reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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in KC’s family. [two artists tuesday]

just past the eyelash phase, in a tightly woven and protected calyx of green sepals (leaves), the gardenia bonsai flower waits. a little research reveals that it will take about two months of growing to reach the point of a cracked bud, hopefully flowering after. KC is reportedly “one of the most loved and challenging plants in the bonsai world” and i hope that i am up to the task. these beautiful and somewhat-difficult-to-grow plants offer “a unique opportunity for anyone who wishes to take the time to attend to their needs.” they are particular about sunlight, particular about direction of window exposure, particular about temperature, particular about humidity, particular about watering, particular about feeding with fertilizer, particular about shape and pruning, particular about training, particular about insects and mold, particular about repotting, particular about touch. they do well without any negative stressful environmental factors. it occurs to me that perhaps i am in the bonsai gardenia family.

KC sits together with some other lower-maintenance plants (read: succulents you can’t really mess up) and is clearly different than them. its leaves are rich in color, two whorls protecting promising buds, and its presence demands to be noticed. i talk to it every day, encouraging it, paying attention, hoping i am tending to it properly. i truly cherish this little bonsai; my beloved daughter and her boyfriend sent it to me for my birthday and it was a joyous and glittering moment to receive such a beautiful gift. i want to do my best helping this little gardenia along. and, in light of the last year, the last couple years, i can understand and relate to its eccentricities. mmm, can’t we all?

in the evening KC is bathed in the sparkle of the sunroom’s happy lights. proudly in the spot it has claimed on the table, it sits, basking. it is one of the sparkles of the year. there have been many, despite the difficulties, within the difficulties, despite the challenges, within the challenges, despite these times, within these times. if it were possible, i would set each around us in the sunroom, also bathed in happy lights, like laundry clothespinned to a clothesline, reminding us of the best times, the memorable times, the happiest snapshots, the most poignant moments, the yin-yang of relationships, reassuring love in trying-to-stay-centered, the times we balanced stress and the times we succumbed to it, successful and unsuccessful zen, and exhausted times of rest.

i would place the clothesline in the middle of the room so that you could not help but see each item, each old wooden clothespin, memory-laundry crowded onto a timeline, reminding us that the minute does not stay. that whether the minute is feverish or beauty-laden, it moves on.

we are all particular; we are all particularly needy. our lists and our baggage surpass that of the little bonsai gardenia. we are all up to the task. we do our best in each moment, whether it is dark or sparkling. and we remember we can try again. we can help each other; we are “most loved and challenging”. KC already knows that.

i am excited to see KC bloom. i wait patiently for this amazing flower to arrive. in the meantime, i light the white gardenia candle, talk to my plant and drink in the glow of the happy lights, trying. each day. living just past the eyelash phase.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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“look!” [merely-a-thought monday]

ken, my producer, called it a ‘thinking note’ and he’s right. he knew i’d get to the point, but i had to get past the moment of time during which i could not think. in music, the thinking note buys that time; you are held in the shallows of suspension until released into the rest of the sentence. it slows the breathing down a little; it gives rest where there is no rest.

since the instrument of choice for politicians is spoken word, the thinking note has become “look”. i would count how often we hear it, keep hash marks to tally it all up, but that would be unnecessary and tedious. instead, i giggle every time i hear it, viscerally knowing the person who is about to speak is maybe buying a tad bit of time.

in music, the thinking note is a prelude for more, the honest line of melody, perhaps an entrance into a new theme, the slight pause of artistry, the powerful momentary suspension of new sound. it’s the “look” spoken by music. sometimes, though, for me, as ken will tell you, it is simply procrastination, when composition or improvisation falls into the moat surrounding the synapses in my brain – stopping all forward thought for the moment – as i wait for creativity to climb out of the gatehouse and make it to the next note.

in politics, i wonder…does “look” serve the same purpose? is it a prelude for more, an honest line of narrative, an entrance delving into a new topic, a suspension of speak to take a breath and gather thoughts? is it useful, preparatory, formative space between a question asked and an answer given? or is it something else? it feels a little like over-convincing when someone says “look!” to you. a snap-to-it-pay-attention admonition. perhaps an entrance into a one-way conversation. a bit aggressive.

as an artist and not a politician, i’d have to say: look…ummm…i have no idea. maybe we should ask ken.

*****

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


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tuckered out. [flawed wednesday]

like a non-dangerous heat-seeking missile, babycat searches for the warm spots in the house. when the sun pours in the front windows, you will find him laying on the rug in the middle of the room. when the sun is higher in the sky and no longer checkers the rug, he will seek out the next. he can be found next to the radiator in the girl’s room, on the dog (read: cat) bed next to the radiator in the sunroom, on the bed waaaay up by the pillows, just above the radiator over the windows. he seeks comfort. he’s one smart cat. especially when he is tuckered out.

as this year-of-years comes to a close, it would seem that we are all tuckered out. yesterday we saw a wooden trivet for sale – beautifully crafted with cuts made by (i’m guessing) a jigsaw or scrollsaw. the very center featured the carved number 2020. from the center, there were what resembled fragile flower petals forming the rest of the trivet. each of those petals featured was carved intricately around one four-letter word: the one that starts with an f and ends with a k. yup. we should have purchased it. it seems fitting. sooo tuckered out.

we have only a few days left of this year. what shall we do with them? it has been my tradition, with calendar in hand, to review the year – at the end of the year – to see the rise and fall of breathing through all of it, the things we accomplished, the things that failed, the places we went, the times we shared with others. you know, the whole roller coaster ride.

this year i’m not sure if that would be fun, however. we are tuckered out.

this year we might just curl up next to the radiator and rest.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this FLAWED WEDNESDAY


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quarter rest. and the beat goes on. [k.s. friday]

quarter rest

quarter rest.  one beat of silence.

with these broken wrists i have moved from a whole rest to a quarter rest.  i have made progress playing my piano and my broken-wrists have told me when to be silent.  in the silence the earth keeps spinning, we trek around the sun, everything keeps keeping on.  but for a moment, i rest.

we are each granted rests upon entrance into this orchestra-of-earth.  sometimes they are chosen, sometimes they are not.  always they are necessary.  it is in your quiet that others make noise, that others speak, that other timbres color the muted.  the hush is yours to own; the rest is yours to take.  the silence both sometimes frighteningly deafening and sometimes a grand relief.  the metronome really never stops.

(a reprise of paragraphs from 8.13.2015 post): at 1am, we walked to the lakefront. away from as many lights as we could get away from, we laid on some old steps, bricks and mortar digging into our backs so that we could gaze straight up, watching the night sky for the meteor shower.

the streaks of white light across navyblueblack make us draw in our breath. i’m wondering how far away this meteor is…how it is that we, here on earth, can see this amazing sight. such a big sky. such tiny bodies in contrast lying on the ground, waiting for the symphony to start, waiting for the downbeat, the symphony that has been continuously playing, the downbeat lost in centuries upon centuries of time gone by. like any good piece of music, it’s the rests in-between the notes, the rests in-between the meteorstreaks, that build the anticipation, that create the emotionflow, that bring tears to your eyes. each burst, each streak of whitelight is a miracle, a tiny moment exploding in time, so far away, in vast vastness.

time stretches out in front of us. and behind us. we are tiny and we are big. we gather in the moments, we breathe them, we rejoice, we worry, we ponder, we move. there is no downbeat and the symphony is already playing, has been playing and will continue to play. always. it is magical. and it is vast.

and the beat goes on.

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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TRANSIENCE from RIGHT NOW ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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the pink. [k.s. friday]

inasplitsecond song

there is a moment when the sky turns a delicious shade of pink as the sun sets in the western horizon.  each beyond-the-crayon-box-color doesn’t last long; they morph into the next color and then the next.  each second, as you watch, counts.

there is a moment when before-night turns into after-day.  crossing the pink.

“live in the present/grab onto this time/don’t look behind you/you gotta walk that thin line/of the future and the past/it’s all within your grasp/that second could come way too fast”

there is a moment – one that probably occurs multiple times a day – when you can choose how to react to things.  you can linger in the not-taking-it-personally-they-are-hurting-you-not-because-you-are-you-but-because-they-are-them zone or you can step over the line and bite back.  crossing the pink.  everyone in relationship recognizes this.  any relationship, be it spouse-spouse, significant others, parent-child, child-parent, colleagues, supervisor-employee, employee-supervisor, drivers stuck in traffic, customer-customer service rep, strangers in a long grocery line.  not biting back doesn’t render you powerless; instead, in the hardly-ever-easy not-taking-it-personally, it aids in your health and well-being.  you choose.  crossing the pink.

“you look in the mirror/today’s world stares back”

there is a moment – a split second – when you stand still and see all that was behind, all that is here and now.  it is impossible to see all that is possible, for surely if you were back many pink crossings ago you would not have imagined the now of now.

and so, this split second should tell us that we have no idea, that our imaginings of the future are both wildly over-feared and inconceivably understated, that with each split-second breath we take, we cross the pink into another split-second that is filled with hope of new.  but sheesh, we are human and we are worried, fearful, guilt-ridden, persistently trying to figure out what we did wrong to elicit ‘such a response’, repeatedly weighing everything, sorting, feeling powerless.

what if we stayed in the moment of delicious pink, watching the sun promise rest and a new day.

“take it slow/don’t let this moment go/it’s here and it’s now/use this gift somehow”

read more about this song IN A SPLIT SECOND here

purchase the CD AS SURE AS THE SUN or download on iTUNES or CDBaby

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IN A SPLIT SECOND from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood

 


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“………..” merely-a-thought monday

dogga end of day.jpg

at the end of the day, when we sit listening to the quiet, waves lapping at the shore, a silent moon pulling our attention outside, dogdog lays, finally resting, his eyes tightly closed.  there is something about the trusting nature of a beloved pet sleeping that tugs at your heart.  i wonder what are the thoughts he thinks; what are the dreams he dreams?

as we weave through complicated days, dogga weaves with us.  he is always aware, always watching.  our sweet aussie, he is a mess of empathic energy, his eye contact unnerving.  his little heart beats fast and he watches, watches.  he has comforted us with his gentle knowing more times than we can count.  he doesn’t say much, but then, he doesn’t have to.

and then, at some point, he drops to the floor.   for him, everything is right in the world.  his people are close by, his babycat lies next to him or across the room.  all is well.  and he sleeps.

sometimes i wish it was all that simple.  it’s people who complicate matters.

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

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untitled interlude. [k.s. friday]

untitledinterlude songbox.jpg

“…sometimes you just need some space in between.  a few moments to think.” (liner notes)

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 9.32.38 am

time to sort, to ponder.  a breath.  in music, it’s used in between verses and choruses, a time for an instrumental, a time for a pause in lyrics, a pause for thought.

right now feels like an interlude.  space that is falling between the verses, it’s quieter with more pondering.  it’s a time of figuring out, a time of ‘what’s next?’  not every interlude is comfortable, but that space in a piece of music, in life, is a time that can be rich.

as mozart said, “the music is not in the notes but in the silence in between.”

 

download on iTUNES or purchase the physical CD

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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UNTITLED INTERLUDE from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

 


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contemplation. [d.r. thursday]

morsel - color & contemplation

i visit this place everyday.  the place of contemplation.  of pondering.  of remembering.  of dreaming.  of silent conversational prayer.  this morsel of david’s painting CONTEMPLATION speaks to me and my need to sometimes go inside…to sort, to be grateful, to relinquish a hold on something negative, to wonder.

softly she prays copy

SOFTLY SHE PRAYS

there is a similar painting, based on a similar image…called SOFTLY SHE PRAYS and i adore this for its monochromatic approach, its gentle existence.  conversely, this piece CONTEMPLATION is filled with color – the colors of life and vibrance, saturated with the palette we live in every day, the colors we don’t always notice as we walk by, missed in our efforts to move into the next moment.  ahh.  yet another reason to sit and rest and contemplate.

color & contemplation

CONTEMPLATION acrylic 48″x24″

click here or on painting above to view CONTEMPLATION

click here or on painting in this post to view SOFTLY SHE PRAYS

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

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CONTEMPLATION & SOFTLY SHE PRAYS ©️ 2004 & 2018 david robinson, kerri sherwood


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rest and good things will come [chicken marsala Monday]

rest WITH EYES jpeg copy

it was the first. the very first butterfly of this season. we both stopped to watch it as it freely flitted around the path in front of us. it felt like another harbinger of spring; maybe it’s really here. a few minutes later we stopped and sat for a few minutes. we didn’t talk; we just listened to the woods. the rest was soft and rejuvenating. the quiet was punctuated by birds and chipmunks. even a raccoon came out to wander. we got back up, ready for more hiking.

i distinctly remember a day i sat in the front yard. it was summer and, just like chicken marsala in this chicken nugget, there was a butterfly that came to light on my hand. it circled around and came back, landing on my knee, my foot. it felt like a message to me, a reinforcement to quietly sit in the sun.

this world is full of chaos and confusion, deadlines and worries. looking at the furrows lining people’s brows, it is obvious that we don’t take enough time to just rest, just sit, just soak in new energy, just let butterflies lead the way. good things will come.

rest product box bar jpeg copy

click here (or on the product bar above) to browse REST AND GOOD THINGS WILL COME products

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

rest and good things will come ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood