reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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underpainting. a solid foundation. [d.r. thursday]

underpainting

when we moved into this house 30 years ago the kitchen floor was an old green and orange linoleum.  needless to say, this was not my favorite color combination nor was it my favorite floor.  we laid a clean white tile floor on top; a temporary fix to hold us over.  a couple years later we chose to put hardwood down,  mimicking the rest of the house.  that required stripping off the old floors – the white one and the green and orange one.  weren’t we surprised at how many layers we found!  but below all that mess was the sub-flooring, a solid foundation on which to lay new hardwood, a new start for the little kitchen.

peeling back the layers to expose what’s beneath it all can be exhilarating.  but it can also be intimidatingly revealing.  we are nervous to find what is below the surface.  we feel  trepidation about the underlayment; should we rip out and replace? what will we need to do to shore it up?  can it withstand this?

it’s the same for each of us.  we feel vulnerable letting others know what is underneath it all, this positive front of ours.  the complexity of sedimentary-life-layers is confusing and we seek ways to not feel them, not acknowledge them, not share them.

but the firm subfloor is there.  we are resilient and fluid.  we have been shored up by the obstacles we have climbed, by the challenges we have surmounted and we are surrounded by others who all can relate, were we to tell them.

the orange and green linoleum of our lives is still there, underneath, but it is now serving us, either as the underlayment of our ever-learning-ever-growing-future or part of what we found, dealt with, ripped out and replaced.  either way, there is room for the hardwood.  the foundation is solid.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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©️ 2019 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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coffee. without fail. [two artists tuesday]

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coffee is how we start the day.  hot bold black coffee.  columbus says it’s way too strong, but this is from a man who makes coffee that his son says tastes like ‘sockwater’.  our coffee must be an acquired taste.

when we travel we seek out starbucks (and, to be honest, small independent coffee cafes as well) to stop and have a double espresso.  now that we are a teeny weeny bit older, it’s not as smart to have huge cups of coffee while driving long distances.  there’s a teeny weeny bit of an issue with not enough rest areas now.  so we try to be smart.

every single time we stop for a double espresso we take a picture and then we send it to 20.  we have pictures of double espressos in illinois and indiana, in colorado and wisconsin, in florida and georgia, in north and south carolina, in kentucky and tennessee, in connecticut and massachusetts, in new hampshire and rhode island, in new york and pennsylvania, in washington and idaho, in iowa and kansas, in montana and north dakota and minnesota, in missouri and california, in amsterdam and brussels, in paris.

coffee has always been one of our touchstones.  from the very beginning d and i spoke about and revered coffee, together.  i learned early on from my sweet momma and my poppo how to coffee-sit and it is with them in my heart, coffee in hand, we continue the tradition.

as each day ends and d sets up the coffeemaker for the next morning, dogdog listens for all the familiar sounds he knows that signal the end of the day.  he waits on the bed for his bellybelly and then time for sleep.  and he knows, too, that when he wakes we will sit with our hot black bold coffee the next morning.  without fail.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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it’s in the stars. [merely-a-thought monday]

it's in the stars copy

mike described the night sky and ended with, “…and sometimes you can see the northern lights.”  the blanket of stars in a deep inky sky are vivid with no city lights.  magical and unending, the light from the moon and stars light the tiny island.  a smattering of front lights or the warm glow through windows belies the notion that there is no one present on island.  instead, it just shows the majesty of the infinity-sky and its luminous spheres, seemingly suspended for our delight.

you can feel it when things start to align.  despite one’s tendency to question or even ignore the telltale signs or the pull of gravity, sometimes things are, indeed, in the stars, as the saying goes.

and so, this tiny island with this vast sky will also be our home.  and i imagine that we will sit on the beach or in the purple adirondack chairs.  we will look to the sky and marvel at the stars, both at their incandescent beauty and how they somehow line up.  and we will be starstruck.

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

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

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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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gently in my hands. [d.r. thursday]

FaceTheRain copy

today, as i write this for tomorrow’s post, is My Girl’s 29th birthday.  29!! where does the time go?  i pretty clearly remember making her birthday cakes through the years:  little mermaid, elmo and big bird, barney, pocahontas, daisies and peace signs and smile faces, ballet slippers and exclamation points. i loved making homemade birthday cakes for My Boy also:  semi-tractor-trailers, sneaker-cake, a vw bug, soccerball and soccer field cakes, basketballs, tow trucks, helicopters, tennis rackets, thomas the tank engine.  these cakes did not look anything like the beautiful and painstakingly detailed cakes my dear friend susan makes, but, with food dye staining my hands and frosting all over my clothing and stuck even in my hair, it was a source of great delight for me to design and make their cakes.

i’m wishing that i could make a (gluten free) cake for her today, celebrate her.  instead she will spend her day in the high mountains.  she will be surrounded by great beauty.  snow caps the mountains and spring taunts her little town.  she’ll breathe in the freshest air, walk briskly with no effort or even a nod to the altitude, laugh with friends, work with vigor.  and she’ll be one-day-older-making-her-one-year-older on this good earth.

and i lift my face to the heavens and the universe and ask, for this miracle in my life called a daughter,  for experiences of exploration and surprise, for learning and the confidence of knowing, for love given and love received, for reliance on a benevolent universe.  holding her gently in my hands, i ask for all good things for her.

and i hope she had a really delicious piece of gluten free birthday cake.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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FACE THE RAIN ©️ 2019 david robinson


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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