Scatter News [on DR Thursday]

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I’m reading a book by Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Than Words. If you google him you will read that he is “hailed as the philosopher poet of the environmental movement.”  He is also described as a “radical environmentalist.” He is thoughtful. He is well researched. He asks very big questions. Agree or disagree, he has strong, clear opinions and reasoned beliefs. Step back from his environmentalism and you will find that he speaks directly into the layers of shadow and denial that wrap our national narrative. He isn’t afraid to call a lie a lie. I suspect he is considered radical not because of his beliefs but because of his insistence on bringing into the open what the national narrative would rather keep hidden.

Lately, this word, radical, has become curious to me. Like so many of my friends, I have felt our community is the rope in an angry tug-of-war. We plug into news sources tailored to our political leanings that seem dedicated to reinforcing our divisions.  Dedicated to keeping us angry. And, we know it. And we eat it up. We tear ourselves apart, define ourselves too narrowly, and that is not understood as radical.

For example, we do not consider it radical that there have been 22 school shootings this year alone (at this writing). We do not see our utter inability and/or unwillingness to address it as radical. That more American school children have died of gunfire this year than soldiers in combat is astounding. Or should be.

What should be radical is now the new normal.

A few decades ago, Neil Postman wrote that we were in danger of amusing ourselves to death, that we were going down a path that would render us incapable of discerning between what has gravity and what is concocted. More to the point, we would invert the two, investing in the dross at the expense of the substance. It seems that we have arrived at the doorstep of his prediction.

Our acceptance of the radical is radical.  And what is the cost?

This is the meditation behind Earth Interrupted VI: News. Worthy. and this week’s morsel, Scattered News.

 

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scattered news design & products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

earth interrupted vi: news.worthy. ©️ 2018 david robinson

From A Distance [DR Thursday]

The first photograph of our planet Earth was taken by the crew of  Apollo 17 in 1972. The Blue Marble. Living. Vibrant. Moving. Alive. Fragile. Uncontrollable. Spiritual. Our home. Sometimes I think that the plethora of seemingly insurmountable issues that plague our discourse (our lives), divide our nations, and choke our news feeds are only possible because this photograph is forgotten. Or denied. We are the first humans in the history of humans to (literally) have this global perspective which makes us the first humans in the history of humans to ignore what we know. It’s all connected. We are all connected. It’s impossible to see from the ground but oh, so easy to see from space.

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Roger once told me that, in his opinion, denial was perhaps the single most powerful force driving the human condition. Today I’d make an argument for hubris. Or, perhaps one needs to be fully steeped in denial to be so full of hubris. The very notion that we story ourselves as stewards of Earth seems misguided, arrogant – especially given our capacity to step out into space and look back at our home, our selves.  As P-Tom recently said, nowadays we measure the trash field in the ocean in units of countries (3 Frances). Stewards would, I hope, do a better job. More humble stewards might at least recognize what is apparent in the photograph: it’s all connected. We participate, we do not own.

This week marks the 48th Earth Day and what I find remarkable is the first Earth Day was celebrated a full two years before the first photograph of Earth.  I find that oddly hopeful. Perhaps we don’t need a global perspective to entertain the notion that our actions have impact.

from a distance FRAMED PRINT copyIt’s funny. I’ve coached many, many people – all searching for meaning and the desire to know that their lives and actions matter. They fear that they lack impact.  The advice I never gave (a good coach does not advise): leave the city lights so you might see the stars. Recognize what you are seeing. Recognize how small you are and how glorious it is merely to be alive. Instead of trying to distinguish your self above all others, maybe take a look at the Blue Marble and realize just how connected you already are. You are immediate, impermanent. Perhaps in that recognition you will also realize your meaning.

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FROM A DISTANCE reminder/merchandise:

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kerri’s design from my painting

from a distance MUG copy

kerri designs all of our studio melange products!

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read kerri’s blog blog post about FROM A DISTANCE

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earth interrupted V: from a distance ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Embrace Your Obstacles [It’s Two Artists Tuesday]

A Tuesday thought-spark from studio melange.

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obstacles are merely challenges by another name

“Simple” was the single guide-star we followed when we started our Two Artists designs. “They should be very, very simple,” we chanted. With the wall of our dining room a vast fluttering field of post-it note phrases, we jumped in, quickly creating images that might illuminate the phrases. I’m a spontaneous-gesture-drawing guy. Kerri’s designs are swift and potent with color. In simplicity we created an obstacle for ourselves. We created a challenge.

Obstacle/challenge creation is what people do!  People create obstacles all the time and call them “hobbies.” We humans routinely fabricate wings and run at edges, we aim to solve unsolvable problems and create the unimaginable. Eliminate obstacles and there is no story. Eliminate obstacles and cloudy boredom descends. The absence of obstacles is what makes retirement so daunting for so many. The carefree life is only carefree with a select set of obstacles, a good garden or golf game.

From studio melange on Two Artists Tuesday, we wish for you a healthy selection of happy obstacles.

 

 

OBSTACLES MAKE LIFE INTERESTING reminders/merchandise

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read Kerri’s blog post about OBSTACLES

 

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obstacles make life interesting ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Two Artists Tuesday

your thought for Tuesday from studio melange

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There are a few consistent thought-practices that cut across most spiritual traditions. ‘Just Shrug’ is our version of one of those universal practices. In some traditions Just Shrug it is called ‘detachment.’ Or, spun another way, it is known as ‘take nothing personally.’ Lilies of the field. Centering, grounding, presence, stepping back, quieting the mind,…, are variations on the theme. Practice not taking the bait of the crisis-of-the-moment. “There are 7 billion people on the planet,” Quinn used to quip, “and none of them are thinking about you.” Just shrug.

I laughed aloud when Kerri dashed off this Two Artists graphic because it looks like an operator’s manual illustration for detachment. The little arrows are diagram-perfect instruction for how to begin the practice. Just shrug.

JUST SHRUG reminder/merchandise [mugs and cards and pillows, oh my!]

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read kerri’s thoughts about Just Shrug

 

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just shrug ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

DR Thursday

a slice of heaven for your DR Thursday melange

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This weeks morsel: A Slice Of Heaven

Hans the realtor led me through the house, through small narrow channels that cut a path through the collected debris. Years of old newspapers were bundled and stacked high. In one room, thousands of text books were piled to the ceiling. “You will have to use your imagination to see the space,” Hans said. Windows closed, curtained against the light, I had a hard time breathing as we squeezed our way through the makeshift passageways.

Finally, emerging from the suffocating rooms, we stood on the front lawn. I gasped, “How can anyone live like that?”  Hans the realtor, unruffled by our stroll through the hoarder’s house, said, “Everyone has their heaven. This is what their heaven looks like.”

It was a lesson in suspending judgment. Hans the realtor had seen many houses and had glimpses into many lives. Each unique. Some recognizable. Some not. He knew that all we ever get is a glimpse into the world of another person, the smallest keyhole view into their life, and an even smaller peak into their heaven. And, a peak is never the whole picture.

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A Slice Of Heaven comes from this original painting titled, They Draw Sunsets In The Sand, 35.5 x 47.5 IN

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A SLICE OF HEAVEN merchandise [gift cards, wall art, apparel, and more…]

a slice of heaven FRAMED PRINT copy

This weeks morsel: A Slice Of Heaven

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gift cards

a slice of heaven BLUE copy

a “just words” framed wall art

a slice of heaven METAL TRAVEL MUG copy   a slice of heaven SQUARE PILLOW copy

 

read Kerri’s thoughts on A Slice Of Heaven

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a slice of heaven/they draw sunsets in the sand ©️ 2018, 2017 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

a bit of humor on this hump day from studio melange

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I only need look at my prom pictures from the 1970’s to be reminded that what is “in” today will shock my eyes tomorrow. Apparently cranberry tuxedos and large lapels are not timeless. Who knew?!!!

My life in the theatre has prejudiced me to see all clothing as costume. Perhaps that helped along my current drop between the cracks of style. My closet is now filled with black t-shirts and jeans. I have a few black thermal shirts for variance. My move to black was not conscious. One day I realized that I’d simplified. I like to think of it this way: packing is a breeze. And, best of all, a future me will never look at a photograph, gasp and say, “What the heck was I thinking?”

TURTLENECKS ARE IN merchandise [cups, gift cards, pillows, wall art,…]

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turtlenecks FRAMED PRINT copy

turtlenecks clock copy   turtlenecks iPHONE CASE copy

turtlenecks COFFEE MUG copy

 

read Kerri’s thoughts on this Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

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kerrianddavid.com

 

don’t you know that turtlenecks are in? ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

Your daily dose of chuckles from the melange on this hump day.

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I have a symbolic suggestion or perhaps a suggestion on symbols. I think we ought to drop the donkey of the Democrats and the elephant of the Republicans and replace both with a single, more hopeful and less arbitrary symbol: the pushmi-pullyu. One animal, two opposing points of view.

More and more I feel as Doctor Dolittle must have felt. I understand less and less of the contentious conversation playing over the human airwaves. It seems like so much bad theatre. Antagonism for the sake of antagonism. It makes for good ratings, I suppose. It is so much noise!

A good talk with the animals is certain to be more fulfilling. A turn toward nature is always good for clearing the head of made-up-thought-clutter and punching through the madness. Maybe a better symbol, the pushmi-pullyu, would remind the makers-of-law (and the rest of us) that they/we share a single heart, that sometimes it is necessary to be the side to walk backwards if progress is going to be made – and that requires some serious collaboration. I push, you pull. I pull, you push. In either case, collaboration or contention, the reality, regardless of symbol, is that we end up together in the same place.

 

EYE TO EYE merchandise///I TO I merchandise

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[don’t be confused! we had so much fun with this one that Kerri created two different product lines. poke around on society6 and you will find both]

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check one i to i RECT PILLOW copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye square pillow copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye FRAMED PRINT copy

i to i FRAMED PRINT copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye mug copy

read Kerri’s thought’s on this Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

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kerrianddavid.com

 

why is it that we never see eye to eye on anything ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood