reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the long view. like the rain. [merely-a-thought monday]

the catalogs accumulate in the rack in the bathroom. every so often i go through them and ferret out the ones i want to keep, the ones to hold onto for just a bit longer. it isn’t likely that i will purchase anything from them right now, but perusing them is like shopping, even a bit like buying in an odd way. i have found that if i look at something in a catalog often enough, long enough, the desire to have that item is somehow satisfied and will eventually go away. of course, this isn’t always true and some things have cut through the noise of all-those-pages, risen to the top and, after much internal debate, have been ordered. just not so much in recent days.

some catalogs pay close attention to the beauty of the whole. catalogs like patagonia, stio, sundance. pieces written by brand ambassadors, stunning photography, they are like picture-books and beg your attention. some catalogs stress a narrative, the story that makes you want an item; j.peterman rules at this, but soft surroundings creates story as well. some catalogs tell the back-story, personalizing the company, like karen kane. many are aware of their social impact, like LL bean. some catalogs just stuff asmuchinformationastheycan into their pages. those don’t make the magazine-rack-cut and are promptly recycled when they arrive.

i took photographs of many stormy skies, wet grasses, and drips dripping this past week, grumbling a bit about the weather. i would have rathered that the sun of the earlier part of that week had stuck around, the 70 degrees had lingered, the i-am-about-to-put-on-flip-flops temptation. instead, it rained and stormed and drizzled and fogged and rained again.

then i flipped open the january stio catalog on the rack, on the cover a long line down a powder slope created by a skier, always making me think of my daughter. every other page had a gorgeous photo; this company, birthed in 2012 and stewarding responsible outdoor lifestyle, is based in jackson hole, wyoming, so there is much appreciation for high mountain vistas. i perused the photos and the text, glancing at the gear. and i stumbled across the words, “the long view…think for the future.” it was an ad for recycled fleece clothing and their ethical stance, much like the powerhouse patagonia, to “reduce impact and waste and consume less energy – which is all better for this closed loop system we call earth.”

the long view. think for the future.

like the slow and steady turtle. like the fallow of the winter. like the tiny five degrees a month i hope to regain in my wrist. like the first words on a page, the first strokes on a canvas, the first notes in the air. like the extended-term wearing of masks to mitigate a mutating pandemic. like the temporary suspension of dinners in restaurants, live concerts, large gatherings in respect for each other. like the absence of normal, of security in a time of rebuilding. like time-without to remind you to appreciate time-with. like the incessant rain on an april day.

*****

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


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peeled back. [k.s. friday]

time continues to peel back the layers. barney is vulnerable and is, thus, exposed.

artistry is like that. we share our vulnerabilities. we write, we paint, we compose, we lyricize – we peel back the outer shroud of mystery to reveal that which is inside. we take chances at judgement, at others’ opinions, at evaluation. we are exposed. and time goes on. winter turns to spring which turns to summer and then fall. the seasons take their toll; the seasons enrich us. both.

the first album i released felt earth-shaking. the notes – white and black keys tumbling from deep within – flew out into the world on a piece of polycarbonate, aluminum and acrylic plastic. what could be a coaster contained fifteen deeply-excavated emotions, musings each released into the light. exposed. the scraps of paper that gave birth to these were soon filed in a binder with invoices and order forms, designs and ups tracking numbers. one season. one album. done.

each original album since is no less an exposé. each still holds pieces of me, permission by me to be peeled back. a little less scary than the first but still risk-taking. vulnerability does not recede from the sandy beach as the big waves come and go. but it stands a little more stoic, with a little more sisu. the albums, like seasons, arrive when it is time. and they, in some way that albums might, tremble with anticipation and that tiny bit of fear that remains, even after many layers have been peeled. soon there will be no more black and white at all.

now i wonder if i will need shrink-wrap again. i wonder about recording. and i don’t know. yet. i do find that i am thinking of wooden stages and boom mics. i also find that i am thinking that all this writing – these written words on the page – have been feeding me and that hunger for polycarbonate, aluminum and acrylic plastic.

each day, barney and i age. the veneer blisters and the shell reveals our hearts. we are both emotional, barney and i. we are conscious of our craggier look, the wrinkles and the age spots. though we wonder about how we resonate with the rest of the universe-out-there, we take the dusty road together anyway and we hold hands, vulnerable together. though laminate no longer hides our souls, we are standing in the sun this season, new growth springing up.

*****

that first album – 1995

read DAVID’s thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

someday?


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a bit damaged and blooming. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

spring? is that you??

the snow was piled high on our walk around the ‘hood. stepping carefully around icy patches and those unsightly mountains of dirty snow next to the road, we strolled for a couple of hours. it was still freezing-cold out and the wind on our faces was biting. but the sun was out and, with icicles hanging off houses and treacherous sidewalks, we were stunned when we came upon this sight – early bulbs rising out of frozen ground, in a sheltered and sunny spot on the south side of the street. a signal that there is a new season to come, we practically danced on the sidewalk.

i texted her a photo and asked linda what these bulbs were. a lover-of-all-flowers, she immediately wrote back, “daffodils, i think. they look a bit damaged. like they came up and then got snowed on.” i replied, “aren’t we all? a bit damaged?”

it’s been a long hard winter. a long fall before that. a long summer before that. and, well, you know about last spring. today, scrolling through facebook, i saw a post that read, “a year ago this was our last normal week and nobody knew it.” wow. we can’t help but be a bit damaged.

but now, we look to the sun each day and note the rising temperatures, little bit by little bit. we think about coffee on the deck and a glass of wine on the patio. we look forward to the muddy trails in our favorite parks. we know that, though some things haven’t changed and the bit-of-damage is still present, there is a horizon and we are headed that way.

the bulbs will bloom, no matter how much they get snowed on. and so will we.

*****

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


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wishbones in the woods. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

we received a letter from the energy company that tree pruning may be required on our property. there is one tree that is closer to power lines than any others. this tree is out front and has been there the entire three decades plus that i have been here.

this old tree invited my children to climb it, was the source of limbs we used for christmas trees, shaded the front yard and gardens through the years. i watched this tree change through the seasons out the window as i rocked my children in the nursery; i’ve taken pictures of it with snow stacked up against its trunk. i’ve pondered what to do in the area around its roots, which rise above the surface of the ground; i’ve given up planting around it and allowed it to just co-exist with the dirt and scant grass. this tree has lost limbs in recent years and has some interior rotting causing some breakage to bear no leaves. but this is the source of long-time wisdom which has welcomed me home each time i’ve pulled into the driveway. each time i silently thank this tree and breathe a little bit easier to be at this place so familiar to me. i am wondering now if this is the tree. it pains me to think of this old tree pruned beyond recognition or, worse yet, taken down entirely. if indeed this is the case, i would hope to have pieces of this tree to save – slices as chargers for under dinner plates or even just simply a limb to wrap with happy lights and place in a spot of honor inside. yes. i am wondering if this is the tree.

the tree in the woods off the trail we follow was one that collected snow, its face to the wind. we hadn’t noticed it before; it blended into the rest of the woods and fallen trees. but, with snow on its bows it was clearly a wishbone, and, obviously, making a wish, i hiked into the underbrush to get a closer photo.

i wonder how often we pass by trees – and perhaps every living thing and perhaps people – without noticing them for what they are or who they are. how often do we turn a blind eye to that which is familiar or that which blends without any outstanding characteristic? it is possible that we participate in life more peripherally than we ought, more aloofly than the stuff of life deserves. the merit of each bow, each limb, each living thing, each person, is lost in our pursuit of next.

in the still threadiness of our hearts, perhaps slowing down and looking more closely might yield stronger connection to that which we understand, that which is familiar, that which we know well. more importantly, perhaps it might yield stronger connection to that which we don’t understand, that which is not familiar and that which we don’t know well. an opportunity to discard apathy and discuriousness and embrace old trees by the driveway and wishbones in the woods.

*****

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


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summer. [d.r. thursday]

Watercolor-Tree copy

summer is coming.  at least that is what the calendar indicates.  in recent days it has snowed in colorado.  it has been rainy and damp and cold in wisconsin.  the spring storms have been devastating the central states.  but summer is coming.

and with summer comes a little slowing-down, moments to linger in the sun, sit in lawn chairs and chat, sip iced tea on the deck, have picnics under the canopy of a tree.  we pick clover and make necklace chains, count the petals on a daisy, lay in the sweet smell of freshly mowed grass.

wishing you a peaceful and rejuvenating summer.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

drc website header copy 2

buffalo adirondack chair website box


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tear down, build up. [merely-a-thought monday]

nature of life box

the seasons pass.  we lurch from lush to barren.  we see the fire season lengthening, the arctic ice shelf shrinking, the oceans warming, the atmosphere more potentially lethal.  we see the lack of a bipartisan country, divisiveness poisoning our communities, self-serving rule over a democracy based on equity and compassion.  we are stymied by what we can do, what we can accomplish as individuals and we speak up, at the ready to be buoyed by support or torn down by scorn.  we have traversed the spectrum of built up and trampled.

i hope this season will pass.  that the tearing down will yield a new harvest.  that we will pay attention to our good earth and its physical struggles.  that we will cross the aisle and reach out.  that each of us will count, no matter our ANYthing.  that sensitivity and humanity and fairness will lead our actions.  that we will be kind.  that we will build up.  that this now barren-in-so-many-ways-land will again be lush.  with promise.  for everyone.

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

birdy feet website box

 

 

 

 


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color.

flowers and trees have dominated the photo stream on my phone this summer. soaring pines against snow-topped mountains and streamside wildflowers, a street called “daisy dr”, aspen trees reflecting on a building in a light show, roots of fallen trees in sculpture untouched by hands, gorgeous flowers in a downtown boston median, window boxes filled with red geraniums on a beacon hill walk, IMG_0031the nurse-log’s new life in the lake up north this year, the strawberry patch, the new herb garden we built out of re-purposed schtuff (as wendy calls it), and, speaking of wendy, the tulips on her wall (sometimes the flowers aren’t real-live-in-the-dirt-flowers). there are photos from ocean-side marshland, the sweet gift of farmer’s market sunflowers, saved pictures of susan’s porch with hanging flowerpots…just to look at…as if i were there. flowers in linda’s abundant garden, IMG_0035huge basil at jen’s, gorgeous orange impatiens that stubbornly live in our backyard, even when we don’t notice them. black-eyed susans from our walks, white-flowering hostas on an iowa farm. soybeans in the field and bamboo alongside the lake, unidentified purple flowers IMG_0033and pink and yellow flowers along a neighbor’s front walk, purple sedum buzzing with bees a few houses away. the first tree to turn in the woods we were hiking in, a lone red leaf on a maple in the ‘hood. my photo shoot of the painting david painted me before we married, the daisy we used on our invitations, the daisy we are using in website and marketing materials for our upcoming, soon-to-be-released two-person play, “the roadtrip”. so many flowers. so much color.

perusing through right now, i see that isn’t the only source of color…the IMG_0040old painted chairs hanging in the shop in the mountains, the homebuilt faux-adirondacks in front of the liquor store in breck, the photographs of texture in vibrant colors, the gay pride flag flying outside a church in the city, the peeling-paint side of the old barn, the sunsets, piles of rocks, the solid blue sky, the sand, aqua water, white snow on the mountain in june, rainbows, the red moon. color.

now, truth be told, there are a TON of pictures on my photo stream. i take a ton of pictures and save everything that the boy or the girl send me, so at any given moment, i can re-visit the whole summer IMG_0034and breathe it back in. sometime, in the middle of winter, when the days are not as fluffy or romantically snowy, i will want to look at these pictures. to remember. you know, the whole thready thing. it’s a curse.

last weekend we went to a wine and harvest festival in a little town up north a bit. expecting it to be like the winter festival we attend there with friends, a kind of joyous and outstandingly fun mecca every february, we were surprised when we got there and it was a mob scene. the streets were full of vendors, food and art and creations of all sorts. overgrown humonga-pumpkins were being weighed in a contest and we hear we missed the carved-out-pumpkin races on the river. we walked around, squished between people, laughing about how hot it was, how crowded and how we had underestimated the festival. it was absolutely a blast.

there was this bag there…just a simple backpack. from the side of the vendor’s 10×10 IMG_0029tent, which i am well-acquainted with, it called my name. “look at that happy bag,” i said to david. usually i don’t purchase much at these shows. i am often feeling that i-don’t-need-more-stuff feeling. but, as david told someone recently, pieces of art (really, despite what medium they are) reach out and find their true owner. and, i have to tell you, this happy bag found me. and you’ll never guess what the fabric was. for this dedicated wear-blue-jeans-and-black-tops girl (ok, that term “girl” may be outdated for me, but humor me, ok?”), this flowery backpack found its way into my hands. now i am using it each day. i know i will return to other purses i own (aka pocketbooks, aka handbags), but this happy bag will bring back -with just one glance- the hot day at the festival, the flowers in my summer, the color in my life. and we all need that, don’t we?

itunes: kerri sherwood

www.kerrisherwood.com