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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.

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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.

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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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adrift. [k.s. friday]

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“from a visual place…adrift on long island sound late-night.  from an emotional place…living in the gray.” (liner notes – blueprint for my soul, 1996)

the gray.  it sounds dismal.  but gray is not devoid of color.  if you mix the three primary colors together – red, yellow and blue – and then add white, you will hone the gray of your choosing.  if you have ever stood in front of color samples at home depot or menards you know that gray, itself, spans a full spectrum.  so many choices.  all gray.  the only thing really pertinent about gray is that it isn’t just black and white.  it swirls together every color of experience, every emotion, every laugh and every tear.  it is not defined by distinct edges, but blurs one moment into the next.

the word ‘adrift’ sounds inactive.  but, in this vast world, aren’t we pretty much adrift?  we believe we are proactive; we act on things we believe in.  and yet.  we bounce off turbulent waves threatening to destroy us; we ride others into the beach.  we sit in calm waters and we try to navigate the waters that toss us wildly.  we make decisions in moments of incomplete information; we have successes, we have regrets.  we are adrift in the gray.

in moments of sunshine on trails in the woods i feel less adrift and more centered, more clear.  it’s the rest of the moments when i try my best to ‘go with the flow’.  we are surrounded by unknowns, caught in many an eddy.  we are uncertain, but we are all capable.  we are held in glimmering gossamer silks of grace by a universe that is benevolent.  adrift.

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ADRIFT from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 


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you hold me. [k.s. friday]

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‘you-hold-me’s i will always remember…  among the more-than-i-can-count-mom-heart-moments, one of the last times My Boy fell asleep on my lap and i knew – at the age he was then, rounding 5 or 6 – it was something to hold onto.  or the time he, all-grown-up, bent down and, one more time, hugged me goodbye.  precious time dancing to marvin gaye with My Girl in the sitting room, her favorite infant-lullaby.  the bittersweet-tender-time-stood-still time she – as an adult – fell asleep while i held her.   in o’hare airport when d just held me while, with people swirling around us, we were lost in reuniting, in recognition.   the greetings we get from dogdog and babycat every single time we arrive home.  the hugs we get inside the door to our best friends’ house, their big beloved dogs jostling for attention.  the memory of watching my sweet momma and poppo hold hands as they walked, always…those linked hands grasping each other.  watching my momma hold my dad’s hand at the side of his last hospital bed, nodding off, both of them, but holding on.  ‘you-hold-me’s aren’t always just about you.

in these times, in any time, the simple feeling of being held – a quick hug or embrace that goes on and on – is the one true thing.  it doesn’t solve any problem, take away a worry, change any circumstance.  but it is a reminder that you are not alone.  you are woven of and into so much more.  and you are held – by your family, by your children, by your friends, by this good earth, by a higher power.  in appreciation of you.  in a bigger thing called love.

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YOU HOLD ME from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1997 & 2000 kerri sherwood

 

 


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unfolding. [k. s. friday]

unfolding song box copy

“…and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…” (desiderata by max ehrmann)

when i listen to tracks i have recorded i can either picture the time i spent writing at the piano or the time i spent in studio recording.  this piece drums up the same image; in a time of pronounced inspiration and the transferring of much emotion into music, this was simultaneously written and recorded at yamaha artist services in nyc back about 15 years ago.

even then, i could see the willows-bending-in-the-wind characteristic of life – it will unfold as it should, despite our best efforts to stymie it or change it or enhance it.  and so i loved when ken, my truly amazing producer, added a bended electric guitar line, arching and buckling, flexing around the melody line, a musical painting.   even now, and i suspect as will always be, i try to be that willow, bending as the wind takes me, allowing the universe to unfold.

“unfolding: trying to trust that life is unfolding the way it should be” (liner notes)

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UNFOLDING from AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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untitled interlude. [k.s. friday]

untitledinterlude songbox.jpg

“…sometimes you just need some space in between.  a few moments to think.” (liner notes)

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time to sort, to ponder.  a breath.  in music, it’s used in between verses and choruses, a time for an instrumental, a time for a pause in lyrics, a pause for thought.

right now feels like an interlude.  space that is falling between the verses, it’s quieter with more pondering.  it’s a time of figuring out, a time of ‘what’s next?’  not every interlude is comfortable, but that space in a piece of music, in life, is a time that can be rich.

as mozart said, “the music is not in the notes but in the silence in between.”

 

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UNTITLED INTERLUDE from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

 


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this season. [k.s. friday]

this season song box.jpg

“…a chance to really mean something to someone…” (judy noerr, cherry hill guest experience officer.)  every year in westminster, colorado (one of my favorite states) “roughly 800 naturally bearded santas” -who work for the cherry hill program of santas (people representing the real santa!) placed in retail centers around the country- have an opportunity to attend the training session that convenes annually.  i read about this in aarp magazine last year and saved the article; it was touching…an article about such a positive impact on others.

there were three santa secrets shared and, although they went into more relevant santa-detail, they are worth repeating here:  1.  keep up your appearance.  2. keep egos in check.  3. speak another language.  ahhhh.  staying healthy and aware, remaining grounded and compassionate, making an effort to embrace others not-like-you.  amazingly simple.   these are simple-santa lessons.  worthy of our taking notice.

it is this season….a season of hope, of joy, of miracles.  a season of simplicity and compassion, of giving and generosity, a season of really meaning something to someone, a season of  love.

may this season bring you all the gifts the universe has to offer you.  with great love.

 

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THIS SEASON ©️ 2005 kerri sherwood