reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the view from my pillows. [two artists tuesday]

every morning.

every morning this is the view from my pillows.

after coffee, after breakfast, after hugging on dogga snuffling in our faces, after the weather app, after a littabittanews…my sturdy old laptop and our quilt.

i know that not everyone wants to read all these words. i know that many will do much to avoid it. i know that – in the grand scheme of things – my blahblah doesn’t really matter much. sometimes there are responses, comments from people, questions, validations, pushbacks. sometimes people ask if we have a patreon account or a way to donate a cup of coffee. that there is someone out there who takes time to write a few words back at all is pretty gigantic. because in today’s world, there are an inordinate number of things – out there – one could choose to read, to watch, to listen to.

but i guess it all doesn’t matter.

because i have found – now – that i write for me.

writing each morning – this practice – makes me think and ponder and rehash and sort. it is a caffeinated burst in the day, a jump-start to everything that will follow.

sometimes it is a walk into a bank of memories, complete with tears or laughter.

sometimes it is a wondering for the future, attempting to connect the dots of constellations i have yet to see.

sometimes it is a rant about the world, the country, the community, things i perceive as wrongdoings.

sometimes it lifts others up, those who levitate our spirits and souls with generosity.

sometimes it is with amazement for what we see and hear and taste and smell – out there – in nature and on this good earth.

always it is with a sense of impermanence.

these words will stay on the page, so to speak, for as long as wordpress allows them to. they will eventually fade as more words will enter the big melting pot of written thoughts.

our writings will lift off someday into the atmosphere. they will float around, bouncing off stars and planets – like the silver balls in a pinball machine. maybe they will leave a little something behind, a touch of evanescent dust that someone will see and remember.

the other night – around 2:30am – we heard the owl. outside our window, the great horned owl spoke into the night. it didn’t know if anyone was listening. but we did. we listened. we heard it call. and for its unspoken spoken words, we were grateful. we will remember.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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polly and anna. [merely-a-thought monday]

there is a fine line between security and insecurity, a line that runs invisible through days of buoyancy and through days of challenge. we have seen it – that line – when we least expect it, just at the moments you are beginning to breathe, at the instant you are sinking a little into ease.

i suppose that having crossed the line – back and forth, back and forth – gives us the ability to tread water, to sort, to distinguish that which is important and that which is not. but that tiny vibration that sometimes trembles in my chest returns, despite any pollyanna-ing i attempt.

we sat in a starbucks the other day. i mean, literally – physically – went inside, stood at the counter, and used some gift money that had been sitting on our app foreverrr. and then we sat there and sipped coffee and shared one of those lemon cake slices with the schmear of sweet frosting. it felt out-of-body…it had been sooo long since we sat in a starbucks.

over d’s head on the opposite wall the words “you’ll make it” got my attention. i was hoping it wasn’t the universe simply placating me. i was thinking more of digging out the colorful magnetic plastic letters circa 1995 and pulling out d-a-m-m-i-t for the fridge. but i guess i will have to choose to believe otherwise, leaning on both polly and anna.

“you’ll make it” – good words when you can see the line.

i sipped my pike roast and listened to laverne and shirley’s silk-flowerish theme song in my head, “there is nothing we won’t try. never heard the word impossible. this time there’s no stopping us. we’re gonna make it…”.

sometimes, though, you just have to sigh.

*****

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



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weird moments et al. [saturday morning smack-dab.]

so there WAS this time…i was walking around the house on hold with some representative – i don’t remember that part…whether it was insurance or healthcare or a store… – and i wanted to send a text. so i started looking for my cellphone. i looked high. i looked low. i looked in my purse, by the bed, in the kitchen, on the sink in the bathroom, in my studio. i looked downstairs in the basement by the washer and dryer. i went up to the office. i ran out – still on hold – and looked in littlebabyscion. i was starting to get worried. somehow i had left my cellphone s.o.m.e.w.h.e.r.e. but where?

in the final moments before i panicked, i pulled my hand away from my ear to see how long i had already been on hold. voila! my cellphone. yes, indeedy, i was ON my cellphone all along.

it goes up there in the list of weird moments.

oddly, those seem to happen more and more these days.

i wonder why….

