reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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i carry your heart. [k.s. friday]

i officiated a wedding last sunday. the bride and groom, their parents, twenty-one attendants and family and friends gathered on a venue patio under the sun on a stunning september afternoon in milwaukee.

reminding them to go slow and drink it all in, they celebrated in a ceremony i wrote for them, personal and intimate, with pieces of their romance and tidbits of what was mutually important to them. we had gathered together to talk, for them to answer questions and tell stories, and i searched for the right poetry, the right music, the right sentiment, the right words, and it was an honor and a privilege to stand in front of them and everyone there on this most important day for this most important ritual. i reminded those attending this wedding that their presence was not passive. they were witnessing this event and, in doing so, were promising to be there for this newly wedded couple, through thick and thin. to stand by them in all times, to help carry them through joys and sorrows, successes and challenges.

“i carry your heart. (i carry it in my heart.)”. i read the words of e.e. cummings as they stood, with tears in their eyes. it was hard not to weep with them. they danced down the aisle after the words, “the light will shine through your skin and they will ask, ‘what have you done with your life?’  and though there are many moments you will remember, in the end, you will be proud to say i was one of us.” life stretches out in front of them. they will be amazed at how their hearts will grow and hold the treasure trove of memories that will come. and, all the while, they will tenderly carry each other’s hearts.

i was supposed to fly that day. i had already purchased a kringle to bring to my sweet momma and poppo at the other end of my flight. but, just before i left for the airport, 20 called and told me to turn on the news. it was surreal and i dropped to the floor of the sitting room in front of the tv. i called my husband, called my beloved children’s schools to have someone tell each of them that i had not gotten on an airplane that morning and i watched the horror unfold that sunny september 11th in new york city.

a friend from yamaha in nyc sent me a picture of the world trade center location where i had just recently performed. it was destroyed. i stayed glued, watching, carrying the hearts of all those worried about someone in those towers, someone in the pentagon, someone on flight 93. it was terrifying to know this was real.

tomorrow is twenty years from the day of this tragedy. though i’m sure not a day goes by that survivors and surviving family members and friends do not think about this, it seems, in the middle of this pandemic and political chaos and climate-changed extreme-weather episodes on a grand scale and divisiveness in the nation, that the marking of this anniversary should remind us, should unite us instead of prompting the sneering that i am viewing on social media.

it would seem important to come together under the sun to do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to defeat this global pandemic and cease the loss of loved ones.

it would seem important to come together under the sun to do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to cross the aisle and embrace inclusivity and fairness and equality for all.

it would seem important to come together under the sun to do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to confront global warming and climate change and save this planet for the children of our children’s children.

it would seem important to come together under the sun to do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to turn toward each other, ask questions, have conversation, seek collaboration, surrender agenda, recognize truth, work together.

it would seem important – at the very least – to remember to carry each other’s hearts in our hearts. on wedding days and days of destruction of great proportion. it should all be the same.

*****

download music on my little corner of iTUNES

a couple – here and here – of wedding songs

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read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY


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initiative. [flawed wednesday]

(sign on the door of the milwaukee institute of art & design)

a year and a half.

jen told me yesterday that the 1918 pandemic, though most often referred to as a two-year pandemic, actually lasted two and a half years.

two and a half years.

i shudder to think of the toll this pandemic will have taken if it lasts yet another year or more. we have learned so much; we have learned so little. the pandemic has been like a kaleidoscope and like a microscope, both. it has scattered us into constantly changing patterns and it has brought everything into minute focus. yet i wonder where this will take us.

artists aren’t typically conservative in-the-boxers. we take risks, live gig lifestyles, put ourselves out there, are vulnerable and push back against things we consider inequities, ironic double-talk, disinterest in humanitarianism, opacity where transparency is touted. we aren’t quiet, for it is our job to speak – in whatever medium our talent. we are, as artists, there to raise questions, to promote pondering, communicate ideas, tell stories, express emotion, encourage engagement, inspire connection and collaboration, reiterate interdependence of all people.

though this burden does not remain singly on the shoulders of artists, even banksy has participated in making statements about safety and guidelines in this pandemic. i’m not sure how much more blatant it needs to be. encouraging covid-19 responsibility, his work in the london tube in july 2020 was titled, “if you don’t mask, you don’t get.” he spray-paints the words, “i get lockdown, but i get up again” at the end of the video featuring his rats on the tube.

though attendees were 100% vaccinated, the invitation read, “masks required at all times unless actively eating or drinking.” they provided masks, sweet ones with the initials of the wedding couple and a heart. the venues had high high ceilings, exposed rafters and ductwork. the wedding was outside, cocktail hour was outside, dancing was outside.

when the rain came, we all kept dancing. outside, twinkling lights all around, we breathed in fresh air. even with masks on.

“a lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.” (banksy)

initiative (noun): the ability to assess and initiate things independently; the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.

the milwaukee institute of art and design has posted signs on all their doors. they have taken a stance.

wearing a mask in public spaces – and vaccination – have been scientifically proven to lower the rate of transmission, sickness and death of a deadly global pandemic. already a year and a half.

exactly what additional kind of initiative do you need?

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this FLAWED WEDNESDAY


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and now. the song. who knew? [k.s. friday]

and now songbox .jpg

the sun set on another day on island.  and the moon rose.  who knew?

four years ago, when david walked down the aisle to this song, who knew?  who knew what would come, what adventures would appear, what challenges would rear up, what tiny moments would tear up in our eyes, what heartaches would befall us?  who knew?  who knew what chaos would reign our world, what gentle calm would envelop us, what times with family would look like, what times without loved ones would feel like?  who knew?

four years ago, when david walked down the aisle to this song, we were decades younger, starting out all over again, baby-stepping into an unknown, beguiling, mysterious future.  who knew?  who knew the times of decisions, of direction-choosing, of sacrifice, of abundance?  who knew the dances we would dance, the cries we would cry, the pages of life filled with, well…life?  who knew?

there we stood, last night, on the back porch, white happy lights glowing on the railing, watching the moon rise over our little bay, high in the sky, gigantic, tiny hog island in the distance.  we wondered aloud, in wonder, about the wonderment of it all.  who knew?

and now…….looking forward…..outward….onward….with great love….

download AND NOW on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts this K.S. FRIDAY

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AND NOW ©️ 2015 kerri sherwood


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and now. the painting. [d.r. thursday]

and now painting copy

this painting is magical.  it is the stuff of dreams, the stuff of hope, a vision of the future, the thready sharing of life and love.  it looks more to me like flying than resting and, perhaps, as the wedding gift that d gave me four years ago today, it was prophetic.  with the presence of mountains and a daisy, holding hands, embracing, perhaps dancing in flight, it is what we knew then.

what we know now is so much more.

our journey, our flight, together has, in its rawest form, a newness.  meeting smack-dab in the middle of middle-age has its interesting elements.  not that either of us is rigid…oh, no….of COURSE not.  but when you are nigh 60 years old you do have your ways of doing things.  add to that the fact that we are two artists artist-ing together.  sheesh! there are some lively chats in these here parts.  and to feel like you are starting over again – in your middle 50s – is time-warpy.  there’s a lot to learn…but i guess that’s always true.

i have to say that i have never argued as much with another person.  i’m quite sure that we agree the sign we purchased on our honeymoon in the mountains of colorado says it all, “you are my favorite pain in the ass.”  it goes both ways.  we definitely have a full-spectrum of emotions together.  we are the best at disagreeing; we are the best team together.

i’m eternally grateful for this gift.  i cannot adequately put this into words, so it must suffice that – this is the man i skip with.

i have no idea where this journey with mountains and daisies will take us.  we are open to the mystery as we continue this amazing flight.  allways.  always.  magical.

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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AND NOW ©️ 2015 david robinson

 

 


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wedding boots. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

WeddingBoots copy

we knew before we really started planning that we would be married in jeans and boots. and anyone who knows us could tell you that we would definitely be wearing black tops, in david’s case – a shirt and jacket, in my case – a long tunic.  it’s just us.

we went to the frye boot store in chicago long before our wedding day, combining a visit with The Boy with our errand.  the girl-boots i tried on weren’t right…although i love all the high frye boots, we had a vision for these, the one item we each splurged on in our apparel for The Day.  the boots needed to be totally dance-worthy, kind of worn-looking, lower-ankle boots.  i ended up buying boy-boots; it helps when you have big feet, lol, because you can find boy-sizes that fit.  we wore them inside the house dancing many times to break them in.  but never put them on to go anywhere.  we were saving them.

three years ago today, we donned our boots, our new ripped jeans and our black tops.  we individually walked down the aisle to the front of the church and a new life commitment.  The Girl, The Boy, 20, arnie and ptom stood in front with us and then we skipped back down the aisle, past pews filled with pieces of our hearts, to the ukulele band playing what a wonderful world.  we drove our little baby scion to the historic beachhouse where we had a food truck, a dj playing music people danced to for hours and hours, hula hoops and crayons, wine and daisy cupcakes, spotted cow and quinoa tabouli, brownies and a bonfire on the beach.  our family and friends – our community- brought us across the bridge from single to married; it was in a key of celebration, of support.

never did we once think that life would just be like that from there on out.  for life is life and challenges arise.  we are not exempt from that.  but our community stands with us, silently reminding us that they were there, they witnessed the moment.  their belief and our love forge together.  it takes a village to be married.  we are grateful for that village, for anyone who has nudged us to see Us.

and any time we forget that very important day, we pull our wedding boots out of the front of our closets, put them on and remember.

happy anniversary d.dot.  i love you.

wedding pic with website

read DAVID’S thoughts on this wedding-boots-day

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there is wisdom in dancing! [two artists tuesday]

There is wisdom in dancing copy 3

jen and brad have been taking dance lessons for months.  their daughter is getting married in a couple of weeks and they want to celebrate-dance under the warm savannah night sky at her reception.  they have been dedicated to this; their lessons are top priority in their social calendar.   from what we can see, their commitment has morphed from we-need-to-be-able-to-dance-well-together to we-love-this-together.  what a gift to see them in their kitchen demonstrating the cool steps they have learned.  they are getting polished and are more and more comfortable with various dances (especially “the push-pull,” jen explains.) mostly, they look like they are really having fun.  truth be told, we don’t know of anything they have committed to that they haven’t thrown their whole hearts into; they are a picture of enthusiasm. they are a joy in our life.

on the other hand, we will look like bumbling-dancers under this same georgia sky.  but that’s not the point.  it is rare that you will be the center of attention when you are dancing – only a few times you are a bride and groom or the parents of or in a do-they-give-booby-prizes? dance competition.  but we love to dance together.  before our wedding, under linda’s (an absolute lover of all dance) tutelage, we learned an irish waltz that will remain one of the stunning moments of our reception in the old southport beachhouse.  what happy dance took place that afternoon and night.

i remember many a day or night blissfully dancing with one of my babies in my arms.  i even remember dancing around the living room solo or holding babycat.  sometimes that was out of delight; sometimes it was in the search for joie de vivre, a yearning for cheer.

we have danced in the front yard, on the deck, in the kitchen in the middle of the night, in church and in airports.  it matters not where you dance.  as long as you dance.  there is wisdom in dancing.

THIS dance product box jpeg copy

click here (or on the product box above) to browse:  wall art, wall murals mugs, tote bags, throw pillows, leggings, cards, beach towels, bath accessories, cellphone cases, laptop sleeves, blankets, bedding….

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on DANCE!!

there is wisdom in dancing!  ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood


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ks friday

andgoodnightjacket copy 2

i will hold you forever & ever – track 25

listening to this piece i wrote and recorded in the midst of the AND GOODNIGHT ~ A LULLABY ALBUM, i am reminded of moments with my babies, The Girl and The Boy.  I WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER AND EVER…oh yes.  moments in that rocking chair in the nursery, moments gently dancing to marvin gaye’s ‘i heard it through the grapevine’ in the sitting room (oddly, the only song in the early days that would quiet The Girl to sleep), moments holding hands and walking, moments of hugs of joy, of hugs of encouragement, of hugs comforting hurts, moments carrying boxes into dorm rooms, moments painfully driving away from the places they each live across the country.  it does not matter if i can wrap my arms around them.  i will – forever and ever – hold them.

this is on the lullaby album for just those reasons.  the album is a compilation of old lullaby songs all performed solo piano; it was a project of love.

but this piece of music could just as easily been on an album of love songs.  a while ago i thought about a wedding album and this would have been a track.  for as i think about the comfort of being held and holding another, the holding-on-tight-dancing-in-the-kitchen, the letting-go of everything as you embrace, the end-of-day laying down together, the wherever-you-are-there-i-will-be of love, the exquisiteness of understanding the words ‘forever and ever’, i can see where it plays a dual role.  for, yes, we hold all who we love and have loved forever and ever.

I WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER AND EVER from AND GOODNIGHT track 25 on iTUNES

I WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER AND EVER from AND GOODNIGHT track 25 on CDBaby.com

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) ON OUR SITE

and, because i couldn’t resist designing with this title for babies or weddings or anyone you love, I WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER AND EVER PRODUCTS – CLICK HERE

forever and ever FRAMED ART PRINT copy

framed art prints, cards, wall art

forever and ever SQ PILLOW copy

throw pillows, blankets, rugs

forever and ever RECT PILLOW copy

throw pillows, pillow shams, blankets

forever and ever LEGGINGS copy

forever and ever leggings

forever and ever BEACH TOWEL copy

beach towels, hand & bath towels

forever and ever MUG copy

mugs, travel mugs

forever and ever CANVAS copy

simple canvas, metal wall art

read DAVID’S thoughts on this KS FRIDAY

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kerrianddavid.com

society 6 info jpeg copy

I WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER AND EVER from AND GOODNIGHT ©️ 2005 kerri sherwood

 


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this is us.

and now painting i don’t think i’ve ever binge-watched anything before. not even repeated viewings of my favorite movie my big fat greek wedding or even when harry met sally. ever. (oh wait. one time in minneapolis while waiting for the girl at her apartment, her roommates convinced me to watch a few hours of big bang theory, which i loved. but that was merely a few hours, so i’m not sure it counts as total binge-watching.)

but yesterday? yesterday was different. d and i celebrated our second wedding anniversary, sitting on the raft binging on a show we hadn’t even been aware of till recently. despite its emmy award-winning status, we were mostly unaware of this is us. But then everyone at ukulele band rehearsal was talking about it and we thought, “ok, ok…i guess we should watch an episode and see what they are talking about.” daena offered us her netflix account (or was it her hulu account?) but we ended up just streaming it on nbc.com, which meant we watched commercials over and over and over. these not only gave us time to talk about the show, but also to breathe in-between the segments of show. the punctuation gave us a moment to rest. just like in music. yeah, just like in life.

we started the day on the rocks watching the sun rise over the lake. it was cloudy and windy and the waves were just about splashing us as we sat on a flat rock clutching our thready-breckenridge-plastic-travel-mugs filled with coffee. (coffee tastes better in real mugs, we discussed on the rock. coffee aficionados that we are, we are experts on mugs and double-experts on thready mugs…ones that make us remember moments, places, people, events, simply breathing.)

a fresh pot of coffee later, with rain in the offing, we all four (dogdog and babycat too) got on the raft and started what ended up to be an out-and-out-major-binge of this show. i was reticent ahead of time to think i would get tied into it…a disbeliever of sorts. i knew that the girl and the boy have binge-watched shows of choice and, yet, didn’t think i could sit and watch for that long.

but as the day wore on and the snacks on the raft changed, my husband’s hand firmly in mine – all day – i began to see that this was indeed a show that drew me in. excellent writing, good acting, lighting that spoke to me, a music score that resonated….it all drew me in. well done. very well done.

we talked about the show as we watched, particularly after episodes as we pondered the next snack on this celebratory day, a day we had put aside to do whatever-we-wanted. the real-life-ness of it was painful sometimes. we could relate. we couldn’t relate. mostly, we could feel it. the sign of a good show.

somewhere in there i looked at d and said, “life is just messy all over, isn’t it?” nothing is neat or tidy or figured-out. nothing is really as it looks. nothing is easy. it’s all complex and layered and muddy and…stunningly beautiful.

a few nights before this anniversary we gathered at dear friends’ house with other friends. we drank wine, toasting our anniversary and john and michele’s as well. we had appetizers, looked at flowers in the garden, took pictures in golden sunsetting light on the lake rocks. we filled ourselves with dinner and conversation and laughter and, yes, dark chocolate. d and i spent a lot of yesterday reliving the days before our wedding, when our children and our families and friends came together to help us marry…in a church community we treasure, in an old beach house where we all danced and gathered for the food truck and wore glow necklaces around a bonfire. we marveled at the relationships with all of these amazing people. we marvel today at the same.

late last night we read our service together. we listened to the music we chose for the service…and we remembered. we honored that day. the song d walked down the aisle to – and now – made us have tears and gabriel’s oboe – what i walked down the aisle to – made us weep openly. 11:11 – the time of our wedding – is a sacred time for us. we notice it as often as possible. yesterday was one of those days.

david painted me a painting as a wedding gift. it hangs in my studio. it is called and now, same as the song i wrote him.  we are joined by hands in this stunning-heart-painting, our bodies touching, reaching forward toward the future. and now close-upeach moment in that time stretching forward will not be without stress, without things that are difficult or painful. but each moment THIS will be us. getting there – together.

this is us appeals to us. not just because it is truly a riveting show. but because this is us reminds us that THIS is us. THIS is life. THIS messy, complicated, incredibly blissful, excruciatingly painful life….IS us.

and now – on itunes

 


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don’t get losted.

img_2688he said it to me every time i left the house or hung up the phone…”don’t get losted, brat.” i smile every time i think of this and i talk to him. i know he can hear me. i’m not sure if he is saying anything back, but i’m sure he’s there. my poppo taught me so much…i find myself quoting him often, using the knowledge that he somehow conveyed to me, even when i didn’t know that i was absorbing it (ie:  listening.)   he was a real rube goldberg kind of fixer….he could fix anything. i find myself trying to follow his lead. every time i fix something or devise some sort of daddy-o kind of method i say, “my daddy would be proud!” he’d be 96 today. he would be an awesome 96. and i wish that he and david could hang out together, because david would have loved him. no doubt.

momma-daddy-and-metoday is also my mom and dad’s anniversary. (momma married daddy on his birthday “so he wouldn’t forget”.) they would have been married 73 years today. “wow-ee,” she would have said. i celebrate their love, their joy with each other, their tenacity, their patience, their steadfastness, their being-my-parents.

last week was our anniversary. the first. kind of odd when you consider our ages. it’s been a fast year. it’s been forever since that day. what is it about Time?

with early morning steaming mugs of strong coffee, we walked to the rocks to watch the sunrise over the lake. there is nothing like a sunrise to make you feel alive in the morning. we had wanted to watch it the day of our wedding, but we were both exhausted from five days of great fun with family and friends who had gathered around us and we missed it in lieu of warm blankets and a few more minutes sleep.

sitting there, we decided that we wanted to catch the sunrise every anniversary from now on…to welcome in a new year of adventures, a new year striated with sun and clouds and blue sky and grey days, warm air and freezing toes…new years to come and past years to celebrate.photo-3

later that anniversary morning, we sat on the deck and read our wedding aloud to each other. the readings, the poems, our roadtrip email entries, our vows. we are both, as it turns out, pretty ritualistic so this was powerful stuff. if you ever want to really remember why you got married, i’d recommend doing this. there is nothing like threading together.

this morning we talked over coffee. we talked about the last few years and the stuff of them. the ups and downs that we rode together, the joys and sorrows we felt together, the easy stuff and the hard stuff. we celebrated dogdog and babycat laying on the bed together with us. we talked about our anniversary. about what is actually important to us in this world. and what’s not.  and today….about my momma and my daddy.

and about one sure thing…that we both know…

together…hanging on tight…just like momma and poppo…we won’t get losted.

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and now

i was surprised the first time i walked into the bathroom and my toothbrush already had toothpaste on it. it was one of those moments – you know, the kind where you get a little mushy (who, me?) and think “wow, that was so sweet of him!” it’s just a little thing, but in the overall scheme of life, it’s those little things that really matter. the big stuff will always pop up, lurk, threaten to overwhelm us, but the little things comfort us, reassure us, heal us.

the girl was home for just a bit. i was sooo excited to see her. i thought of huge things we could (maybe) do, places we could (maybe) go, even though i knew that there really wasn’t even time; she had commitments that would make any of those things impossible. still, a mom can dream. instead, it was the moments at the kitchen table laughing and doing a crossword puzzle that really counted. it was the girl holding on to the pen we were using, refusing to relinquish it to me, filling in all the boxes and just being herself -the amazing daughter i recognize- fiercely independent (see previous post) – that made my heart so filled, so grateful.

my big sister sat on the bed with me and we talked about the big day ahead of us. i was tired and she gently told me to put my head on her shoulder and rest. i can’t remember a sweeter moment i have spent with her in recent days. no shopping spree, mutual pedicure appointment, shared meal, anything, could have been better. i am, still, so grateful for that moment.

the hot chics (aka chics caliente) shared the reading aloud of ‘the blessing of the hands’. they have been there with me for three decades. three decades of time spans many changes, much turmoil, much bliss. in this reading aloud moment, the tears fell freely and the hugs were full of new life, new hope.

these are the miracles of life. the times we need for the rest of the times. it is a miracle sometimes that we even notice the miracles. we stand in grace all the time and don’t see it for the warbled un-grace we grant ourselves.

i stood in the balcony and looked down at the church (which right now, thanks to frank, is stunningly beautiful in its white-light holiday splendor) and remembered a day not too long ago. it hasn’t even been two months since i walked down that aisle into the future. i remember looking around at all the people there to witness these moments and then looking ahead to the man at the end of the aisle. the one who puts toothpaste on my toothbrush. the one who is infinitely tender, who loves to hold hands, who chooses to slow dance in the front yard in the middle of raking, who brings coffee to my pillowside, who reads aloud with me, who chops dinner ingredients alongside me, who makes me madder than anyone i’ve ever met, who makes me weep when i catch his eye, who is “my favorite pain in the ass” (a little sign we bought on our honeymoon). when i wrote this song i didn’t realize he would walk with it down the aisle into us. a miracle of life.

you wonder what the universe has in store for you. you think that you know. you think you have it covered. you think you have control of it, of timing. and when it isn’t playing out how you think, you rail against it, wondering why it isn’t working the way you thought/wanted/worked for. but the universe seems to have a way of connecting the dots, allowing these tiny little miracles to happen, forming the big picture…making the grace bubble around you bigger and bigger and bigger.

until now. when i realize that maybe all the things that happened before -the joys, the pains, the mistakes, the accomplishments, the huge things, the littlest things – add up to now. one of my beloved nieces sent me something on our wedding day. it read, “sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” wow. true. my other beloved niece sends me unicorns and rainbows and bubbles and reminds me all the time of the magic all around us at every moment. those miracles. showing up again.

just turn around and look. ahead.

and-now is showing up.

and now~a wedding song : on iTunes

 holiday CD sale on www.kerrisherwood.com

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