reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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in beauty i walk [two artists tuesday]

flower experiment jpeg copy 2

daisy and in beauty PRODUCT BAR copy

today is The Girl’s birthday.  kirsten turns 28 today and i can hardly believe it.  where does the time go?  i am wishing i could spend time with her today (well, like every day)… make her dinner or a decadent gluten-free cake, have a glass of wine with her.  what i would really love to do is take a walk with her.  in her world.  like most moms, sharing space and time with my children is precious; taking a walk outside, breathing in air and talking together is something yearn-worthy.

the best part about visiting The Girl and The Boy is that then – and really only then – i can picture their lives…the place they live, their home, where they buy their groceries, the roads they travel, what they see when they look out their windows, the way the air feels, the angle of the sun, their favorite places to hang out or places that have been in stories they have told me or pictures they have sent.  it’s all vital for me.

The Girl lives in stunning surroundings.  her mountains are massive and grand and the terrain is white with snow or green green with leaves of aspens and needles of pines.  she walks in beauty.  she sees it.  she recognizes it.

today my wish for her is to find that every day of her life.  no matter where she is or what her surroundings.  she doesn’t just walk in beauty.  she is beauty.

in beauty i walk PRODUCTS

daisy, daisy PRODUCTS

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

in beauty i walk & daisy, daisy ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

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chicken marsala monday

thismomentunique WITH EYES jpeg copy 2late yesterday afternoon, after a day spent working on computers and designs, with technology sluggishness taking over our souls, we headed to the woods to take a hike.  any time we feel tired or ‘stuck’ we walk.  around the ‘hood, along the lake, or to the starbucks about 2 and a half miles away.  any time we feel exuberant or elated we walk.  sometimes in the mountains (ahh!!) or in chicago or the third ward in milwaukee.  any time we need a ‘business meeting’ we walk.  mostly in the woods, in a county or state park.  walking and breathing in fresh air brings us back to the moment.  it re-centers us.

we hiked up the small rise in the woods, the light was waning and behind us the sky was deep deep orange.  in the clearing beyond the stand of trees stood, very still, a deer.  it was clearly the ‘lookout’ as way back in the field were six more deer, easy to count in the almost-dark as their white tails bobbed when the lookout gave the alert.  we stood perfectly still watching this beauty, a magic moment in the woods.  neither of us wanted to leave the spot.  i took a picture, not because you can see the deer in it, but because it preserved the moment for me.  i didn’t want to forget.  because, as you already know, i am thready like that.

around me, every rock or feather or piece of wood or ticket stub or scrap of notepaper carries with it a specific moment – preserved in time.  i could not necessarily tell the story of each of those moments – there are far too many for my synapse-challenged-brain to remember.  but i know that each one had meaning for me.  each one defined yet another piece of me, my relationship with someone i love, a time i shared with another being, a learning, a moment of sheer bliss, a moment of deep sadness.  each moment renewed me and brought me to my next moment of living.

as i have moved through life one thing has become certain.  that everything changes.  nothing stays the same.  life is in flux, always fluid.  what more do we have than each moment as it arrives for us?  i ask myself, “how do i want to spend this moment?  what do i want to feel about this moment?”  for i can never get it back.  i can never re-do it.  time has moved on.  and so i must keep moving.  i write about moments, i compose about moments, i tell stories about moments.  for me, those details count.   attempting to put succinctly (ha!) into words my philosophy-of-what-moments-mean is impossible; it is the umbrella that skies over everything else i believe, everything else i think.

when The Boy was little, he called the rearview mirror in cars the “review” mirror.  particularly poignant i think.  i have seen it written “don’t stare into the rearview mirror.  that’s not the direction you are going.”  instead i try (read: TRY) to review the past moments, learn from them, find grace in them, save the memory threads.  and wholeheartedly embrace the ones to come.  the moments.  unique.  in every way.   i love this chicken marsala image.

THIS MOMENT…UNIQUE…IN EVERY WAY MERCHANDISE

     ThisMomentUnique clock copy

ThisMomentUnique iphone case

ThisMomentUnique mug copy

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY

melange button jpeg

check out DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN MARSALA

this moment…unique…in every way ©️ 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

www.kerrisherwood.com

iTunes: kerri sherwood

 


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don’t get losted.

img_2688he said it to me every time i left the house or hung up the phone…”don’t get losted, brat.” i smile every time i think of this and i talk to him. i know he can hear me. i’m not sure if he is saying anything back, but i’m sure he’s there. my poppo taught me so much…i find myself quoting him often, using the knowledge that he somehow conveyed to me, even when i didn’t know that i was absorbing it (ie:  listening.)   he was a real rube goldberg kind of fixer….he could fix anything. i find myself trying to follow his lead. every time i fix something or devise some sort of daddy-o kind of method i say, “my daddy would be proud!” he’d be 96 today. he would be an awesome 96. and i wish that he and david could hang out together, because david would have loved him. no doubt.

momma-daddy-and-metoday is also my mom and dad’s anniversary. (momma married daddy on his birthday “so he wouldn’t forget”.) they would have been married 73 years today. “wow-ee,” she would have said. i celebrate their love, their joy with each other, their tenacity, their patience, their steadfastness, their being-my-parents.

last week was our anniversary. the first. kind of odd when you consider our ages. it’s been a fast year. it’s been forever since that day. what is it about Time?

with early morning steaming mugs of strong coffee, we walked to the rocks to watch the sunrise over the lake. there is nothing like a sunrise to make you feel alive in the morning. we had wanted to watch it the day of our wedding, but we were both exhausted from five days of great fun with family and friends who had gathered around us and we missed it in lieu of warm blankets and a few more minutes sleep.

sitting there, we decided that we wanted to catch the sunrise every anniversary from now on…to welcome in a new year of adventures, a new year striated with sun and clouds and blue sky and grey days, warm air and freezing toes…new years to come and past years to celebrate.photo-3

later that anniversary morning, we sat on the deck and read our wedding aloud to each other. the readings, the poems, our roadtrip email entries, our vows. we are both, as it turns out, pretty ritualistic so this was powerful stuff. if you ever want to really remember why you got married, i’d recommend doing this. there is nothing like threading together.

this morning we talked over coffee. we talked about the last few years and the stuff of them. the ups and downs that we rode together, the joys and sorrows we felt together, the easy stuff and the hard stuff. we celebrated dogdog and babycat laying on the bed together with us. we talked about our anniversary. about what is actually important to us in this world. and what’s not.  and today….about my momma and my daddy.

and about one sure thing…that we both know…

together…hanging on tight…just like momma and poppo…we won’t get losted.

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there is a peace in that.

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for weeks now i have been going through old photos. now, this is an enormous task – 35 years of life, 35 years of memories, 35 years of pictures…uhh…let’s make that 35 years of disorganized pictures…and i haven’t even gone back all the way (“obviously”, you all think, as you do the math between 35 and 57!) the rest of the journey back i’ll make another time. it will take me another long while.

some of you may have every picture you ever took in albums, cleverly captioned. some of you may have every picture you ever took in boxes, neatly labeled. i would like to say these photographs fell into one of these categories, but, uh, no, as my momma would say, “that ain’t so!” (she never used the word ‘ain’t’ unless it was in this context; she prided herself on vocabulary and grammar, and i (and my children – the girl and the boy) have been cursed (?) with this as well.)

so, my task involved bins and bins and boxes and envelopes and more envelopes of pictures, pictures, pictures. organizing photos into categories and sorting out thousands of duplicates that are helter-skelter likens to playing the match game…where did i see this one before? i spent the first week using a system to sort that quickly became ridiculously impossible. there were piles everywhere, spilling into other piles. this is a tedious task, at best, but i needed a better system. so the categories became more specific and boxes were labeled and placed all around the dining room, which became inaccessible to anything else for the weeks (literally, weeks!) this took place. labels like ‘baby-baby’, ‘random cuteness’, ‘winter’, ‘summer’, ‘christmas’, ‘easter’, ‘the pumpkin farm and fall’, ‘thanksgiving’, ‘pets’, ‘house stuff’, ‘trips’, ‘outdoor fun’, ‘family visiting’, ‘friends’, ‘school’, ‘music, sports, ballet’, ‘losing teeth’….the list goes on. it was daunting. bins of mixed-up photos surrounded me.Scan2

and i just finished.

now to find the place to bring them all to so that dvd’s and thumbnail print books may be made. i’ll download onto flash drives all the photos on the computer post-physical-picture-developing. and this task – at least 35/57 of the task – will be done.

last night at ukulele band i told everyone on the patio if they ever thought of doing this that they should either decide not to or to procrastinate it…forever. but on second thought, i am thinking that there has been some real living for me -even in the midst of wanting to scream from the tedium- in these last weeks. i have had the joy of re-watching my children born and grow, the joy of seeing my family – even those who have moved into a different plane of existence, the joy of seeing relationships at their best and through challenge, the joy of seeing what time really is.

there is a peace in that.

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you can still do it.

dandelionsthe girl jumped out of a plane last week. i look at the sky and think about being 10,000 feet up and stepping out…..

skydiving was on my bucket list at her age. that and hang-gliding, a hugely-70’s thing. growing up on long island, i was hanging out with people who surfed and camped in the dunes, fished in the middle of the night and scuba-dove into wrecks off the beach. and so it didn’t surprise me when she wrote to me that she had ‘just jumped out of a plane’. i celebrate her adventuring spirit.

the boy bought a grill this week. when did he grow up enough to own his own grill? his adventures are all about his spirit – with an ever-growing circle of friends who support him and let him be in his own skin. i celebrate his adventuring spirit.

wasn’t it yesterday when the boy and i walked hand in hand to the girl’s school to pick her up from kindergarten? wasn’t it yesterday when he ran around the field and picked dandelions, dirt flying, and reached up to me with them in his fist, saying “woses for momma”? wasn’t it yesterday when she carried over big piles of books for me to “wead, momma, wead”? wasn’t it yesterday i rocked them to sleep at night after the perfunctory ‘good night moon’ reading?

so many adventures. it has all flown by. i talked to linda yesterday and she laughed when i said, “we realize we actually don’t know anything. time just flies by and we know nothing.” she is gentle and wise and an amazing adventurer, taking on new stages of life with grace and generosity.

every single one of these moments weaves into my heart – yup, that thready heart of mine. i hold them close to me and give thanks for adventures that are big, adventures that are small. adventures that have taught me patience, adventures that challenge me. i try not to have fear or hold on too tight, but…well, i’m human.

hesistantly, because moms just sometimes seem out of the running when it comes to children thinking about people adventuring, i wrote to my daughter that i had always wanted to skydive at her age. she wrote back, “you can still do it.”

you can still do it.

true.

itunes: kerri sherwood: fistful of dandelions

www.kerrisherwood.com


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holding on, letting go

photoit’s that time of year. the school supplies are out en masse. i wander through the store, the office-supply-lover in me fondling the new blackandwhitespeckled composition books (wide rule), spiral notebooks (college rule), mechanical pencils, sharpies, highlighters, sticky notes…. we are surrounded by signs for college necessities: futons and storage containers, bins for the shower and three-drawer chests made of every color plastic can achieve. and it suddenly occurs to me:

this is the first year i will not be buying school supplies.

what?? no colored pencils, no erasers, no pencil sharpeners, no index cards for cramming late-night-factoids into too-tired brains? no. none of it.

for the last twenty years i have religiously gone to a variety of stores and bought a plethora of supplies. i was always shocked by how picked-over the choices were when i went, even weeks before school started. some moms are just overzealous, eh? nonetheless, i would love shopping, with or without my children, for everything on the list the school provided, the list they provided, and my own list. every year a box of kleenex was on the list from the schools. every year dry erase markers were on the list. and somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that i could actually put the 6783 colored pencils we had accumulated over the years into one bin and they could choose from those, rather than buying yet another brandspankingnew box.

but this year? this year is different. the girl graduated from college three years ago and is well into her life-minus-index-cards-and-futons. the boy is almost done with college. just a few short weeks and he will no longer require paper or pencils or pens or post-it notes from me.

and this is taking my breath away.

i stood in target today wondering where the time went. my yearning to buy a new lunch box or bag is unfulfilled. my mom instinct to find the coolestfoldersthatmatchtheirpersonalities is untapped. i wandered – still touching the 50 cent composition books and in awe of the sharpie highlighter display – and i realize that in my holding on, i am also letting go.

maybe i should buy a few composition books and that box of kleenex.  for me.

holding on, letting go

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood