reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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just like an onion. [two artists tuesday]

time away from home always grants moments for reflection. out of the norm, away from routines and the familiar, it is time to think, to ponder, to wonder, to both anguish and be overwhelmed with gratitude. roadtrips are moments suspended and quiet time in the truck on the highway can take you deeper inside. they are chances to examine the emotional flow-chart, a ping-pong of mapping that is our lives.

yesterday we drove through a snowstorm coming up through the passes. i was driving big red and didn’t want to relinquish the wheel. i wanted to know that i was not too nervous to drive through the snow, the icier road conditions, past runaway truck ramps in high elevation descents. we drove past a semi that had jack-knifed backwards on the highway, literally perched on the edge of the road, hanging over a cliff. we were thankful arriving safely back into spring and onto dry roads. under soaring pines bowing with fresh powder and on slushy lanes, i thought about our past recent days and the bit to come in the mountains. i drove, hands tightly on the wheel, the rhythmic sound of wipers and the wet road the only accompaniment. in the middle of all of it, i pondered my role in these days, the way i fit into each of these stories.

sending out new shoots, seeking to divide and grow, this sprouted red onion looks like i feel inside. peeling back the outer paper, the onion sections itself off so that multiple bulbs may be planted. wanting to hold on to what i’ve known, wanting to learn, new ways of being, of accepting change, of middle-aging gracefully, of holding on and releasing, of sorting, i search the inside layers for answers to questions i ask myself and questions i haven’t yet given words to.

i guess each of us sedimentary-humans must take on these onion-questions when we aren’t too busy denying listening to them. like this red onion, there are mushy parts that are no longer good, that reveal a raw flawedness, that beg letting go. and there are layers of goodness, sweet and refreshing to remember. and, in highway-rolling moments and staring-at-ceiling-deep-in-the-night moments, there are also new sprouts to acknowledge. all are there, bearing fruit, a gentle and prodding reminder that time – years – and life – keep going and stopping either is trying to catch rays of the sun in our hands.

the gift of pulsing-time, the fluidity of planting-harvesting-planting-harvesting of ideas and artistry and work, relationships and love…these remind us to grow anywhere we are planted and, despite the challenge, not to be afraid of peeling back the layers. for there are many germinating bulbs to be found.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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expert, schmexpert. [d.r. thursday]

expert (noun): a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

other definitions from sources that are not the dictionary:

expert (noun): anyone from out of town.

expert (noun): a person knowledgeable enough about what is going on to be scared.

i have learned, in the six decades i have lived so far, that there are few true experts. there are many, many people who know a lot and many, many people who tout that they know a lot and many, many people who know very little about the thing they say they know a lot about. is there really any such thing as a complete expert, someone who has arrived, who has reached the all-knowing pinnacle, comprehensive and authoritative, who has nowhere at all left to go?

i think the most interesting people i have met are those people who are humbly reaching for more, understatedly claiming knowledge but not possessively holding it close to the vest. instead, these people are open, questioning, seeking and they aren’t afraid to say things like “i don’t know” closely followed by something like “i’m happy to look into that.”

i think the most interesting people i have met are the ones who readily admit weaknesses and fallible tendencies. they don’t claim absolute command nor do they reject criticism or surround themselves with yes-men or yes-women. they know that knowledge must co-exist with boots-on-the-ground expertise. they are open to feedback and choose to engage with others in conversation that encourages growth and maturation, regardless of personal insecurities.

dictionary.com’s definition of an expert is: a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field. a blogger states in their blog that would mean, “if you have more knowledge on a subject than the average person, you might qualify as an expert in that field.” that seems a bit of a recipe for lots of overblown, overstuffed knowledge-spouters.

instead, maybe taking the approach of one step at a time, learning like it’s the first-time-each-time, collaboratively open to each other’s questions and queries, to never-ending research and lessons, might be a better path.

that way, we can all be experts at being human. that way, we can all be experts at humanness.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

visit DAVID’S gallery of paintings

and a little PS xo to my own dentist, dr. dan santarelli, who is awesome and kind and most definitely, an expert.


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the tiny vibration. [d.r. thursday]

i can feel the fluttering. it is just a tiny vibration but it’s there. it’s pretty new. i don’t remember this feeling before, i guess, a year ago or so. though i suppose it could be one of those things that happened but which i never noticed, i’m noticing it now. it doesn’t hurt; there is no pain. it’s just this little vibration inside that speaks up every now and then, some days more than other days. in the way that most physical things are somehow connected to anxiety or stress, i am thinking there is a correlation and so when this silent little buzzing starts i patiently wait for it to cease. and i wonder about it.

it is astounding what stress can do. it is a statement, particularly of these times, to hear all the ways it exhibits in people, all the ramifications, all the fallout. in a world filled with self-help ways-to-find-zen books and videos and suggested practices and therapies, stress still abounds and people – its number one target – are subject to it. no matter your constitution, we are each vulnerable, a mere event or two away from feeling utterly pummeled by angst. we seek ways to alleviate stress and it returns, like this tiny vibration. no matter how many times i speak to the tiny buzzing, it seems to stick around.

perhaps an answer is in this painting surrender now. the holding of each other in this world, the intimate sharing of worry and humanness, the giving over of pain or grief or anxiety or stress. perhaps the presence of a little bit of grace. maybe then the tiny vibration – or however each of our bodies respond to the complexities of life – will ease.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

visit this painting on DAVID’s gallery

view or purchase this painting as a print

SURRENDER NOW ©️ 2016 david robinson


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this underpainting. [d.r. thursday]

underpainting

an underpainting is raw.  an authentic beginning, an authentic step in heading to a “finished” product.  often i am the one who asks david to stop…stop here.  there is something that speaks to me from the canvas of underpaintings.  something that says, “look.  i am here.  i am not perfect.  i am not done.  but i exist.”

maybe it’s the connection to real life, to humanness – the not-done-ness, the not-perfect-ness, the here-existence – that appeals to me.

it is a suggestion of completeness, but not yet really measurable or judgeable.  it is a tendency toward finished, but not contrived or overly-intended.  it is a step in the direction of a painting that an artist deems done, but a step, a ‘done’, we each see through our own eyes.

it is a parallel of life.  a start.  a blank canvas.  raw color.  authentic steps.  imperfect.  not done.  but here.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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©️ 2020 david robinson


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worthy. [d.r. thursday]

softly she prays copy

“…there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple.  help, thanks, wow.”  (anne lamott)

the quiet simplicity of this painting SOFTLY SHE PRAYS draws me in.  it makes me yearn to close my eyes and be softly in this moment, there, here.  its invitation is clear.  its message is universal.  the location is unimportant.  on top of a mountain, next to a stream, in the woods, next to your bed, on the kitchen floor, under a starry sky, in the pouring rain.  all worthy.

 “…you might shout at the top of your lungs or whisper into your sleeve…” (anne lamott)

the words, the thoughts, the imploring, the confusion, the shouting, the gratitudes.  all worthy.

because as anne lamott, in her reassuring book HELP, THANKS, WOW, reminds us, “human lives are hard.”

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

view SOFTLY SHE PRAYS on david’s gallery site

their palettes website box

SOFTLY SHE PRAYS ©️ 2018 david robinson


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pax. [d.r. thursday]

pax morsel sharpened copy

a morsel of the painting PAX

pax: the kiss of peace (latin); peace (ecclesiastical latin)

“pax,” he wrote to me.  years ago, in a chaotic, somewhat scary time of my life, the word “pax” was an end-goal, security in an insecure world, the warmest blanket on a bitter cold day.  it doesn’t just happen.  there are people around us, some epicentered and some peripherally, who create a place where we can find this peace, even momentarily.  their stalwart stance, their steadiness brings us back off the brink of angst.  the smallest iota of peace, like a mustard seed, grows until we can balance back on our own feet, strong enough to walk on…with leaps or even baby steps.

this painting makes me think of one of those people in my own life.  a dear deeply-valued friend, his help and his accessibility helped me deal with someone else’s craziness unfortunately directed at me.   he was the lighthouse in that storm for me.  he helped me feel safer so that i could find peace in the chaos.

for various reasons, we don’t always realize when we are someone else’s rock.  we don’t feel central, we don’t feel involved, we don’t feel informed.  but there are times we don’t know – times we plant ourselves into someone’s life and nurture them, even in the tiniest of ways – times we may never know how much what we said or what we did counted.  times of giving peace to someone else, one of life’s most essential elements.

“pax,” he wrote to me.  thank you.

PAXunframed copy 2

PAX mixed media  24″ x 24″

to view PAX in david’s gallery, please click here or on the painting above

read DAVID’S thoughts on this D.R. THURSDAY

birdy feet website box

PAX ©️ 2015 david robinson, kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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in your right mind. [merely-a-thought monday]

in your right mind copy

i remember thinking that this would be easy to write about when i jotted it down.  in your right mind.  ptom and i had discussion about being in your right mind; michael gerson had written part of a column about being in right mind….surely i would have something of depth to say.

now that this is sitting right in front of me, i find that it’s not so easy to articulate.  or maybe it’s territory that feels too revealing, too human.

the moments when calm finally comes after the storm of anger and you are -again- in your right mind. the moments of blind dire panic of imagined-worst-case-scenario when your right mind eludes you and something else takes over until the adrenalin rush eases up and you can see again.  the moments when absolute white-knuckled-fear precedes the back-to-your-right-mindedness. the moments of really bad choices and the post-choice-angst you feel, the remorse for a period of time you weren’t in your right mind.

and then there are the times when you know…you can feel everything align and you, in your right mind, are able to make a decision, to be rational, to be measured in good intention.  your right mind is calm, cool, collected, more at peace with the reality around you.  your right mind is accepting, forgiving, altruistic in empathy and goodness, benevolent and generous.  your right mind is reasonable.

i have known, at least after-the-fact, the times i wasn’t in my right mind.  they are times for which i, impossibly, wish a do-over, a chance to make all well.  times that range the spectrum from angry words spoken to life decisions made without, well, my right mind.

i suppose ptom is right.  you recognize the moments you leave your right mind.  you ask for forgiveness.  from others, from yourself.  and you move on, a little wiser and maybe more capable of steeling yourself against being somehow out of your right mind.  and michael gerson is also right.  he said, “…in our right minds, we know that life is not a farce but a pilgimage…” “..in our right minds, we know that hope can grow within us…”  “…in our right minds, we know that love is at the heart of all things….”

we are in our right mind; we are not in our right mind.  we live life on the roller coaster of right-mindedness, for we are human and we sometimes are, in the complexities of the moments we live, incapable of mindedness.  so we make mistakes.  we learn.  we grow.  and we try again.

for “…we learn that we are neither devils nor divines.” (maya angelou)

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

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emerging? [merely a thought monday]

emerging with frame

“emerging artists” the gallery signage reads.  or the concert liner notes.  or the application for an exhibition.  or maybe a residency.  supposedly it sounds better than “new artist” or “unknown artist” and precedes the “mid-career” and “established artist” labels.  that’s to assume that anyone moves beyond the perceived “emerging artist” moniker, the context of that word swirling around the body of work the person has created and its presence in the world.  artists in their fluid creativity are ever-emerging.

the dictionary defines “emerging” as coming into view, coming out, becoming visible, manifesting.  i wonder if we could apply this to humankind….are we all emerging?  headed in some manifesting direction? “being revealed”, “coming to light” seem to imply good things.

i worry that,  in more recent times, i may be becoming a bit jaded.

in looking at humankind as it has been “emerging” lately, i would ask if emerging humans are really “emerging”.  as plants emerge from the soil and grow upward, seeking light, they become stronger, taking in nutrients and sun.  they will manifest blooms or perhaps vegetables – goodness.  as humans emerge, in these days of late, are they seeking light?  will they manifest goodness?  where are we headed in the vastness?  the divisiveness, lack of empathy, ugliness, competition and rage are directions i can’t relate to, directions antithetical to unity, to health.  what will bloom in that world?

hopefully, we, as a humankind, will indeed emerge.  and that emerging, that coming to light, will be to manifest good.  for, actually, we are all ever-emerging.

archeswithdotcom

read DAVID’S thoughts on this MERELY A THOUGHT MONDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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the doorway in [dr thursday]

the doorway in SQ PILLOW copy

www.kerrianddavid.com/the-melange

david’s painting SHARED FATHERHOOD makes me weep.  it is a powerful painting of two fathers tenderly and humbly holding their baby.  it is love in a pure form.  it makes me think of my son, The Boy.  i can see him in this painting and the possibility of him choosing one day to share fatherhood.

SharedFatherhood.10.17 copy 2

SHARED FATHERHOOD, mixed media 39.5″ x 51″

in the very corner of this painting is the morsel i chose for today.  a doorway.  or is it a window?  either way, it struck me as a morsel image, especially in the context of this painting.

the doorway FRAMED ART copyso many figurative doorways/windows, so little time….  is it a doorway into acceptance?  into inclusion?  into openness?  into home?

we sat this morning, over early coffee, and talked about our perception of ourselves.  how we can’t see that we exhibit the very things we tout we aren’t.  or, conversely, how we aren’t (in whole) the things that we tout we are.  how scary is that?  it’s human.  we ponder and perseverate over the things we believe.  and we realize in moments of self-judgement that, yet again, we have a view of ourselves that is perhaps somewhat inconsistent with who we are.  that goes both ways, however.  the times we believe we are not enough, we are incomplete, we don’t measure up – those times are also inconsistent with who we are.the doorway in LEGGINGS copy

the doorway in – to acceptance of where we are, what we have been through, where we are going – to learning more – to growing – to knowing we are held in grace – to forgiveness of others and ourselves – to trying again tomorrow – to home, a place of as much gratitude and peace we can muster and then even more – this is a doorway/window in to shared fatherhood (read:  parenthood) of the world, where each of us is responsible to do our best, bring our best, try our best.

THE DOORWAY IN – DR THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY) ON OUR SITE

THE DOORWAY IN PRODUCTS: wall art, throw pillows, beach towels, leggings, cards…

the doorway in TOTE BAG copy

the doorway in BEACH TOWEL copy

the doorway in FLOOR PILLOW copy

the doorway in MUG copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on THE DOORWAY IN

click here to visit DAVID’S painting – SHARED FATHERHOOD

melange button jpeg

kerrianddavid.com

society 6 info jpeg copy

SHARED FATHERHOOD & THE DOORWAY IN ©️ 2017 & 2018 david robinson