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING

SMACK-DAB. ©️ 2022 kerrianddavid.com


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thongophone. in the park. [k.s. friday]

flipflops and pvc. a marriage!

a merger between old navy and, say, dupont could bring play to the whole wide world. stands of thongophones could be simply everywhere. i can see it…people gathering, favorite flipflops in hand, making music.

it was hard to resist the pull of this two-octaved structure. flipflops – the paddles provided – were chained to the wooden stand, laying on the ground, waiting. it was just a delicious invitation – “try me, try me,” it called. and then, channeling the group chicago, “thongophone, in the park…”.

pretty crazy, it had good pitch for polyvinyl chloride, not necessarily known for its musical talent. and the flipflops? well, everyone knows how i feel about flipflops. they are the symphony of summer, so definitely a good choice.

i, generally, don’t walk up to faux musical structures like this. i usually stand back and watch others discover and play, reveling in their adventuring and exploring sound.

but this time was different.

i played first on the lower octave side. for some reason, the first piece i played was the first piece on my first album, galena. the first day i played galena was also in one of those situations i don’t usually take part in…instead, sitting back and watching others and supporting their fun.

that time was different too.

that time – encouraged (read: pushed) by three girlfriends, playing at the piano in the restaurant in galena, illinois – set me on a road i didn’t know was coming. less than a year and a half later, i released my first album. now, fifteen albums and a variety of singles and blahblah later, i look back.

and i look forward. i’m not sure what’s there. but this past week i stood at my piano and played and sang three songs for d and one of his dear friends. it’s been a long time. i apologized for the dust in the studio. i apologized that it was a little messy in there. d said rob cried. despite the dust and remnants of previous work piled around.

by sheer coincidence, today is the anniversary of that first album – 27 years ago. lots of flipflops ago.

today is a good day for a dustcloth, some garbage bags and a storage bin or two.

it’s not a thongophone in the park. it’s my piano.

*****

GALENA ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY


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caaa-rits! [d.r. thursday]

stri-ped. two syllables. not one.

i moved to wisconsin and found out that there was a whole ‘nother way of tawwwking here.

acrosst. add the t.

turn-ament. no tour here.

rowwwt. not root (route).

the i. not the interstate.

highway. not freeway. not even expressway. or parkway. just highway.

brahts. not bratwurst.

slowww cooker. not crockpot.

carrots. not caaa-rits.

and the list goes on…

i did not adhere to these right away. some of these are things i still don’t utter, pronunciations that don’t make it into the air.

i really have no idea how this state (or state of mind) has changed my patterns of speech. i know that i can easily – way easily – slip back into my long island roots. and that, if i am talking to the right person, i will instantly have a drawl. my voice and vocal patterns tend to be impressionable.

when heidi and i worked together all the time in performances, i picked up the vernacular of hers that emphasized the THANK of “thank you!”. the “thannng” was forward and “kwew” was in the back. i think of her probably every time i say “thank you” for just that reason. i think of carol when i say “turnament” and 20 when i talk about the slowww cooker.

so it stands to reason that we have fallen in love with jim and sipandfeast. ohmygawwwwwsh!!!! delightful in every way, sipandfeast is a youtube channel (and an IG and a website and whatever else). jim and tara, their son and daughter live on – wait for it – long island. it makes me instantly adore them. he cooks. with the greatest of simplicity and in the gentlest way, he demonstrates amazing italian (and other) recipes, many of which were passed down by his grandmother. his accent, his delivery, the way he just tawks to the audience, the fam are all the sweetest and we find ourselves searching for the right dutch oven to start making these meals. but have i mentioned the way he tawwwwks? caaa-rits!!! i feel like just because i am FROM there we should hang out. (preferably at their dinner table post-cooking show.)

i really have no idea what this image is. i somehow shot this photograph without knowing. it could be my neighbor’s fence…we were taking a walk and i was putting my phone in my back pocket when i guess it snapped a pic. it looks a little like a flag, but it’s not. trust me on that. i’m not a big flag person these days.

i have to say, though, that as i looked at it, studying and wondering, i could hear someone in my head say, “it’s stri-ped!”.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY


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an old quilt. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

in some ways, it felt like coming home. this trail – its bends and hills and forks – was a mainstay for us for a long time. it was the old quilt before we added another to our collection. we used to wrap this trail around us often in the week, most especially on sunday afternoons, replacing the sunday-drives of my growing-up.

the nature megaphone always called to us. we’d crawl in and sit with our backs against the curved wall, our boots propped up on the other side. we’d take out whatever snack we brought along and munch and talk. and, if we were lucky, the sun was coming in on the greater-than side and it would bathe our faces and we’d close our eyes and just listen to the forest.

but we hadn’t been there in a few years. the county, in a money-over-preserve-conscious moment, approved the building of an aerial adventure course – with high ropes and ziplines and such. and then the woods were screaming-noisy, the parking lot fuller than we had ever seen it. we wondered why all those people in all those cars didn’t see the value of the woods before the treetop park.

one day last week we went back. there were few cars in the lot so we pulled on our boots and set out.

it was instantly like coming home. leaves gently raining down on us, we could feel the trail saying, “hey. where’ve ya been?” and we decided right away to do all the loops, see it all, visit the megaphone.

sitting inside, our backs to the curved wall and our dusty boots propped up on the other side we wished we had brought a snack. the sun was streaming in, warming our faces. we closed our eyes and listened.

all the old quilts in your life count. even the ones you don’t wrap in very often.

“to outer senses there is peace,

a dreamy peace on either hand,

deep silence in the shadowy land,

deep silence where the shadows cease.”

(oscar wilde – impressions II)

*****

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


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a strawberry by another name. [two artists tuesday]

every summer we would go strawberry-picking. my mom kept the berry baskets from year to year, hanging in our one-car garage. we’d go “out east” on long island, get all sunburned and strawberry-stained. my dad would quip, “one for the basket, one for the breadbasket,” chomping in-between picking.

when my children were littler, we would do the same. thompson strawberry farm in the county was our destination. the kiddos were also big fans of “the breadbasket” and i have pictures to prove it. sweetest moments, in all good ways.

if you were to describe a strawberry, you would try to describe its long-conic shape, the petals at the top where the stem connects. then you would likely go on to describe the color as it matures, the way it crunches, the way it tastes, the way seeds might get stuck in your teeth and, maybe, the way juice would stain your hands and, probably, your clothing. there’s nothing quite like a strawberry fresh-off-the-vine on a hot summery-sun day in the middle of a field with your tummy kind of pokin’ at you. amaaaaazing. my dad would agree.

as we walked on the trail, we encountered this strawberry-shaped pod. it’s a wild teasel. upside-down. but teasel is the perfect name for this flowering plant. for unless you spoke to the prickly nature of this, you could be describing the shape, the sessile leaves, the stem of a strawberry. any touch or, worse yet, a bite, would indeed tell you the difference. naturally, the color – or lack thereof – would also never tease you into picking it for your berry basket.

i guess you really need to examine closely what you believe to be a strawberry or what you think might be a strawberry. you need to question the properties of a real strawberry. you may need to research.

just because it sort of looks like a strawberry does not make it a strawberry. and, for your well-being, you need to be able to tell the difference.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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momma, poppo and dolly parton. [merely-a-thought monday]

i wish – every day – that my sweet momma and poppo were still here. that we could coffeesit with them, make them great soups for lunch, spoil them for dinner. that we could take them apple-picking and introduce my dad to a new scotch or two he hadn’t tried yet. that we could maybe adventure a little or just be quiet and listen to their old stories. i wish.

the thing i know, though, is that they would be beside themselves in this circus of a country we now have. it would make both of them irate to watch the vitriol being tossed about, the divisiveness that is being fed by rabid spewers, the lack of transparency, the lies. my daddy-o would have a few choice words to describe these folks and they wouldn’t be pretty.

and my mom? well, she would have no time for anyone who is less than kind to another. she would want nothing to do with any politician or religious leader or pundit who skips kindness in their approach to life, who excuses their own behavior, stance, agenda, platform, control tactic, extremism based on warped interpretation of law or scripture. she would point out the colossal hypocrisy. she might reiterate the story about when, in the dark night, they parked their little vw bug next to a small hill off the road. tired while traveling europe by car, they needed to rest and could find no guesthouse nearby. the little hill would serve them well, they thought. they woke up next to a gigantic dung pile, covered with black tarp held down by old tires. she would trust that we could connect the metaphoric dots. sometimes a hill is not a hill.

i think that both of them – were they here – would be ashamed of what it’s all become. my dad would wonder how his service – missing-in-action in world war II and then as a POW in a bulgarian camp – mattered now to these people who are making a mockery of democracy. my mom would be aghast at how people are being treated, marginalized, discriminated against, excluded. she, who worked hard to be kind to everyone, would worry about the popularity of this ugly trend. yes, they would both – were they here – be astonished at how, in so many arenas and in so many circumstances, people are just downright not good to each other.

i guess that – were they here – they would love a sit-down with dolly parton. they’d probably all talk at once, new yawk and a southern drawl all intermingling in conversation. and they’d all agree that they didn’t understand why anyone at all would “let religion and politics and things like that stand in the way of just being good human beings.”

and then – were they here, the three of them together – they would remind us all to stay away from dung piles posing as hills.

*****

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


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you can’t take it with you. [saturday morning smack-dab.]

there is always time. nothing we do is more important than the time we spend together. all of us.

my sweet poppo always said, “you can’t take it with you!” and was referring to money. but it generalizes to pretty much everything. in the end, you can’t take your possessions, your achievements, your investments, even your failures, with you. they will stay behind and it’s love that will carry you on, love that you will carry with you.

so even in the middle of important checklists of chores, work tasks, more achievements and more failures, more, more, more anything – cars, clothes, houses, boats, snowblowers and appliances, shoes, hairdos, all the fancypants trappings of “made-it” – there is time. to walk and talk and be silent and swish your feet through crunchy fallen autumn leaves.

cause you can’t take the other stuff with you.

my dad’s last words to me were, “i love you, kook.” my last words to him were, “i love you, my poppo.”

he’s watching us swish our feet through the leaves now. and smiling.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING

SMACK-DAB. ©️ 2022 kerrianddavid.com


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it’s in our vote. [k.s. friday]

the midterms are rapidly approaching. the rhetoric is amping up. the tv ads, the phone calls, the billboards, the texts, the email messages, the political mail in the mailbox – all dedicated to sway our vote.

i realize that this is the way to raise money, that this is the way to get one party ahead of the other. many voters will elect to vote a straight party ballot. some will vote without asking any questions. some will vote without any information at all. some will vote for vapid minds, choosing the rough edges of spewed anger, covert scheming. they are voting on a bandwagon – with truth obscured – and haven’t looked past the exterior of the candidates.

i was chatting quite some time ago with a college professor. he was teaching a class three days a week and was talking about his experiences. “anybody can be brilliant for an hour and a half,” he quipped. i laughed, thinking how true that is.

but it’s the long haul that counts. it’s what’s at the crux that counts. i wonder what is in the center of what motivates the candidates we are considering. what is past the exterior, what are the things they affirm, believe in, wish to move forward?

anyone can look pious, even righteous, in brevity, for short spurts of time. but these same pedestalized people can bring to the table masked and unmasked agenda that is riddled with inequality, marginalization, discrimination, divisiveness, violence, a thwarting of social, racial, gender, financial equity all under the auspices of brilliance. it is our responsibility to peel back the layers, to poke through the season-of-midterm blahblah, to examine the intentions, the integrity, of the people we choose – truly, in every arena – to represent us.

how these people manifest in their communication, their compassion, their fairness, their steadfast evenhandedness, their actual brilliance – not the hourandahalf variety – should tell us something important. if a person does not represent the values we uphold ourselves, the ones we would lay out to each and every one of those we love, why would we elect that person to represent us, to reflect us? if our vote was revealed to our loved ones, our children, our family, friends, community, colleagues, would we take comfort, would we have pride, in what was revealed?

for it is in our vote that we truly show what is beyond the exterior. it is in our vote that we truly show what is in our heart.

*****

FIGURE IT OUT ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY