reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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those dang cupcakes. [merely-a-thought monday]

8:40pm: hostess cupcakes become the topic of discussion outside at the table on our deck in the dark of falling dusk.

8:42pm: despite the fact that they are not gluten-free or dairy-free and, frankly, we aren’t really sure what they are made of, we mutually yearn for a hostess cupcake.

8:44pm: we look at each other, the flame of the tabletop miniature citronella tiki torch dancing on our wide-eyed laughter.

8:45pm: we put on sandals and grab a set of keys and the southport-pantry-now-morelli’s-deli-change-purse.

8:46pm: we are high-tailing it to ann’s corner store, walking fast to get there before its 9pm close.

8:53pm: we arrive and scurry down the snack-food aisle, in our singlemindedness missing the large hostess rack of goodies in the middle of the front aisle of the store. slight panic ensues. and then…

8:54pm: we find the rack. he leans forward to grab the box of eight cupcakes, but i point to the two-pack.

8:55pm: we purchase the two-pack, gleeful, an aura radiating around us as we leave the store and walk more sedately home.

9:08pm: we are home. we sit out back, open the cellophane and clink cupcakes.

9:12pm: we decide they are not what they used to be. or, we are not what we used to be.

9:14pm: we acknowledge the melancholy, the poignancy of the moment, wiping chocolate from the corners of our mouths.

as the evening wore down: we talk about the new eating patterns we are starting the very day you are reading this, eliminating from our diet all things not-clean so as to re-set. we – on this night on our deck – plan out what to eat in the remaining days – before today – our pantry and fridge will be reflective of our whole, unprocessed food choices, eliminating refined sugars and additives. it’s just a 30-day thing – and there is a plant-based version – but, having immersed in it before, we know we will notice a direct correlation of the food and beverage choices we make and the difference in how we feel. yada yada. so we make the decision and the new airpods i’ve purchased will help keep my two nieces close at hand as we are walking into this together.

10:12pm: we turn out the light and, in the dark, giggle about our frantic dash-for-delicacies adventure. and, in deference to the power of the hostess-cupcake, we nod and agree that there is still something about those fudgy-frosting-covered moist-chocolate-cupcakes filled with a light-marshmallowy-filling and flourished with a swirl-of-vanilla-icing. though simply sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and white flour, all of which are “basically free of any naturally occurring nutrients”, those cupcakes are a bank of memories and a touchback to the anticipation of the first joyous bite.

today: we admit to all of you, even though they are not likely to reappear any time soon, we will continue to hold hostess cupcakes gently and lovingly in our hearts.

*****

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


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it matters not. [two artists tuesday]

it matters not that our feet have walked this path before

it matters not that we have lingered under this canopy

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that we have kicked the same pebbles in play

it matters not that the dirt sneaking into our socks is the same

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that we recognize each bend, each curve

it matters not that we have watched the mayapple come and go

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that we hear the same birdcalls, the same ribbiting frogs

it matters not that the train-through-the-trees is an amtrack we have seen

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that the underbrush growth is measured by our return trips

it matters not that the wild daisies wave to us, friends

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that the riverbed rises and falls as regularly as our breath

it matters not that the turtles show up where we expect them to be

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that the sun dapples and hides where we know it will

it matters not that we can anticipate the sky – unrestricted

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that playful chirping chipmunks are not exotic

it matters not that squirrels chastening us are not rarities

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

it matters not that this trail is not unusual, is not unknown

it matters not that we could likely close our eyes to hike it

we walk again, noticing, paying attention, in wonder.

because

life, we have learned, is

wondrous in its simplicities, in its familiarity, in its details.

life, we have learned, is

something to pay attention to – close attention – so as not to miss it.

life, we have learned, is

the more you notice, the more you notice.

life, we have learned, is

a walk, again and again.

*****

happy 101 birthday to my sweet momma. i will forever miss you.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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quiet. new chalk. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

life is grace sleep

quiet.  we walk in quiet most of the time.  even our longer hikes are quiet.  it is a time of rest for us, rest from the noise of the rest of life, the noise of worry and angst, the noise of dispute, the noise of too much bad news, the noise of chaos.  we listen to the birds and our footfalls on the trail.  we listen to the wind and the sound of creatures rustling in the underbrush.  the quiet calms us; the quiet lifts the cellophane from the magic slate cardboard, it shakes the etch-a-sketch and takes it all back to zero, back to start, back to a rainwashed driveway waiting to be chalked all over again.

having run out of everest, k2 and annapurna footage we are watching appalachian trail and pacific crest trail and john muir trail videos these days.  on our own treks locally we decide which one of these to take, listing the specific merits of each.  make no mistake, these are serious treks.  the AT is 2190 miles from georgia to maine.  the PCT is 2653 miles from the border of mexico to the border of canada.  the JMT, joining with the PCT some of the way,  is 211 miles through the sierras, high elevation pass after pass.  clearly, the training needed would be intense.  but, as we envision this extended trekking, we are drawn to the quiet.  the noise of this world has become raucous and the woods and the mountains seem to beckon with absolution, with grace, with rejuvenation.

there used to be a button on the cassette player that you could push that would quicken the pace of the tape to the end: fast forward.  it would seem these trails, this quiet, like sleep, would fast forward through the dark and bring you to the light once again.  these trails – this quiet – remind you that next comes.

and so, the noise of the day will cease.  and you can listen to the sound of your footfall on a new day, ready to be chalked.

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

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chicken marsala monday

thismomentunique WITH EYES jpeg copy 2late yesterday afternoon, after a day spent working on computers and designs, with technology sluggishness taking over our souls, we headed to the woods to take a hike.  any time we feel tired or ‘stuck’ we walk.  around the ‘hood, along the lake, or to the starbucks about 2 and a half miles away.  any time we feel exuberant or elated we walk.  sometimes in the mountains (ahh!!) or in chicago or the third ward in milwaukee.  any time we need a ‘business meeting’ we walk.  mostly in the woods, in a county or state park.  walking and breathing in fresh air brings us back to the moment.  it re-centers us.

we hiked up the small rise in the woods, the light was waning and behind us the sky was deep deep orange.  in the clearing beyond the stand of trees stood, very still, a deer.  it was clearly the ‘lookout’ as way back in the field were six more deer, easy to count in the almost-dark as their white tails bobbed when the lookout gave the alert.  we stood perfectly still watching this beauty, a magic moment in the woods.  neither of us wanted to leave the spot.  i took a picture, not because you can see the deer in it, but because it preserved the moment for me.  i didn’t want to forget.  because, as you already know, i am thready like that.

around me, every rock or feather or piece of wood or ticket stub or scrap of notepaper carries with it a specific moment – preserved in time.  i could not necessarily tell the story of each of those moments – there are far too many for my synapse-challenged-brain to remember.  but i know that each one had meaning for me.  each one defined yet another piece of me, my relationship with someone i love, a time i shared with another being, a learning, a moment of sheer bliss, a moment of deep sadness.  each moment renewed me and brought me to my next moment of living.

as i have moved through life one thing has become certain.  that everything changes.  nothing stays the same.  life is in flux, always fluid.  what more do we have than each moment as it arrives for us?  i ask myself, “how do i want to spend this moment?  what do i want to feel about this moment?”  for i can never get it back.  i can never re-do it.  time has moved on.  and so i must keep moving.  i write about moments, i compose about moments, i tell stories about moments.  for me, those details count.   attempting to put succinctly (ha!) into words my philosophy-of-what-moments-mean is impossible; it is the umbrella that skies over everything else i believe, everything else i think.

when The Boy was little, he called the rearview mirror in cars the “review” mirror.  particularly poignant i think.  i have seen it written “don’t stare into the rearview mirror.  that’s not the direction you are going.”  instead i try (read: TRY) to review the past moments, learn from them, find grace in them, save the memory threads.  and wholeheartedly embrace the ones to come.  the moments.  unique.  in every way.   i love this chicken marsala image.

THIS MOMENT…UNIQUE…IN EVERY WAY MERCHANDISE

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CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY

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check out DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN MARSALA

this moment…unique…in every way ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood