Make Time For Clouds [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

maketimeforclouds WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

It seems almost too obvious: in clouds possibilities can be found. Castles take shape, cartoon characters roll into horses racing, dragons and dinosaurs. Loved ones whisper. Memories shimmer. Imagination beckons, intuition taps at the door. Ideas take shape.

Some might say that making time for clouds is a waste of time. Most likely those are people blind to the necessity of clouds. They are caught in a steely net, believing they have to make all the trains run on time. They believe wholeheartedly that they don’t have enough time to get it all done. Don’t tell them, but time is not concerned with train schedules or daily achievements. Time passes with no investment in our loss or gain. Time requires no management, middle, upper, or otherwise. Time is made of soft stuff, fluffy and relational, modifying according to the needs of its audience.

Time given to clouds makes Chicken wax poetic. It refreshes him. It quiets him. It reminds him that he, too, is as temporary as a cloud, ever moving, shape shifting through his passage, tickled when someone makes time to notice all the possibilities he inspires.

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copy

 

read Kerri’s blog post about MAKING TIME FOR CLOUDS

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

make time for clouds ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Focus On The Important Stuff

an offer from TwoArtistMakingStuffForHumans

an offer from TwoArtistMakingStuffForHumans

A note from the temporary site of TwoArtistsMakingStuffForHumans:

The waxing moon was muted with fog. It made the air shimmer. Avalon was near. Although it seemed too soon, there was a hint of autumn in the air. We sat next to a chiminea talking to friends. Monica told us of her daughter working in villages in South America. She told Monica that, by our standards, the people there have nothing. They are possession poor. But, they were happy, genuinely happy. They didn’t have much money or stuff but they had the essential thing that many of us lack: peace of mind. They focus on different, more important stuff.

It brought to mind my experiences in Bali. When I arrived all I could see was the poverty. By the time I left several weeks later, I’d have given everything I own or will ever own to have what they have: presence. Ease of mind. They weren’t looking for fulfillment, status, or living for retirement. They were living. Life was fulfillment. In a world where all things are sacred, status is gained by the quality of your giving and not by the size of your piece of the limited pie. It is a different focus.

There is a hidden cost to what dominates our focus, the things that take our attention…as opposed to the things we pay attention to.

As artists, both Kerri and I believe the work of our lives has been, one way or another, to help people focus on the important stuff, to see the extraordinary in the ordinary moment, to find inside what people seek outside. We’ve both worked across the boundaries of business, art, and the fine art of living everyday, there is no lack of necessity to refocus the eye, mind, and heart.

In a few weeks we will be launching our business (details to follow). All the many aspects of our work – if you can call art a product and performing a service – are intended to support, exercise and pay forward a focus on the important stuff, the important moments…sometimes the teeniest things that in the chaos pass unnoticed.

We want to do for others what we do for each other. Check out our pre-launch coaching offer. Take us up on it! Or, if you know someone who might benefit from working with us, pass it on, pay it forward.

Embrace The Bump

photoArt stores are dangerous places. We entered the store with a short list: vine charcoal and titanium white paint. We left with a suspiciously large bag – Kerri found the pen and pencil aisle and got “that look” in her eyes. I found her sitting amidst a vast circle of pen possibilities making marks on a pad of paper. “Ooooooooooo,” she cooed, feeling the latest pen for weight and suitability for her hand. “I looooooove this one,” she said to herself. Her pile of “I love this one” selections was formidable. Art stores are like opium dens.

20 (aka John) was with us. He regularly incites us to riot and misbehavior. He was little help extracting Kerri from her pen-nest. 20 impacts us like a snout-full of laughing gas. He has a way of making the darkest day bright. 20 is, in fact, a bringer of light; he has developed this capacity because, like all bringers of light, he knows well the other side. One day in early summer, we sat on the deck drinking coffee and made our belly buttons talk, giving voice to the things we think but cannot say in polite society. We laughed so hard that I had to run inside the house; I couldn’t breathe. Twenty’s belly button had a lot to say.

After escaping the art store, Kerri hefted her bag of supplies to the car while 20 and I waited on the corner. That’s when we saw the sign. It was something Sartre might have provided had he been a traffic engineer. It was existential. 20 and I jumped at the chance to make a selfie with the sign-philosophical. It simply read, BUMP.

photo-1As we snapped our selfies, laughing all the way, I couldn’t help but recognize that life – a good life – is riddled with bumps. In my consulting days I used to work with people to embrace the bumps rather than try to remove them. There is a pervasive notion that smooth sailing makes a good life. A bump-free life is a recipe for disaster. All of life’s lessons are found within the bumps. A life without bumps is a life without challenges is a life that is boring. And, in truth, people create bumps if they don’t already exist. They’re called a hobby or gossip or a complaint or drama. In story language, bumps (called ‘conflict’) drive the story; without bumps there is no movement. Yearning is a bump. So is desire. Unrequited love is a bump. Loss is a bump. Wondering what is beyond the horizon is a great bump.

20 is a great teacher of how to address bumps: Laugh. Make a selfie. Alter the word to something even more outrageously appropriate. Look for the next opportunity. Let your belly button talk.

photo-2

Step Through Life

TODAY’S FEATURED PRINT FOR HUMANS

step thru life

FOR TODAY’S FEATURED PRINT FOR HUMANS, GO HERE.

Make No Sense

Untiltled Narrative by David Robinson

Untiltled Narrative by David Robinson

The cliché: life is a cycle. Order begets chaos and chaos begets order. Both are necessary. Just as spring is not possible without winter, order without chaos makes for only half a life. Safety without uncertainty makes for only half a life and a very boring life story.

Ann passed away last night. Her battle with cancer was long and nothing short of heroic. Kerri said, “She was such a bright light! Damn cancer. This makes no sense.” Too true.

Last night, John came back into our lives. We sat for hours talking of the events and changes of the lost years. He told us of the necessity to finally stop trying “to make things work” and how he stepped into the discomfort of uncertainty. Now, standing solidly in his uncertainty, he feels both lost and found. That is a great description of how change feels. We got the news of Ann’s death while John was visiting. We had a glass of wine and made a toast to her life. And then we made a toast to appreciating life in all of its textures. John said, “At the end of the day, all that really matters is a bottle of wine to share with friends.” Too true.

More clichés: rejuvenation necessarily begins in the province of disorder and the unknown. The journey back to self winds through miles and miles of uncharted territory.

Each journey is made beautiful by the monsters and masters we meet along the way. Both are teachers. Both bring gifts and force changes of direction. The Cyclops is as necessary as the sage and both serve new sight and the refocusing of the eye. Both are necessary to strip away our resistance to the cycles, to peel away the protective layers we pile on to life that obscures what truly matters.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.

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Recognize The Gift

Kerri with her mom, Beaky

Kerri with her mom, Beaky

Late night thoughts from the ER.

Earlier in the day Beaky told me that she had no special talents and I protested! She is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever known. She’s a natural. She can’t help herself. Sit with Beaky and you’ll hear some great stories. Beaky is like the rest of us: she doesn’t recognize her greatest gift because she thinks it is ordinary. She overlooks her gift because she thinks everyone can do what she does easily. That is the way with gifts: it is in the ordinary that we ultimately recognize our extraordinary-ness.

Beaky fell and we spent the night with her in the emergency room. As we sat by her bed, waiting for the pain medication to kick in, she said, “Did I ever tell you about the time…?” We heard stories about stags leaping over the car and the late-in-life marriage of her brother.

Another gift, related to her gift of story or, perhaps, an extension of her story-gift: people smile when they hang out with Beaky, even under extreme circumstances. For instance, writhing in pain, she looked into the eyes of a nurse and said, “I wish I had some of what you have! You have such a lovely smile.” And a new story begins; the nurse moved into the hall to tell the night staff about the kind woman in room 28.

After a sleepless night, Kerri and I sat in the hospital café and talked about the lessons of life, the lessons in generosity of spirit, the instruction in Grace and the rich stories we are receiving. From this seat, not much else seems important.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.

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Mix Better Color

A painting from another time - and also from as as-yet-unfinished exloration

A painting called ‘Sleepers’  from another time – and also from as as-yet-unfinished exploration

The lake was angry. Because it is the fifth largest lake in the world, it packs a punch when enraged. The local news reported that the waves were 14ft high. The force of the waves smacking the shore hurled huge stones from the wall constructed on the banks to protect the land. Although it is an easy walk from our house, the wind was so powerful and cold that we drove the few blocks to see it.

There are days that the lake is glassy smooth and quiet with barely a noticeable ripple. This day the lake was muddy brown and dangerous. Parts of the bank collapsed. A tree close to the shore was consumed. Many years ago I was in a small boat protected by the islands from the force of the ocean’s wrath; for a few moments we had to round a point, exposed to the fury, to get into a bay. The captain pointed the boat directly into waves that towered over us. I’ve rarely felt like such a bug on the arm of an angry world. Had it decided to, the ocean would have smashed us with little or no notice. The lake was like that this day. I was grateful to be on shore. Sometimes awe for the power of nature requires a respectful distance.

Sometimes appreciating the fullness of life also requires a respectful distance. I recently took Bill and Linda down stairs into my current studio. They are elders and I have enormous respect for them. They’d asked to see my paintings. We spent several moments looking at my current work and then began stepping backwards in time. My paintings ring like songs from the past; each represents a specific era of my life and is capable of sparking intense remembering. It was fun to pull pieces for them, answer questions (or not answer them), and to open the doors of time. Like the lake, the doors were varied and unpredictable: some of the doors flooded me with peace, other doors overwhelmed me with grief, and still others brought intense joy. I loved it all because with time, with distance, life ceases to be about good times and bad times, hard times or ease, it’s all one long rich varied walk, all necessary and useful like color on a palette. Some of it goes to mud and that is the only way to learn to mix better color. Just as every forest fire causes renewal and every storm heaves stones and creates a new shoreline, sometimes distance and respect for this powerful messy life reveals the face of continual renewal and necessitates vast, quiet awe.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.