reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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indelible. [d.r. thursday]

indelible. the way of impressionable cement, not-yet-set or after much falling rain. the new sidewalk around the corner and down the street will forever look like autumn to me. until the impression of fallen leaves fades, i will always think of fall and raking leaves and stoked bonfires in the cool night air.

indelible. the way of scent. the whiff of a beloved’s cologne or perfume and you are catapulted in time to shared space with that person. the aroma of a certain cake in the oven or simmering sauce on the stove or how rye toast makes me think both of my sweet momma and my grandmother mama dear. the way walking through even a tiny pine forest both brings back the tall pines of florida and the sparkling air of colorado high mountain forest.

indelible. the way of taste. how you know exactly what a hot chocolate chip cookie tastes just out of the oven, without having one. how you anticipate that first cup of coffee in the morning. how you roll around the werther’s caramel and other times and places flit through your mind.

indelible. the way of color. how army green makes me think of the vietnam jacket my brother-in-law gave me. or how there’s a certain red that makes me think of moab and the high desert. how rich black makes me think of my piano. how blue makes me think of one of my sweet nieces and purple makes me think of the other. how pink is now a color my sister is rocking. how black and white together make me think of our babycat.

indelible. the way of sound. the seagulls in the air make me think of home – long island beaches – the surf pulls at me. bluejays bring me immediately back to my growing-up back yard. loons and i am up-north, hanging out with the gang. the sound of john denver music and the list of images in my mind’s eye grows; his music has accompanied me near and far. the echo of a sustain pedal takes me to quiet stages and dark theatres, practicing, a concert in the offing. the train at night, likely to always make me think of laying in bed, here, at home. the foghorn, the same.

indelible. the way of touch. the sensation of petting our dogdog. of holding hands. of scuffing feet in fallen leaves. of the cold water of a stream running over my feet – instantly transported to an aspen brook, hidden way back on trail. the certain way someone hugs, the one-in-a-million dna of that hug.

indelible. the way of first impressions. we have this chance many times a day. the first impression we have on the cashier or associate at the store, the first impression we have on the person walking the other way on the sidewalk, the first impression we have with the person on the other end of the phonecall, the first impression we have with strangers and, i suppose, those close to us each new day. and more, intimately, close-in, how we start our days. the indelible way we come home. how we greet each other. with joy or abstracted, aloof.

i saw a video of a young woman, a social worker steeped in education and research, speaking about how she learned a simple lesson about relationship from her dog. each day, each and every time, she would return home and her dog would be filled with zealous and passionate happiness at seeing her. she had no doubt about its love of her and how it felt when it saw her. dogdog jumps higher than the back doorknob every time we come home, with ardent wagawag. yes. important to remember as we see our beloveds, our family, our friends. the impressions we give them.

they are indelible.

this branch of leaves will eventually fade from this sidewalk square. but i know i’ll keep remembering these leaves as we pass this spot, enduring till they are the lightest light and blend, disappearing, into the cement.

i hope that i will remember that my impression is also indelible. first impression, every impression. even as i blend into the cement.

good lessons from rye toast. good lessons from our dogs. good lessons from the leaves.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

EARTH INTERRUPTED V: 53″ X 29″

EARTH INTERRUPTED V ©️ 2018 david robinson


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wait! what?!? [merely-a-thought monday]

elephant or bear. i’m trying to decide which i’d rather be called. both momma elephants and momma bears defend their young, protect their clans. i’ve decided to go with elephant (obviously, sans political statement), for it is said, “female elephants continuously protect each other from predators in the wild, providing one another a sense of security.” and i’m less grizzly-bear-growly than wrap-my-tail-around-them-draw-them-close. hmm. well, maybe i’m a little of both. either way, i’m not going to forget if you are mean to my children. i’m not going to forget if you are mean to my family. and, in this case, i’m not going to forget if you are mean to my spouse.

people can pretty much think anything they want. we artists are pretty much used to that. questions like “what do you reeeeeally do for a living?” have peppered us our whole lives. people stare and furrow their brows when we answer. and i’m guessing that it’s not just what we say. we must … look … and act … a little artsy… or something.

sidewalks are generally pretty black and white. concrete. stamped or not stamped. seamed between squares. jointer-tool-etched or not. dyed or not. though my sweet father-in-law would have happily described all the varieties of concrete possibilities to me, i am having trouble getting through on the heaven-line so i will have to linger in my narrower spectrum of understanding.

we have concrete. in our front walk by the street, in our driveway and in our walk to the front door. all of that concrete is permanent now – post-lead-water-line-replacement-the-story-that-would-never-end – except for one square (which i hasten to point out is actually a rectangle, though far be it from me to get stuck on a detail.)

this one square, er, rectangle, is up by our front door. temporary concrete lays cracked in the spot waiting for the real concrete, contraction line between it and the old sidewalk that has welcomed visitors for about, well, 94 years, i guess.

and it continues to wait.

because it’s a “weird little job” – not worthy of attention – uh, hello? every size audience counts. just sayin’. – and because the sub-sub-contractor is “afraid the guy won’t be happy because the color and curve won’t match the sidewalk that’s already there.” uh, hello? we are intelligent beings who can grok that different ages look different. letmetellyou, we can grok that. even in sidewalks. – and because he also said, “and he seems a little different.”

wait! what?!?

“he seems a little different.”???

i’m a-wonderin’ “whatintheheck?!” while i am reading this email that was forwarded to me from the sub-contractor-to-the-city, one step above the sub-sub in the project ladder.

“he seems a little different.”

funny. david had walked in from visiting with the sub-sub when he came to take-a-gander at our “small, weird project” and had said – about the sub-sub, “wow. he seems like a really nice guy. really knowledgeable and pleasant.”

i guess the sub-sub was a good actor.

because really nice guys don’t report – even sub-sub to sub – that the client, the customer, the resident – seems “different”. that’s just kind of mean.

i don’t know what i am supposed to glean from the forwarded-email-with-no-additional-message, but the elephant in me (or was it the grizzly bear?) did write back that, though tempted to ask for clarification on what precisely was meant by “he seems a little different”, i was not going to belabor the rudeness of such a statement. what does that have to do with anything here?

it begs the question: does this mean that the sidewalk won’t be done because “he seems a little different”??

the point is the sidewalk. finishing the job. the one that started last november. really nothing else. not david’s artistic look or his intelligent conversation. not how he seems. the point is the sidewalk. not his “seeming different”.

besides, dude. newsflash: now, so do you.

*****

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


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temporary. [two artists tuesday]

we have a ridiculously high level of dedication to this. despite the fact that no one is requiring it, no one is requesting it, no one is paying for it. every weekday, for one week shy of four years, we have written a post. i guess it’s part of the autograph we leave on the world, whether or not anyone reads it.

they poured the last bit of temporary sidewalk this week. it’s there till spring when it will be replaced by something permanent. i stood at the front door and chatted with the guys, who told me we should sign our names in it…after all, it is temporary cement. i did have this fleeting thought that, even if it were permanent cement, it is still temporary, but i didn’t think they wanted to have an existential conversation so i said nothing.

i went upstairs to get d from work. “we have to sign our names in the sidewalk. the guys told me to,” i pulled him away from his desk. he grabbed a yellow craftsman screwdriver from the kitchen drawer – where we keep one to tighten the door handle and that thingy on the door jamb that the lock slides into…what is that thingy called…oh yeah, strike plate….that.

it wasn’t too cold out – which is why they poured – so we went outside, stared at the open, undisturbed, perfectly raked canvas of wet cement and … drew a blank. the possibilities were endless. a peace sign? a heart? flowers? a mountain sunrise? paralyzed with uncertainty and too many choices, we decided on our names, which presented its own set of problems.

for we never really call each other our names. of course we will reFER to each other as kerri and david to others, but saying the name david TO david feels funny coming out of my mouth. and hearing david say kerri to me is just weird.

because a long time ago now we found out that we had the same middle name. in the very early stages of our relationship – when all we did was write emails and then texts – before we had met in person and before we had much voice-to-voice conversation, we discovered that, in the oddest of odds, our middle names are – for all intents and purposes – the same.

erle.

and

earl.

mine is the feminine version (that’s what my sweet momma would try to have you believe. having been named after my dad erling, she tried to convince me that e-r-l-e was soft and girlie. mm-hmm.) david’s was “the sound that bears make” – according to him; he was named after his grandpa.

regardless of the obvious chatter this will create as you try to discern if it is indeed soft and girlie or more of a gutteral utterance of a grizzly bear, it was decidedly a unique moment to find out we had somewhat rare names as our middle name.

and so, i started to call him david earl. (and similarly kerri erle.) soon, the formality dropped to d.earl – which is pronounced d-dot-earl. and this was shortened to d.dot – which is pronounced d-dot and does not include the obvious redundancy (d-dot-dot), because, heaven knows, we would not want to be redundant.

most of the time now, i just call him “d”.

so…standing there…in front of cement just pining to be written in…we had a decision to make. what.to.write.

and there you have it. the absolutely unnecessary story that you can’t believe you just read to the end. k.dot and d.dot in the cement sidewalk. temporarily.

the next morning – the morning after the installation – i stepped out to look at our handiwork. the sidewalk had cracked in the bitter overnight cold.

but they’ll be back, like they said. in the warmer spring or early summer days. and they’ll pour the next.

there’s a good chance we will write in that permanent sidewalk as well. our autographs.

those, too, will be temporary.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY