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clover fluff. [two artists tuesday]

the tiny fluff of clover lives at the edge of the stone step. sweet one-half-inch beauties, they grant wishes to passing chipmunks and chickadees lingering at the birdfeeder. beauty at the edges, innocent, simple, unnoticed mostly.

the big picture often doesn’t validate the tiny edge fluff. it’s too big-picture-ish. lofty goals, high aspirations, gigantic expectations, unreasonable accomplishment demands – all take the focus off the soft sides, the padding between imposing idealism and reality. the shallow depth of field captures the up-close and blurs the rest, giving pause to some of what is overwhelming.

i suppose beauty is meant to be like that. the curl of your baby’s tendril of hair, the new leaf bud on the tree, the wisp of pink cloud in the sun-setting sky, the quiet birdcall at dawn – nothing enormous, just simple and life-giving.

so how is it that we get ourselves mixed up in so much measuring, so much set-up for disappointment. we live our minutes as if they are infinity itself. we compare and contrast and yearn and regret. we are striding, striding. even while the clover waits.

and then, sitting on the step of the deck, pondering for a few minutes, we look down and see this magical sight. the tiny world of the tiny clover beckons our attention. it will not be there forever, and, likely with the drought, will disappear before too long. but in the meanwhile it is there and verdant and growing and it counts.

once again, i am reminded, in a wondrous way, of my own tiny-ness. though i know the mark i make on the world is ephemeral, fleeting, and i sometimes, anyway, get lost in the demands and the challenges and the ups and downs of the accompanying emotional seesaw, i hope that there is something up-close about me that gives pause, that offers kindness, that is love.

my-big-picture is actually very tiny and at the edge of the step of the universe. hopefully it is like clover fluff.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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but it’s not. [d.r. thursday]

the cold air was stinging my face. i pulled my scarf up further, to block the wind a bit more. as we rounded a curve in the trail, the breeze was biting. it seems early for this kind of cold. but it’s not.

it’s december and the official start of winter is right up around that bend in the trail. the cold is predictable. this is wisconsin.

i walked away from the stockpot of chicken soup i was stirring, waiting for a warming dinner. i sat on the steps in the hall, overwhelmed. i keep hearing and picturing the words of my firing, the non-explanation-explanation given to others. it may seem like it’s time to be over it. but it’s not.

it’s only been three weeks and even sitting on the steps doesn’t yield an explanation or comfort. it just creates more questions, more astonishment, more hurt. the distress is predictable. this is shock.

i look, again, at the christmas list in my hand, trying to summon up the energy to shop and wrap and ship. it seems like the time is going slowly. but it’s not.

the holiday is rapidly approaching and, like many of you, we face it alone, wondering how to celebrate without our loved ones. we grieve traditions set aside, normal ways we honor these holidays. we ponder what we might do anew. the sadness is predictable. this is loneliness.

the night sky is filled with stars, the cold air beckoning them. the moon out the window is steadfast. the vast universe is vast. our tiny world inside, away from the biting wind, down the hall from the steps, at a table with a steaming bowl of chicken soup and a tiny christmas tree, is tiny. it seems that real peace is somewhat elusive. but it’s not.

it’s ever there.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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bubbles for epic and tiny. [two artists tuesday]

we grew attached to epic and tiny.

each day we would walk to the edge of our pond and look for the two frogs hiding in the rocks or sunning in plants in which they blended.

we’ve had frogs in our pond before. and, at the time that ice starts to form on the top of our tiny waterhole, we have removed the filter and stored it away. we’re not sure where exactly the frogs go, but research shows us that they are intrepid creatures who will burrow underground or under the debris of a pond. some portions of a frog’s body will freeze during the winter, stored glucose preventing vital organs from freezing, the frog waking from its frozen slumber in the warming spring days. wow. research also shows that they need oxygen and the bubbler of the filter system will keep harmful gases from accumulating and, hopefully, will keep the pond from freezing over completely.

we decided that was worth a try.

we dug our pond in 2013 and have had the same equipment ever since. when a tree landed on the pond in the backyard a few years back, monster glue came to the rescue and, each year since, david has rube-goldberg-ed the pond’s fixings back together again to last for one more season.

with everything that 2020 has been, we felt like we really needed to give our frogs, the only houseguests we had all spring, summer and fall, a fighting chance. we decided to leave the filter on and the bubbler bubbling.

and now we cross our fingers.

because every little thing counts this year – a year fraught – – –

there seems no need to even finish that sentence. each of us has our own story of this year’s challenges and disappointments. each of us, hopefully, has at least one success, one victory, one moment of bliss.

but, admittedly, the sighs that have been the soundtrack of 2020 are plenty. we have all been inundated with them.

we are choosing also to remember the bubbling of the pond out the back window and the croaking of two sweet frogs who found their way into our little pond. and we are hoping to see them again, croaking and sunning, when the spring comes.

these bubbles are for you, epic and tiny.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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round and round. [two artists tuesday]

and the seasons they go round and round
and the painted ponies go up and down
we’re captive on the carousel of time
we can’t return we can only look
behind from where we came
and go round and round and round
in the circle game
” (joni mitchell)

from the edge of the trail it seemed we stood in three seasons. with warm sun on our faces and verdant grasses poking through the golds of autumn aspen leaves, the snow sought refuge in the shade. three seasons. concurrent.

as we stood there, in the middle of the mountain trail, it all swirled together – then, now, next. a kaleidoscope of color, of emotions, of moments. the tiniest of tiny in a vast universe, all else suddenly became distant.

we lingered in the whirl of shifting seasons, viscerally aware of our breathing and the gravity that was holding us still. it was an eddy of every-thing: old wrinkled leaves of regret, fading transient dreams, life-giving air carrying us into the next minute, a metamorphosis of time. the ponies on the carousel kept moving round and round and we paused, our feet in the dirt, sensing the circle encapsulating us, giving us pause.

we stayed there a long time, the scent of decaying leaves in the woods, the sound of a rushing mountain stream, the breeze rustling past us, our faces warmed. for these moments, in the middle of the middle, all the worries, all the fears, all the unease, dropped off from our shoulders. the concurrence whispered to us, “and the seasons they go round and round.”

read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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i, a tiny person. [two artists tuesday]

vast.

tiny.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, stood on independence pass, surrounded by the collegiate peaks and together with my husband and daughter and, at the trail high-lake destination, my panting breath, swept out of my lungs, slowed to tears.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, sat on a log that crossed a cold mountain stream, under the shadow of a bigger mountain above us and in the grace of the sun streaming through the trees and my breath slowed, cleansing my heart.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, gazed at verdant evergreens and golden willowy tall aspens, my mind aware of the expanse of time they had lived in such places, my breath a mere few seconds in comparison, for they have lived – and will live – well beyond any years i am granted on this earth.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, hiked miles in elevation, my breath both aiding me and slowing me down, forcing me to stop, to look around, to be encircled by the air of the rockies, the snow of early freshness, the closer exquisitely warm sun, the scent of both a pine forest and autumn leaves moldering on the ground.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, my feet grounded on the edge of the royal gorge canyon wall, my heart teetering on thoughts of the insignificance of my being and the very significance of my being, my breath – in and out.

i, a tiny person in this vast universe, in this time in the high mountains, felt both held and freed. love for my beloveds, belief in the moment-right-now, an overwhelming sense of a bigger picture clear, in which my role is like that of a leaf falling to the forest floor, contributing a tiny bit to the ecosystem that will endure, prevailing past my own time, making a tiny difference.

read DAVID’s thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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all existential. [two artists tuesday]

Arches

“mom’s getting all existential on us,” The Girl declared as we drove through moab, utah to arches national park, my first time.  i could hardly help myself.  she had told me ahead of time that, “it looks like mars” and she was right.  it is vast.  and full of shape and shapeless.  it was hard to wrap my head around the BIGness of it all.  i felt utterly tiny, small as an atom, infinitely lucky to even BE on this earth, somehow present in the midst of all of THIS.

i couldn’t help reflect on how this had all happened, both scientifically and from, yes, an existential place.  i couldn’t help what was probably a mouth-wide-open expression on my face the entire time.  it is so immense you can feel it in your heartbeat.  i couldn’t help the tears that flowed easily, which The Girl had predicted.  i couldn’t help the wonder.

in those moments that day of gazing at what had been created on this glorious earth, i realized, once again, that nothing really mattered except that i was there, that intense beauty surrounded us, that love prevailed.  i had seen yet another spectacular vista, had breathed it in, had climbed with my daughter and watched my husband take in this place, for each of us both magical and spiritual.  and all would be well.

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TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

arches national park ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson


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from a distance – earth interrupted V [dr thursday]

from a distance CANVAS copy

i was distracted when d brought the camera back to me.  working on something, i glanced up and thanked him.  a few moments later, i asked him how the painting he was working on was going.  “i scrubbed it,” he said.  “what?!” i replied.  “i started something else,” he said.  when he left the room, i looked at the camera.  this is what i found.  an extraordinary look at earth, removed from earth, from a distance away.  from a distance FRAMED PRINT copyfragmented mother planet through the haze, i found it to be a striking – and yet abstract – image, with rich, almost-metallic hues.  how does he do that?

this is EARTH INTERRUPTED V: FROM A DISTANCE.  we need this perspective every now and then.  we lose sight.  we fall prey to overwhelm in our own stuff.  we are but a speck of a fragment on this earth.  we are both tiny and vast.  and we are capable of doing both tiny and vast things to help our earth and each other.

from a distance TOTE BAG copy

from a distance BEACH TOWEL copy

from a distance LEGGINGS copy

from a distance SQ PILLOW copy

FROM A DISTANCE – EARTH INTERRUPTED V – DR THURSDAY – ON OUR SITE

FROM A DISTANCE – PRODUCTS ON SOCIETY6.COM/DAVIDROBINSON – CLICK HERE

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EARTH INTERRUPTED V:  FROM A DISTANCE ©️ 2018 david robinson


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(y)our earth [two artists tuesday]

our earth FRAMED ART PRINT copy

leonard pitts jr. wrote an opinion column, a gorgeous essay on the moon that we read the other morning.  only it wasn’t really about the moon.   he references a short film (which we watched) by filmmakers wylie overstreet and alex gorosh called “a new view of the moon” where the two men “wandered around los angeles with a telescope…asking a cross section of passersby in a cross section of places…to put their eyes to the viewfinder and gaze upon what they’ve looked at a million times yet never seen.”  the two men found that people responded in the same way, awestruck, profoundly moved by the vision.  the short doesn’t feature the moon; it features the reactions of people as they gaze into the telescope.  leonard calls it “a hymn to our common humanity.”  a reminder that in all our differences we are the same…”we spend too much time looking down and across.”  we are, yes, tiny in the vastness – something i felt myself in writing about david’s painting FROM A DISTANCE that we chose for thursday’s melange.  “so each other is all we have.  but then, it should be all we need,” leonard writes.  our earth TOTE BAG copy

when i drew this simple graphic, i wanted to portray a uncomplicated thought.  an image unadorned with fancy-ness, but, hopefully, clear…or, at the very least, thought-provoking.  “your” earth with arrows upward, “your” earth with arrows that circle around, “our” earth with arrows that circle around, “earth” with arrows that circle around.

it is all a circle.  what we do counts.  how we help counts.  how we help our earth.  how we help each other.

our earth SQ PILLOW copy

our earth LEGGINGS copy

OUR EARTH MUG copy

OUR EARTH BEACH TOWEL copy

THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH – TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH – PRODUCTS ON SOCIETY6.COM/TWOARTISTS

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THIS IS (Y)OUR EARTH ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

melange button jpeg

kerrianddavid.com

 


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magical – this tiny. this vast.

raw-3at 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 late air was cool, gentle breezes sneaking past us in our vigil. the meteor shower information site said that at 1am cst we would be able to see 50-100 meteors an hour, shooting across the night sky. now, how they know this is a scientific study that i am not familiar with. but it is magical. and it is vast.

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 was a miracle, a tiny moment exploding in time, so far away, in vast vastness.

this morning over coffee on the deck i watched a bumblebee fly to the big jar of sunflowers on the table. photoit, with seemingly intentional purpose, landed on the sunflower’s large head. i studied this bumblebee and, as i did, it occurred to me that it, too, was a tiny being in the middle of its own universe. that sunflower, i come to learn, is not just one flower. instead, it is composed of a mass of hundreds of flowers, all growing individually and from where each sunflower seed will originate. the yellow rays of petals are there to protect the interior of the sunflower. the sunflower, before blooming, will track the sun through the day, leaning in to garner its energy, intent on its own purpose in its own universe. it is, indeed, its own little universe, offering nutrients and life to that very bumblebee, who pollinates the flowers within the flower…and the circle goes on. looking even closer, i could see small quarter-inch-inchworms inching their way around the brown center of the flower(s).   for that quarter-inch-inchworm this big brown field was such a big sky, and its tiny body was in great contrast. magical. vast.

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.vast tiny

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transience (from the album RIGHT NOW)

transience – on itunes

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