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the wisdom of lester. [merely a thought monday]

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we have found that little bits of wisdom are all around us.  we were on the train to chicago when we encountered a wise man named lester.  he seemed a gentle soul, a big man with soft eyes, he was sitting across the aisle from us.  he talked to us about his life, about life in general. he had had a long day already, commuting by numerous trains in a circuitous route to go to a job interview; he wanted to make some changes and the interview he had been to was part of that.

he told us of a relationship he was in – nothing that was all that serious – but there was this woman….  the thing that stuck with us was his comment that in the morning as he awoke with her, she was on her phone….scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.  the early sun bright in the room, this lovely man by her side, she was endlessly looking on various social media platforms for what was trending.  “put down your phone,” he pleaded to the side of her that had forgotten he was even there.  “i’m trending.”

we’ve talked about presence before.  we’ve talked about being in the moment and not missing it.  we’ve talked about gratitude and time together.  we’ve talked about how fleeting time really is.  we’ve talked about relationship and listening and appreciating the place you are, the minute you are in.  and yet, in six words, lester said it better – “put down your phone.  i’m trending.”  wisdom indeed.

read DAVID’S thoughts on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

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the space called the future. [two artists tuesday]

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“…leaving to fill in the space called the future…”

yesterday is but a shadow now.  we rise with the sun and the lingering shadows and shapes in the dusk-then-darkness-then-dawn quietly disappear.  we can’t hold onto them, any of them, despite our sometimes-longing to do so.  memories are like that.  the moments we most want to remember…they slyly tiptoe out of our mind’s eye, elusive to our heart-threads trying to hold onto them.  that is why i keep a calendar.

my calendar is written.  with a pencil.  every day i write in it, catching up what we did with our time, what we worked on, where we went, who we saw, maybe a new recipe we tried.  mostly, though, i write down moments i don’t want to forget.  milliseconds or minutes of bliss with a loved one, gorgeous things said, handholds or hugs that i want to keep feeling, things i want to memorize but know will slip softly into a recess that i may or may not be able to access.

on the first day of the new year (or the last day of the old year) it is my ritual to read every day, every log, of my year’s calendar.  in that reading we are transported.  to the places we went, the people we visited with, the exquisite times, the arguments, treasured mom-moments that have repeated-time-release joy.  we remember things we had forgotten.  we stand once again on the precipice above the canyon or the beach on the cape.  we stroll once again under a canopy of spanish-moss-covered live oaks or the big sky of the high range mountains.  we sit once again on red rocks or on the train to chicago or on the subway in boston or on the pontoon boat up north or on the high kitchen stools having potluck friday or on the raft or at the pub near where we scattered ashes one last time.  we hike once again in the nearby woods, on the river trail, through high desert.  we roadtrip, once again, heading east, west, south, north.  we have conversation-snippets-to-remember once again with The Girl, The Boy, david’s parents, our siblings, nieces, nephews, dear friends.  once again, we make music and art, we write stories and blogposts and press releases and letters and emails and texts; some we want to hold onto, even if just a word or two, a sentiment or two.  once again.

we process our year.  we see.  we celebrate.  we learn.  we plan and we plan to not plan.  we dream.  we look to the future.

happy happy new year.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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the best present. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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we walked past macy’s in downtown chicago and i noticed a digital billboard as it transitioned into its next message.  “the best present?  being present.”  i couldn’t agree more.  as trite as that message may be, it is a truth that spans the ages, spans time, spans generations.  if there is one consistent thing i talk about, it is moments.  moments i’ve noticed.  moments i’ve memorized.  moments i’ve written down.  always – moments i’ve spent being present.  whether present for someone else or present in the universe for myself, it matters not.  it is the act of showing up….all-in….that makes all the difference.

the beloved moments on facetime with my daughter, son and his boyfriend.  the moments spent laughing on a phone call with friends or family.  the moments watching a dear one open a present or two.  the moments walking outside under a cold dark sky of stars.  the moments in the dark room alit only with twinkling lights.  the moments snuggled under a blanket.  the moments cooking or eating together.  the moments singing carols at the top of your lungs.  the moments sharing stories.  the moments making music.  moments where distraction would make you would miss it.

in this time of full-tiltedness…heading into the new year, i hope that you are gathering moments like this in your heart.   they are the best presents.

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

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full tilt. [merely a thought monday]

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she sent us a video of her snowboarding with friends.  it was a crazy-good-full-tilt-snow-flying amazing video of them on a magnificently majestic mountain.  my heart literally sang watching it; you could feel the rush, the joy!  and then….there was this spoken line…at the end…My Girl, breathless from an outstanding run, with a laugh said, “my legs are tired; my heart is happy!”  this is how she lives.

i could stop writing right here, because that really says it all.  as we go full-tilt at these holidays, full-tilt at the end of this year, full-tilt toward a new year, full-tilt toward our goals and dreams and wishes, we believe that giving our all – and then some – brings us ever closer to that elusive place of “getting there.”

but at the bottom of that powder-run there were no medals; there was no bonus, no ribbon or gold watch.  there was something more precious.  and kirsten knew it.  there was the moment of running it, of sharing it, of living it.  the absolute euphoria that comes with just doing the best you can, and putting your body and soul into it, capturing the moments you soar.

may this holiday season – and really, all your days – bring you those moments.  at the bottom of the slope, on christmas eve when you are in a dark room with a lighted tree, on a day you gather with family and friends and look around grabbing a few seconds to store away for later, on a facetime with those most beloved to you, when you’ve put away the last dish or driven the last couple hundred miles, when you have gone full-tilt, i know you will be a little tired.  but it is my hope your heart will be happy.

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

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©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson


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oversized joy. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

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we spent a wonderful day thanksgiving friday in boston with craig and dan.  taking trains here and there, we had brunch at the greatest little dietary-restrictions-aware-diner called the friendly toast, walked through a magnificently decorated copley place, had drinks together and went bowling, a tradition that has been established now for a few years.  it would have been hard not to feel the holiday spirit; carols were playing and everything was decorated…and we were together.

copley place had enormous decorations.  i mean eNORmous.  everywhere you looked there were oversized ornaments and lights.  now, normally i might find that gauche; in this case it was stunning.  they really made you take notice.  i wanted to sing carols and skip through the mall.

i keep carols on pretty much non-stop in this season.  in the house they play on a boombox booming out of my studio.  we drive with them on in the car.  i sing in the shower.  i make up new words to old standards and sing LALALALALA really loudly when i can’t think of the lyrics.  joy joy joy!  big joy!

thank you to copley place for the reminder that THE JOY of the season – those moments we are together – is enormous.  it is oversized.  it is stunning.  take notice.

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

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wondrous things. [merely a thought monday]

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a couple of weeks ago i ran into a couple i hadn’t seen in many years.  they asked me about my children and how they were; i excitedly rambled on about them for several minutes, explaining where they were living – 20 hours west and 20 hours east – and what they were doing in life.  then they asked me how i was.  i said, “you can always gauge a mom’s happiness by how recently she last got to see her grown children.”  i was fortunate enough to see my daughter in november AND my son in november, so i was happy-happy-happy.  time spent with them. a wondrous thing.

i was perched on one edge and My Girl on another, a ways down the side of the canyon.  we yelled back and forth, listening to the echo, ultimately dissolving into laughter.  the beauty.  the joy.  the echo.  the laughing.  a wondrous thing.

it was not his best bowling day; the planets clearly were out of alignment for My Boy, who pretty much rocks at bowling and many other sports,  but he goofed around and cartooned and had us all laughing. so much fun on that lane.  a wondrous thing.

we stood around the piano and sang in my studio, wendy’s voice next to my own.  suddenly, that thing-that-happens-when-two-people-who-are-related-sing-together happened.  my sweet niece’s voice and mine had the same timbre and it took my breath away.  i had to stop for a moment to take it in.  a wondrous thing.

from the moment we walked into their house, my girlfriend-since-elementary-school and i laughed.  we told stories, reminisced, struggled to remember details, poured a little wine, shared some more.  our husbands sipped lemon drop martinis and we talked non-stop.  i wanted to stay longer, talk more, remember more.  so much of my growing-up-history was standing next to me, hugging me as we left.  a wondrous thing.

we don’t really leave the kitchen table when we are there.  we sit on high stools and the chatter starts as soon as we arrive.  our dear friends jen and brad and the two of us have potluck dinners on many friday nights; each couple has leftovers from the week and no one has to worry about cooking.  we just heat up our leftovers and plate them and talk, wine glasses (or a beer in brad’s case) in hand.  conversations about our children, our work, politics, travel, ukuleles, npr…the spectrum is wide and we relish the time that flies by; six hours later we glance at the clock pointing to post-midnight.  a wondrous thing.

as glorious as the high mountains, ocean-front waves, flowers birthing out of winter, exquisite melodies, the first sip of coffee in the morning, a magical snowfall, texts with heart emojis, a hand holding yours, finding an old note in your child’s little-kid handwriting, black and white pictures of your parents in young days, shooting stars and sunrises…the list of wondrous things we can see around us is endless…limitless…boundless…

and moments shared?  also endless…limitless…boundless…

and we get to embrace all these wondrous things.

read DAVID’S thoughts about WONDROUS THINGS

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take every opportunity. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

snowman copy

there is something magically sweet about a snowman.  you know, without a doubt, that it won’t last forever, but it makes you smile every time you see one.

weeks ago when it had snowed packing-snow-to-just-cover-the-grass, the little boy a couple doors down went outside and built this snowman.  his silly grin made me stop the car and back up; i had to take a picture of him, preserve him for gloomy days, days of no snow, days when it’s dark at 4:30.

little-kid relationship with snow is good wisdom to remember.  embrace every chance to be in the moment.  cherish the snow falling, the feeling of flakes gently landing on your face.  treasure the slow-down of time, the chance to be with each other.  be mindful that the time is fleeting; it won’t last forever.  in this busy time, i think i will try to take every opportunity to build a snowman.

k and c in snow

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

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FLAWED CARTOON/CHICKEN MARSALA ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood