reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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in the storm.

sometimes – in this world – there are really no words.  this is one of those times.

instead, there are images, sounds, visceral emotional responses, reassurances and reminders…

i walked down the stairs into the studio.  david had just finished this painting.

it is called “i will hold you in the storm” and it is the image, the sound, the visceral emotional response, reassurance, and reminder in my day of this time.

thank you, d, for making me weep.I will hold you

 

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the mountains are calling.

there is a spot when you are driving to colorado that – all of a sudden – the mountains come into view. they are far away, on the horizon, but their presence hits me to the core. every single time i catch my breath. every single time i get tears in my eyes. every single time i anticipate the air i feel there, the space, the vastness, the greatness, the majesty of those ever-present giants.

we come over the rise of the pass and i instantly weep. there in front of us are these incredible soaring heights of rock, dotted with gorgeous green pine trees, verdant aspens. every single time i catch my breath. every single time i weep. every single time i anticipate the air i feel there, the space, the vastness, the greatness, the majesty of those ever-present giants.

we sit in adirondack chairs in the snow, midway up a-basin, soaking in the sun, eating baradirondackchairsAbasinbecue, listening to a band. in front of us, hundreds of spring skiers and boarders go past us – we virtually have front row seats. we watch the girl approach from the heights of the ski mountain…she gets closer, closer. her ability on that snowboard astounds us. she is one with it; her passion for the snow obvious in her huge laughter as she stops abruptly in front of us, deliberately and generously spraying us with snow and slush. leighonsnowboardi catch my breath as i look at my beautiful daughter, the mountains behind her, intense sun. i laugh, all the way from my heart, as i celebrate with her. this air, this space, this vastness, this greatness, this majesty.

one of our hikes was about 6 miles, half of that all uphill. not uphill like the little hill that used to be at the end of the road i grew up on, where you could not pedal all the way down and the momentum would take you all the way around the corner and beyond. no, this uphill is serious. i’m not sure of the elevation gain, but, after the hike, i would swear it paralleled everest.  …ok, maybe not so much… regardless, it was uphill in snow. snow! we were hiking well into june and there was snow on this trail. lots of it. feetinsnowhikingthe air was clear and crisp. the sun dappled through the trees. (haven’t you always wanted to write that? “dappled through the trees.”)   when you are on the mountain hiking, you aren’t as aware of the mountain, if that makes sense. (i remember one time out in the colorado mountains when i was heading to a concert venue and they gave me directions through high elevation plains.  i drove along, wondering where the mountains had gone.  when you are up on them, you don’t see them.  so much like life, eh?)  but when you are hiking and you come up to a clearing kdotatclearingand there is a break in the trees and you can see beyond where you are standing, beyond the trail, beyond limitations, you can see that the mountains out there go on and on and on. we came upon such a clearing and i caught my breath. i didn’t want to turn around. i wanted to keep going and going. to see more of this space, this vastness, this great majesty.

we were driving down the mountain and came upon a lookout with a trailhead. stopping to get out and stretch our legs on the trail we took a few pictures. (this is a never-ending thing…there is an incredible photograph every other second. you have to be careful to not get lost behind the camera – sometimes you miss the moment that way.)  the photographs looked not “real”  –  the beauty so …….what word is bigger than astounding? i stand and look out in amazement.   tears of gratitude and joy and sheer life make me catch my breath.   once again, that air, that space, that vastness, that greatness, the majesty. all right there.

lake dillon

it’s funny how when i write about these mountains, this place, i can’t seem to stay in the same tense. if she reads this, andrea will shake her head and wonder if i remember anything she taught me about writing back in high school. but there is something that dominates my need for tense-correctness in this writing. it’s the holding-on-feeling-it-still-ness of these moments. it confuses the tense use, but helps me – viscerally – like goose bumps on my skin – remember. so i will forgo correctness for anything to burn these golden moments – like a kiln with raku pottery – into my memory bank, open to draw upon any time i need to.

i cry a lot in the mountains. it’s always good. it’s Divine Intervention reminding me to breathe, touch, taste, see, feel each and every moment. they are vast and great and majestic. every one is our own mountain. and yes, they are calling.

onthetrail2

 

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood

 


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waterproof mascara

about a decade ago i set a goal for myself. one of many, this one may seem a tad obscure, maybe even not-worthy. but it was a huge one for me and represented many layers. my goal? it was –

to not wear waterproof mascara.

i just really wanted to reach the point to be able to wear regular mascara – be it revlon or maybelline or loreal – any brand really – just not waterproof.

i had a lot of reasons to wear waterproof mascara, not the least of which was to avoid having those dreaded mascara lines down my face and blackened eyes from – yes – tears. weeping does that. crying does it worse. and sobbing? well, let’s not even go there. that adds botox to my face without adding botox to my face. some people look great when they cry. you know, soft and emotional without the ‘geezhaveyoubeencryingforhours?’ look.

i had good reasons to wear waterproof mascara…the reasons i was weeping…my brother had died, a dear friend had lost a cancer battle, my marriage fell apart, my daughter headed off to college, followed in a few years by my son, menopause was wreaking havoc on me, my body and my emotions, dreams i thought would happen didn’t, my daddy died (no more “goodnight brat” phone calls), i had to put my business on hold, my sweet momma was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, my sweet momma died….the list is not unlike anyone else’s, but i was taking these mascara challenges hard. really hard. my heart was breaking.

and then? then came a gift. a road trip, of sorts. and a partner who was willing to be on this new road trip with me. someone who was there – no matter what. willing and able and committed to sticking through all the stuff of relationship. it wasn’t a relationship on hold or with parameters or promises not met or one with rules or balance sheets. it was a relationship building on realness. building on who i really was and who he really was. and goodness knows, like all of us, we both had things about who we really were that needed some work. waterproof mascara would have been helpful along the way as we built together. geeeeeeez. but somewhere along the way, i had given it up and bought REAL mascara. the kind that dribbles down your face with tears or out in the rain. i had graduated! (or so i thought.)

and then, as i was shopping for our wedding(!), in the middle of the target makeup aisle, it occurred to me that, perhaps, i needed some waterproof mascara. because as i was walked up the aisle, one month ago today, in my blue jeans and frye boots, i knew i was going to cry. these tears would be different. and these tears would be the same. and these tears would make regular mascara drain down my cheeks. and, oh my, that wouldn’t be good in pictures.

but these tears were worth it. from the back of the church, my children were directly in front of me, leading the way down the aisle, lighting the candles, lighting my way. i waited for my turn to walk. and the tears came. i silently gave thanks for maybellinerocketvolumeexpresswaterproof. i silently gave thanks for the many family members, friends from afar and right-here friends filling the sanctuary.   i silently gave thanks for the girl and the boy, beautiful, striding together down the aisle. i silently gave thanks for our dear dear friend at my side, walking me down the aisle when my dad and my brother couldn’t.   i silently gave thanks for the amazing man waiting for me at the end of the aisle with his blue jeans and frye boots on. and i silently gave thanks to the universe for this gift. because, what i have learned is that the reasons for waterproof mascara IS where it’s at. anything worth anything is worth the tears – be they of joy or of sadness, be they jig-dancing or floor-hugging, be they of love found or loss of love. bring it on, tearducts. i’m ready. and i’m grateful.

my new goal? as much waterproof mascara as one life can muster.

wedding sunset photo