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a clean blackboard. [merely-a-thought monday]

clean blackboard copy

you wouldn’t know it looking out the window today, but it is spring in wisconsin.  under barney, the old piano in the backyard, green is sprouting up through the mulched-up-leaves and mess leftover from winter.  along the back fence are some reminders that, indeed, there are plants there.  in the front yard, next to the old brick wall, the daylilies are insistent and green shoots  are rising amid the dried beige of fall’s version of ornamental grasses.  spring.  a time of new.  out of the fallow, out of the dark.

yesterday, in the meditation book jonathan gave us, there was this sentence, “please give me a clean blackboard today and help me to do the writing.”  do you remember writing on the blackboard in elementary school?  it was always an honor to have that chance.  the feeling of chalk on your fingertips, eraser dust in your nose.  stretching to reach high enough, that sound when your fingernails scraped the board.  and those days that the teacher chose to use chalk in many colors?  it was nothing shy of pure excitement.  funny how simply colored chalk could change things.

i loved this reading.  the vision in my mind’s eye of a blackboard – or an etch-a-sketch – or one of those magic slates where you can still hear the “pfffffffft” sound in your head as you lift the cellophane off the cardboard pad to clear the picture you drew with the plastic stylus.  a chance to do it over.  draw it again.  live it again.  spring.  green out of beige and brown.  grace.  another chance.  color.  new birth.

as i awake each day this spring, i cannot imagine a more grace-filled thought than please give me a clean blackboard todaypffffffffft!

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

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rest and good things will come [chicken marsala Monday]

rest WITH EYES jpeg copy

it was the first. the very first butterfly of this season. we both stopped to watch it as it freely flitted around the path in front of us. it felt like another harbinger of spring; maybe it’s really here. a few minutes later we stopped and sat for a few minutes. we didn’t talk; we just listened to the woods. the rest was soft and rejuvenating. the quiet was punctuated by birds and chipmunks. even a raccoon came out to wander. we got back up, ready for more hiking.

i distinctly remember a day i sat in the front yard. it was summer and, just like chicken marsala in this chicken nugget, there was a butterfly that came to light on my hand. it circled around and came back, landing on my knee, my foot. it felt like a message to me, a reinforcement to quietly sit in the sun.

this world is full of chaos and confusion, deadlines and worries. looking at the furrows lining people’s brows, it is obvious that we don’t take enough time to just rest, just sit, just soak in new energy, just let butterflies lead the way. good things will come.

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click here (or on the product bar above) to browse REST AND GOOD THINGS WILL COME products

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

rest and good things will come ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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when sled dogs dream [flawed cartoon wednesday]

when sled dogs dream jpegBIG copy 2

life below zero has captured our attention.  sheesh.  we are not ‘those people’ who have to follow shows, but we find ourselves searching the channel-changer for the national geographic show or… wait-for-it-this-is-no-surprise … this is us.  (so i guess, in essence, we are ‘those people’.)  anyway, that’s not my point.

dream SQ PILLOW copywhen david drew this, i laughed aloud.  it is truly funny to think about what animals dream (like our dogdog who runs in his sleep and babycat who snores up a storm) and if their dreams distort reality, just as ours do.  in the morning, over steaming mugs of coffee, we often tell each other what we remember from our dreams.  talk about distorted reality!  i crack up thinking about what jessie holmes (the most avid -and very-sweet-to-his-dogs sled dog guy on the show) would do if he saw this cartoon.

the last little vestige of winter is in the air here (well, maybe.)  dream CLOCK copyas i write, there is snow in the forecast.  even though we had this amazing hike-gift the other day in sunny 65 degree temperatures, truthfully, i don’t really mind that winter hasn’t ended; it is a time of fallow and that brings great anticipation for spring and newness.

in the meanwhile, happy wintery-spring.

dream duvet cover copy

dream BEACH TOWEL copy

sled dogs dream MUG copy

dream LEGGINGS copy

DREAM & WHEN SLED DOGS DREAM – PRODUCTS on Society6.com/flawedcartoon

FLAWED CARTOON WEDNESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on WHEN SLED DOGS DREAM

WHEN SLED DOGS DREAM & DREAM ©️ 2016 & 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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put on your rubber boots [chicken marsala monday]

puddles CHICKEN MUG copy

chicken marsala mugs, cards, tote bags, cases

right now my favorite boots are my timberland brown and black boots.  they are hiking boots and they are always sitting at the back door….poised and ready.  in between work(s), we will throw them on and drive off somewhere for a hike; our go-to adventures usually include a hike somewhere.  at the moment, these boots are full of mud because the woods around these parts are completely muddy and squishy and on the verge of gleefully welcoming spring.  but we don’t let that stop us.

puddles BEACH TOWEL copy

beach towels, throw pillows, bath accessories

now it’s not too out-of-the-ordinary for us as we often have gotten caught in weather, but we chose to be in the woods in the rain last week and ohhh what a gift – the smell of rain dampening the earth was exquisite.  looking back, it is one of my favorite moments in the woods and i’m glad to have not missed it.

today we are sitting in lake geneva drinking starbucks coffee and writing, a fire going just beyond our feet perched on the hearth.  i think of the day we were out here having a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe.  it began to drizzle and we got ready to go, but not sooner than the skies let loose.  it poured down buckets of rain and we laughed and splashed through the puddles, playing in the water, nonplussed* by the torrents around us.

puddles LEGGINGS copy

leggings

spring is around the corner.  grab your rubber boots or your hiking boots or just be barefoot and go splash in those puddles.  don’t let a chance to play pass you by.

PUT ON YOUR RUBBER BOOTS – FUN STUFF TO REMIND YOU TO PLAY like mugs, beach towels, throw pillows, cards, leggings

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

 

 

puddles CHICKEN FRAMED PRINT copy

puddles RECT PILLOW copy

puddles CHICKEN TOTE BAG copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on RUBBER BOOTS AND PUDDLES

*(so i just looked up ‘nonplussed’ to make sure i was using it correctly and was surprised to see two opposite definitions of it.  the one i meant was ‘unperturbed’ but that was the second definition; the first definition was surprised and confused.  words are funny, aren’t they?)

society 6 info jpeg copy

PUT ON YOUR RUBBER BOOTS ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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holy moments.

sunintreesCALIFit’s holy week and, from the perspective of a minister of music, this is kind of a busy time (understatement lol). throughout lent our church has had a wednesday night service preceded by a simple soup supper (i love that alliteration!), with choir, ukulele band and handbell rehearsals sandwiching around these. although a scheduling challenge, rather than feeling overwhelming, it is a breath of fresh air. full of holy moments.

each wednesday evening the congregation gathered sings a service called ‘holden evening prayer’ written by marty haugen. (now, marty -my pal, even though we have never met, spoken or communicated in any way- is prolific and his compositions are gorgeous – meaningful lyrics with melodies and especially harmonies that resonate and are relatively easy for people to sing.)

his evening hymn begins:  joyous light of heavenly glory, loving glow of God’s own face, you who sing creation’s story, shine on every land and race. now as evening falls around us, we shall raise our songs to you.  God of daybreak, God of shadows, come and light our hearts anew.

in the stars that grace the darkness, in the blazing sun of dawn, in the light of peace and wisdom, we can hear your quiet song. love that fills the night with wonder, love that warms the weary soul, love that bursts all chains asunder, set us free and make us whole.

you who made the heaven’s splendor, every dancing star of night,  make us shine with gentle justice,  let us each reflect your light……

gorgeous, right? “light our hearts anew” “set us free and make us whole” “let us each reflect your light”  – words to make you stop the craziness, get off the complaint bandwagon and feel the holy moments.

in another piece, the psalmody, the lyrics “let my prayer rise up like incense before you…” powerful words, magnified by haunting melodies. so visual. so visceral. holy moments.

as we rehearse through this season, i can feel each of the groups ready for a bit of a break, all volunteers dedicating their precious time to this music. i appreciate them more than they know. but there is something that keeps us all going. for in the middle of rehearsals, there is, inevitably, something that makes us laugh uncontrollably, something that makes us in unity say “awww” or something that, invariably, makes me/us want to cry…in a good way. these communities of fabulous people, joining together, to create joy. music is secondary. holy moments.

a small group of the ukulele band decided to go to a concert recently. held in a huge arena, it was louder than we thought it was going to be. much louder. like the guy in the souped-up car behind you at the traffic light with the huge woofers under the dashboard or on the rear deck (the place where you put bobbleheads) was right inside your chest pounding. but when matt maher got up on stage and sang Lord i need you….oh wow.  holy moment. not because it was “holy”, but….because it was holy.

we had seen matt sing at red rocks in colorado. redrocks(2)outside, surrounded by mountains and the setting sun, the sound echoing off huge red rock, everyone linking arms with the person standing next to them, whether or not they knew them, was unforgettable. i can’t sing that song without that vision in my mind’s eye. he didn’t say much. he didn’t have to. he was one of the rare wise ones who knew that the holy was in the moment, not the stuff he might over-say. yes. holy moment.

the girl-i-have-adored-forever, my beautiful and amazing daughter, and her girlfriend, also beautiful, amazing and adored, called the other night to share some insanely cool news. we laughed and talked and ultimately, i managed to get my daughter to roll her eyes at me, yet again. such a gift of a conversation. holy moment.

the boy and his boyfriend, two fantastic urban young men who i, yes!, adore, left me a sung birthday song message and, another day, texted pictures of a chamber ensemble concert they were at. sharing with me. holy moments.

spring is returning to our backyard.  early morning birds wake and the cardinals are feeling the spring juju.  they swoop and sing and remind me of my sweet momma and daddy.  holy moments.

late on a spring-rainy afternoon we sat on the bed and read aloud together. babycat joined us and then dogdog. all four of us, on the raft. holy moment.

a time of lent, of preparation. another time for recognition of the holy.   the “holy”, the holy.  the Holy.  moments indeed. they are everywhere.

original holy holy framed jpeg

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held in grace.

it was snowing when we woke up this morning. huge white flakes. gorgeous. it’s april 2 so that isn’t so unusual in wisconsin, but we all have spring knocking at our hearts – waiting for it to happen. we walked in it…heavy snow boots, down jackets, earmuffs, gloves…it was cold…we were exhilarated. much of the snow was melting as we walked, the intermittent weak sun warm enough to melt it, just as the grey clouds made more snow swirl around us. we talked about waiting.

living with an artist and being an artist can be a challenge. we both feel the time of fallow needed to generate creativity. we get frustrated in that fallow. we rest in that fallow. we are held in the grace of it. and hold vigil for the spring.early tulip

his newest paintings are part of a new series. i stand in front of his easel and marvel.  the series is called “held in grace”. we hold each other in grace. (well, most of the time.) others hold us in grace. our universe holds us in grace. God holds us in grace. the freedom to be (in our case, human) grows in grace and green sprouts push through the fallow, becoming exquisite expressions – be they tulips or amazing paintings or pieces of music that make us cry or a dance we share in the kitchen.

we are waiting. and in each wait-full moment i am grateful. for the white flakes, the green sprouts, the fallow that makes me yearning-crazy and the ordinary extraordinary moments that i know exist because i can feel them. because i am lucky enough to be alive. because i am lucky enough to be held in grace.

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood