reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


Leave a comment

there is wisdom in dancing! [two artists tuesday]

There is wisdom in dancing copy 3

jen and brad have been taking dance lessons for months.  their daughter is getting married in a couple of weeks and they want to celebrate-dance under the warm savannah night sky at her reception.  they have been dedicated to this; their lessons are top priority in their social calendar.   from what we can see, their commitment has morphed from we-need-to-be-able-to-dance-well-together to we-love-this-together.  what a gift to see them in their kitchen demonstrating the cool steps they have learned.  they are getting polished and are more and more comfortable with various dances (especially “the push-pull,” jen explains.) mostly, they look like they are really having fun.  truth be told, we don’t know of anything they have committed to that they haven’t thrown their whole hearts into; they are a picture of enthusiasm. they are a joy in our life.

on the other hand, we will look like bumbling-dancers under this same georgia sky.  but that’s not the point.  it is rare that you will be the center of attention when you are dancing – only a few times you are a bride and groom or the parents of or in a do-they-give-booby-prizes? dance competition.  but we love to dance together.  before our wedding, under linda’s (an absolute lover of all dance) tutelage, we learned an irish waltz that will remain one of the stunning moments of our reception in the old southport beachhouse.  what happy dance took place that afternoon and night.

i remember many a day or night blissfully dancing with one of my babies in my arms.  i even remember dancing around the living room solo or holding babycat.  sometimes that was out of delight; sometimes it was in the search for joie de vivre, a yearning for cheer.

we have danced in the front yard, on the deck, in the kitchen in the middle of the night, in church and in airports.  it matters not where you dance.  as long as you dance.  there is wisdom in dancing.

THIS dance product box jpeg copy

click here (or on the product box above) to browse:  wall art, wall murals mugs, tote bags, throw pillows, leggings, cards, beach towels, bath accessories, cellphone cases, laptop sleeves, blankets, bedding….

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on DANCE!!

there is wisdom in dancing!  ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Advertisements


Leave a comment

two artists tuesday

it is well with my soul FRAMED ART PRINT copythe hymn “it is well with my soul” makes me think of the hymn “be still, my soul” which makes me think of mama dear, my grandmother (my sweet momma’s momma.)  (are you still keeping up?)  these two strong women, so alike and yet so different – were both anchors in my world, quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) shaping my ability to walk in this world and have faith.  my sweet momma, for my growing-up years, went to church most every sunday.  she and my poppo got dressed up and we would go to christ lutheran church on burr road in east northport.  i got to hang with my best friend sue and we went to youth group and sleepaway camp (cool as it was, those days i was never a really big fan of sleepaway camp) and, together, we memorized the books of the bible in order (i still have no idea what the purpose of this was.)  i can’t remember mama dear going to church as much; she went on some weekends, on holidays with us or to special events.  mama dear had bright red hair, taught me how to sew and adored going to las vegas to play the slot machines.  she was obstinate and somewhat opinionated and one of the loves of my early life.

during the time i went to suffolk county community college, mama dear’s house was within reach and i would go there for lunch or tea.  we’d eat rye-bread-toasted-with-melted-butter and i’d tell her everything that was going on in my life.  she’d listen and, every now and again, she’d say a few words of wisdom.  i could tell her anything.  she let my soul breathe.

i’d come home from school during junior high and high school and my sweet momma and i would sit on the couch and have tea and chips ahoy chocolate chip cookies, my way-back-then favorite store-bought cookies.  we’d talk about my day, the challenges that face girls in high school, cute boys who might have said a word or two, the kids smoking on the bus.  she would listen and, every now and again, she’d say a few words of wisdom.  i could tell her anything.  she let my soul breathe.  matter of fact, she let my soul breathe the whole time i had the privilege of having her physically in my life.  she still does.

we need that.  a place for our souls to breathe.  people with whom we can let our souls breathe.  a faith in this universe that opens us and simultaneously holds us gently and anchors us.  then – we can say:  it is well with my soul.

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL – products: prints, leggings, mugs, beach towels, pillows etc.

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

it is well with my soul LEGGINGS copy 2

it is well with my soul LEGGINGS

 

it is well BEACH TOWEL copy

BEACH TOWELS, HAND TOWELS, BLANKETS

 

it is well MUG copy

mugs and travel mugs

 

it is well SQ PILLOW copy

 

it is well RECT PILLOW copy

 

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

 

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 


Leave a comment

flawed cartoon wednesday

MASTER turtlenecks jpeg copysisu sue swore by them.  turtlenecks.  she has them in every color, every kind of weave and fabric.  she looks fabulous in them and wears adorable chic jackets over them.  she is one cool and trendy lady and i adore her.

having already started the hot-flasharama-period of my life when we were working together, i would ask her how she could stand having a turtleneck on; it was (and mostly still is) out of my realm of imagination being able to wear a turtleneck and not ripping it off in the middle of -say- the choir room or the train to chicago or in the car while driving.  this oh-so-wise treasured woman told me that someday i would understand.

THAT DAY HAS COME.

i look in the mirror, a few steps of days away from 59, and stare at (you might want to stop reading now) my NECK.  what has HAPPENED?  suddenly, my neck (and chin, for that matter) have become O-L-D.  where has the time gone?  where did my old neck go?  and where did that new chin-under-my-chin come from?

my sweet momma, at 93, looked at me one day and said, “i looked in the mirror and (in a horrified voice) i saw an OLD woman.”  “momma,” i reassured her, “at 93, you are an old woman, but you are a BEAUTIFUL old woman.”  personally, i thought my momma was striking.  every last wrinkle told a story.  every last thing she saw as a flaw.  but my words fell on deaf ears.  she just stared back at me.  probably feeling much the same as me.  delusionally thinking that time would stand still in our necks and chins and -yup- everywhere else.  time and menopause take their toll.

the next time you see me try not to stare at my neck (although i have likely set you up for that.)  i may or may not be wearing a turtleneck.  the ironic part is that a real turtle’s neck really does look a lot like mine.  sheesh.

TURTLENECKS ARE IN – a link to t-shirts, art prints, cards, throw pillows, phone cases

 

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

turtlenecks FRAMED PRINT copy

framed art prints, cards

 

turtlenecks COFFEE MUG copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

turtlenecks iPHONE CASE copy

phone cases

 

turtlenecks TSHIRT copy

t-shirts, home decor

 

FLAWED WEDNESDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on TURTLENECKS

don’t you know that turtlenecks are in?!?! ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood


1 Comment

andrea’s song

IMG_2711the sound of the cicadas outside brought me back to my childhood home on long island.  we had woods behind our yard and the summer days and nights were a symphony of crickets and cicadas. i would sometimes sit in my poetry tree (a maple outside my bedroom window with perfect limbs for climbing and sitting) late into the day, writing or reading and, although i probably never appreciated the crickets and cicadas as i do now, i would listen as the day would softly pass by. my sweet momma would know where to find me; if i wasn’t riding bikes with sue, at the dive center, fishing with crunch or at the beach, i was likely in that tree.

i wrote a lot of poems in that tree, a lot of reflections, a lot of stories and maybe even a little music…the kind without the music. as i think about the people who encouraged me in writing, one of the first people i think of is andrea. andrea was my high school english teacher. she, along with kevin, were the coolest in the english department. andrea, with kerchiefs in her hair and peace sign necklaces, long skirts and funky glasses, was the epitome of hip. we, painlessly, learned from her teaching style, her quiet wisdom, her laugh, her smile.

andrea was the teacher coordinating the art and literary magazine ‘gemini’ at our high school. i was involved with this annual publication each year, but was the editor-in-chief during my senior year of high school, a job i adored. not only did i get to immerse myself in a lot of poetry and art, but i got to lay out the publication and handle many of the details, all the while hanging out with andrea and having conversations about life and writing and balance.

in the (aaack! many) years since high school i have thought about her often and finally, over the last eight years or so, was able to get back into contact with her.   not only did i want to know how she was, where she was, what she was doing, but i wanted to share with her where i was and what i was doing. mostly, it mattered to me what her thoughts were. during that time we shared snippets of life. i found i could still learn from her teaching style, her quiet wisdom and her smile, even without physically seeing her. at one point she wrote to me, “nothing is idyllic. i think we have idyllic moments. we have to take time to savor what is around us.”   yet another invaluable reminder. how often must we learn these things, i wonder.

when we were planning our trip to boston for this summer, i found myself hoping that we would have the chance to see andrea…meet for coffee, have a glass of wine together. i worried when i didn’t hear back from her; she usually answered email. i was anxious to visit with her, thank her in person for the influence she had had on me, hear what she thought about a project i had sent her. it was about a week before we left, when i was online pondering whether to send her another note, that i saw the very sad news that she had died. i was stunned and (what would maybe seem) inordinately devastated. the connection backwards in time was broken; the opportunity to sit with andrea now vapor.

i thought about extending my sympathies on social media but for some reason that seemed too shallow. there is a loss i feel when i no longer hear the cicadas in the fall…something visceral that i feel inside. the loss of andrea was intensely visceral.

IMG_2708all throughout our home you will find peace signs; each of these signs make me think of this beloved lady in my life, this positive force who, without knowing, kept me writing, thinking, writing.

in my mind’s eye, i can feel sitting in my poetry tree. the cicadas’ song was all around me. as i write now, i cannot help but think about andrea and the things i learned from her, most of which had nothing to do with grammar and punctuation, but instead, with honoring the words within, the emotions, things palpable and things we can’t see or touch.  and so, savoring that learning, in fact, leaning into it, her song is all around me. it’s idyllic.

…peace out…

 

 


Leave a comment

the faces of my life.

IMG_1991“…in the nighttime of your fear…” the lyrics of this hymn jump out at me. how many times have i been awake in the nighttime…wrapping my arms around fear of some sort. how many times have i been awake in the daytime with ‘the nighttime of my fear’? being awake with fear makes every muscle aware, every hair stand on end, every emotion close to the surface. and the fear doesn’t have to be physical…sometimes it is fear of the unknown, fear of change (no! really?), fear of differences that set you apart. any way you slice it, fear becomes visceral and, as carol used to always say, you can taste the adrenaline. in these moments, there are voices i pine for, people i want to be near, reassurances for which i yearn. how many times have i told david i wish i could just talk to my sweet momma. how many times have i asked my dad aloud – hoping for a sticky note to float down from heaven – for his words of wisdom. i’ve asked my brother wayne for car and fixing stuff advice; i’ve asked my friend richie for a tad bit of his sense of humor in a tense moment. the list of people on the other side extends out, in ever-larger concentric circles, as i realize how much i miss their words of wisdom. the faces of my life. and then, often in an awakening moment of grief, i realize that there is indeed wisdom and reassurance all around me.

the ukulele band rehearsals are at our house in the summer. most often outside on sometimes-warm-sometimes-cool summer nights on the patio, last night was inside with impending storms in the area. i had broken my little baby toe earlier in the day and was limping around a bit (and maybe whining also.) betsi and jay offered advice, carol and helen grimaced with me, remembering breakages of their own, david jokingly spoke of designing steel-toed flip-flops. a posse of people making my little toe feel better. there were conversations about dietary/lifestyle changes, inexpensive backyard solutions, growing herbs, new albums out, nitrate-free bacon, up north… really, anything you might want some solid talk-talk about was possible. the faces of my life. “…we are pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers on the road.   we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load…”

in conversation with susan or linda or jen or heidi, we talk about loss of a parent or we talk about children growing up and away or we talk about where we are in life…they have been there when i’ve cried…they have shared tears with me. they have laughed with me till it hurt. powerful moments of empathy. with david, the sharing of raw emotion, the frustrations and the bliss of being “too close”, the tears and the laughter are full spectrum. the faces of my life. “…i will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh i’ll laugh with you…”

we were standing on the opposite side of a stream from where we needed to be. three times while we were in the mountains this was where i found myself.  (well, metaphorically, i suppose that would be countless times, but who’s talking in metaphors?) the first time, david crossed over, using stones and a wayward log that had fallen. even now, my feet tingle thinking about it. he quietly told me that i could do it and reached out his hand to me so that I could grasp it as soon as i was within reach. his eyes, unwaveringly gentle and reassuring, convinced me to work with the fear i felt and move forward. “…i will hold my hand out to you..” IMG_2744one of the other times becky, david and kirsten (the girl) had already crossed the stream. it wasn’t a huge chasm, but it was enough to make me think about going the “other way”. and yet, it was their faces on the other side that helped the nugget of fear i felt go away.   the faces of my life.

” …i will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through…” our time on this beautiful earth is forever and fleeting. both. this journey is filled with design of the universe and gorgeous wisdom and warm reassurance. the faces of our lives. on this side and on the other side. they will hold us in ‘the nighttime of our fear’. they will hold us in the moment.  we are never alone.

IMG_1992