to sleep.  it’s just an anytime, everyday way of being, with this magnificent higher power watching over the universe.

anne lamott’s book Help, Thanks, Wow is a gorgeous primer for anyone wondering how to pray, a beautiful reinforcement of the internal power of prayer, an outline of simple spiritual praying.  i have read it many times, nodding my head and struggling to always remember, remember, remember the important stuff.

this painting PRAYER reminds me of the quiet, the steady rock, the essentiality of praying.

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