reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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blueprint for my soul. [k.s. friday]

bp box

BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL was my second album.  it followed on the heels of RELEASED FROM THE HEART, just a short year later.  RFTH wasn’t my first recording.  back in the late 70’s i recorded three songs in ny, all vocal songs.  i toted those, to no avail, around nashville’s music row,  along with a few others that i had penned and recorded in the mid 80’s.  but things don’t always happen in our own timing, nor do they happen the exact way we envision them.  architects use pencils with erasers for a reason.

fast forward a few years.  well a decade, actually.  the story behind the story, which i told in my 19 years ago today post (written five years ago now) is a story of the blueprint…the one we can’t see.  we seek out what we think we want, we pray unceasingly for that thing we are hyper-focused on, we worry and wring our hands, trying to force IT to happen.  (ask us.  we can speak to this.)

but sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we are really seeking.  and sometimes unanswered prayers are a gift.  and sometimes worry will just beget more worry and anxiety will just make you miserable.

the blueprint, the design, the plan.  all with options.  all with freedom of choice.  mostly, all, thank goodness, with grace.  those pencils with erasers come in handy.

“sometimes people and things have an obvious fit with you.” (liner notes, track 2)

download BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 

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take flight. [k.s. friday]

take flight songbox

i have a seagull collection.  much like my horse collection, my seagull collection is much bigger in my memory than in the actual bin-in-the-basement.  when i opened what i thought was a big stable of horse figurines, i was shocked to find that my i-packed-it-in-1972-according-to-the-newspapers-in-the-box brain had overestimated the numbers…by a lot.  my seagull collection, on the other hand, was packed a bit later – more like 1980 – and i had a (little bit) better memory about how many jonathan livingston seagulls i had collected through the years.

growing up on long island i loved seagulls.  never too far from the beach, they were everywhere, but i spent great periods of time beach-sitting winter/spring/summer/fall watching them swoop and holler, screeching at their scavenged finds.  richard bach created a whole seagull community metaphor and i fell right in.

i can still smell the wet sand, see the seaweed washed ashore on pebbles i collected even back then, feel the sun, even the winter sun, on my face.  it all made me breathe differently.  it all made me think and grow and dream.

john denver’s song the eagle and the hawk spoke to me back then.  his simple lyrics prompted me to let those dreams TAKE FLIGHT.

“And all of those who see me, and all who believe in me
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly.
Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops,
Sail o’er the canyons and up to the stars.
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future,
And all that we can be and not what we are”

purchase THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY CD or download on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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TAKE FLIGHT from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1997 & 2000 kerri sherwood

 


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be thou my vision. lento. rubato. [k.s. friday]

be thou my vision songbox

were i to record this old reassuring hymn BE THOU MY VISION again, i would play it much, much slower.  not the andante of the recording, the tempo of singing these verses.  instead, i would realize that this kind of guidance doesn’t necessarily happen in my version of time but, instead, in the universe’s version of time.  much, much slower.

it was 15 years ago, back in 2004, when i sat on a leather piano bench at yamaha artist services in nyc recording this piece and the others on the hymn albums.  i was 45.  things seem to move a lot faster at 45; expectations are impatient, conflict needs quick resolution rather than measured, thoughtful parsing.

now, 15 years later, i realize that slow is key.  the right answers don’t come fast.  much as we want quick, answers take their sweet time.  we ask for guidance and wish for an immediate sticky note to float down in front of us.  we, d and i, can tell you, if you don’t already know, that just doesn’t happen.  post-it notes were created on earth and any sticky note floating down from the heavens, the vision we so desperately seek, is invisible.  it shows itself, slowly, in how things begin to fit together, how it feels.  slowly.

we were at the music store in town a couple days ago.  kevin, the owner and one of our favorite people to hang and chat with, asked us what was new.  we laughed, not ready to share all that has been happening, but described an ever-changing picture.  he asked us if it felt like “all the pieces were falling into place easily.”  although i wouldn’t choose any form of the word ‘easy’ to depict our sticky-notes-requested-scenario, we can also say we haven’t been force-fitting square pegs into round holes. “then it’s supposed to be,” he said.  he told the loaded-with-sticky-notes story of buying the music store, fraught with challenges, but so meant to be.  it’s not in our time.  our expected tempo of things happening has, we can see, nothing to do with it.

so, lento.  lento would be the way to play this.  slowly.  taking sweet time.  and rubato. freely.  for in the gift of vision is sweet freedom: the ability to take a breath, recognize, regardless of our age, how little we really know, sit in purple adirondack chairs, go beyond the jetty and count on a benevolent universe.

purchase ALWAYS WITH US CD or download on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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BE THOU MY VISION from ALWAYS WITH US VOL 1 ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood

 


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part of the wind. [k.s. friday]

part of the wind songbox copy

with the sun not yet up over the farmlands, the hot air balloon lifted.  we slowly sailed over fields and stands of trees, watching the world wake up.  as the sun rose over the horizon, we could hear what was going on below us.  we weren’t that high up and any conversation in backyards and barns, on patios and decks or driveways was easy to hear.  we weren’t intentionally eavesdropping; you just can’t help but hear clearly up there in the wind.  it’s an amazing vantage point floating low in the sky, sharing the sunrise with the earth, an endless horizon.  a little wary, i had asked the pilot if he had any anti-motion apothecary suggestions.   he responded by telling me that none are needed, that you are “part of the wind.”  we were.  we are.  part of the wind.

when we go antiquing and wander around in vast collections of other people’s lives, we pass by paintings on the walls and in stacks against cabinets, displayed beautifully and piled haphazardly.  we stand in front of bins full of records and 45’s, stacks of CDs not even alphabetized, the vinyl and polycarbonate/aluminum blend all beckoning us to sort through and remember songs or moments in time.  and we, artists of the canvas and of song, draw in our breath.  it’s an amazing vantage point floating here in time, sharing this day with the earth, contemplating.

and we wonder if this is where all of our paintings and cds will end up one day…in an antique shop where browsers will pass by, exclaiming, “wow!  look at all those paintings!” or “wow!  look at all those cds!”  we wonder if they will stop, page through, recognize a track or two, an image or two, or if they will be curious or spellbound and buy something to bring home.  perhaps we will remain part of the stacks, the bins, ever-growing, the horizon endless.

either way, we are part of the wind.

download BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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PART OF THE WIND from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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tomorrow. lettuce and erle. [k.s. friday]

THIS erle cover

one of the gifts i received for my 60th birthday this week – an envelope with seed packets of lettuces in it, dirt and manure.  on the outside of the envelope of seeds was this:

“to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” (audrey hepburn)

early november. moab, utah.  i was standing on the precipice of a vast and deep canyon and was filled with wonder.  My Girl encouraged me a bit further out, a bit higher.  she was right to push me.  the gorge inches away, unforgiving, i didn’t lose my breath until the very edge.  but i breathed in so much more.  i felt like ME. me, in my old hiking boots and ripped jeans, a couple black layered shirts and a vest, fingerless gloves linda made.  ME.  the air of the high desert mountains seemed to fill me and, as i stood there, pondering my very existence in this place, i felt renewed.  a meeting ground, i could feel all the yesterdays that brought me there and the tomorrows that stretched forward.  it is a spiritual place.  she was right and i tied my heart to it just as she had predicted.  the sun and i were each merely a tiny piece of the enormity.  we watched day end and shadows paint the canyon walls until dark filled the void. we laughed uncontrollably.  i cried.  no matter what, the next day – tomorrow – would come to that place and sun would spackle the walls until it would -again- be light.

THIS will be the next album cover.  in some tomorrow time.  i wish to bring burning sun and immense canyons into that project.  mountains and Spirit and old boots.  a bow to yesterday and to tomorrow and the place inbetween.  the air in me.  i don’t know when or exactly how.  i just know i need to somehow make the chance.  i need to stand on the very edge, once again.  it matters not whether i am relevant in these times.  it just matters that i plant it.  lettuce, here i come.

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

thank you to old friends who called or texted or FB-messaged me this week.  i can’t begin to tell you what you mean to me. with love.

www.kerrisherwood.com

iTunes: kerri sherwood

muddy boots blue website box

erle. ©️ 2019 kerri sherwood

OLD FRIENDS REVISITED from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

 


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my palette. [k.s. friday]

her palette - the piano

yesterday david wrote these words about his palette.  as i read his words, i realized he was conveying many of my own sentiments.  with his permission, i have only slightly modified his words this morning to express my own artist palette – my piano.  the re-posting of this, and even using the same verbiage, reminds me of the intertwining of all soulful expression.  bear with me as i experiment, my words in red, an exploration of two artistic planes running parallel.

true confessions: i never rarely clean my palette the music stand on top of my piano. i like the messy build up of color. color is found in many forms but mostly notebooks and pa-pads, scraps of paper, snippets of tracks recorded on an iriver or an iphone. i like the chunky texture pile. it serves as a gunky history of my work, a genealogy of paintings compositions past and future. and then, over time, it becomes a tactile work of art in its own right. unfettered by any of the mental gymnastics or over-ponderous considerations that plague my “real” work, it is the closest to child-mind that i will achieve. it is accidental. it is free.  it is idea, melodic gesture, poetry waiting for notes, phrase waiting for the rest of the lyrics.  ready.  waiting.  free.

this might be a stretch but it is, for me, nevertheless true. i love my palette because it is the place of alchemy in my artist process. it is the true liminal space.   long before the space spanning the route taken from introduction to coda.  i begin with pure color. i begin with the rest, silence inbetween the notes, the place for breath so you can hear the vibrations of sound.  i smash the pure color together with another color and transform it into a third color, the hue i intend. note upon note i build a melody, smashing note upon note i build a small unaccompanied orchestra of harmony, the hue i intend.  on a palette, color becomes intention. sound becomes intention.  and then, once transformed, with a brush or knife i lift the color-intention from my palette and in an action that is often more responsive than creative, i place it onto a canvas. i play, i listen, i play again.  i lift it from the keys of my palette and place it onto the canvas of paper, attempting to capture the fleeting moment it has created and etch it into a piece of music that can be repeated, played again.  it transforms yet again relative to all the color it touches. it transforms yet again relative to the air in the room, the echo of an intention, the listening ear it touches.  an image emerges. more color is called for. it emerges, this composition of music, and more color is called for.

and, somewhere in this call and response of color, i become like the palette. the pass-through of alchemy, the door that color passes through en route to something beautiful. and somewhere in this call and response of color, i become like the palette.  the pass-through of alchemy, the door that color passes through en route to something beautiful.  this!  can there be a more pure statement of artistry? and, in the process, perhaps i, too, in my messy build up of life/color, grow closer to that child mind. unfettered. accidentally interesting. free.  and in the process, perhaps i, too, in my messy build up of life/color, grow closer to that child mind.  unfettered.  accidentally interesting.  free.  the rest between the notes.  the breath of music on the air. 

“You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough” ~ William Blake  i paint.  i write.  i compose.  i don’t know what is enough until i know what is more than enough.  truth. 

read DAVID’s thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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you come to realize. [k.s. friday]

you come to realize songbox copy

“sometimes it takes longer to understand and appreciate what is around you.” (liner notes)

it’s the ah-ha! you feel when you realize that it’s ALL about perspective and even this moment will soon disappear into vapid space.  yet this very moment is the one that counts.  we simply can’t waste it.  there’s no time to not appreciate it, no time to throw it away while yearning for the next.

i have come to realize this over and over and over, through loss, through mistakes, through absolute joy, through reminders spoken, seen, felt on an excruciating gut level.  we are all repeated students of this lesson, for we are all human.  we are all human, for we are all students of this lesson.

on an everest documentary we watched the other day there was this quote:  “it’s not that life is so short.  it’s that death is so long.”  if that doesn’t make you spring into action – noticing life – i’m not sure what will.

 

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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YOU COME TO REALIZE from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1997 & 2000 kerri sherwood