Listen To You’re The Wind [A New Song on Not-So-Flawed Wednesday]

In our house we mark significant and auspicious dates (actually, we think all days are auspicious). Today is one of those. I never knew Kerri’s father. Her mother, Beaky, had a profound impact on my life during the 18 months that I knew her. Beaky and I united in two common causes: 1) To convince Kerri that her naturally curly hair was beautiful and to stop blowing her curls away, and 2) To convince Kerri to share with the world her music, those incredible unrecorded pieces – some of her best work – that live only in a notebook by the piano. Today is an auspicious day! It would have been Beaky and Pa’s 75 anniversary. It is also the day that Beaky gets one of her wishes  (hint: Kerri’s hair is still straight so…more work to do).

 

 

mom and dad youre the wind copy

read Kerri’s blog post about YOU’RE THE WIND

 

 

cropped head kiss website copy

 

you’re the wind ©️ 2005 kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

See Your Angels

angelsallaroundyou-jpeg

Products with this and other images available at society6.com

One of my favorite rituals is the reading-of-the-calendar on the last day of the year. It is no ordinary peruse through an ordinary calendar. Kerri, every day, writes in her calendar the events, the important calls, the amazing sightings, the simple and the profound moments. The day we first spotted the owl, the ice circles in the harbor, the generosity of the clerk at the store; they find a spot in the calendar. The tough stuff is in there, too. It is a habit she picked up from her mother. Calendar-as-diary. With a hot cup of coffee and nothing but time, we read through and talk about the days of our life.

It is probably not surprising that our most common exclamation is, “I’d forgotten about that!” I’m always amazed at how many of the years happenings are lost in the stream of time. The review not only helps me remember but also refreshes my appreciation for all that we navigated, discovered, survived and created in a mere 365 days.

At our gathering that night I laughed when Mary Kay told us that she dislikes New Year’s Eve because it always makes her feel as if she hasn’t done enough. I recognized Mary Kay’s disdain because earlier in the day I’d levied the same judgment against myself. The ritual reading of the calendar put my self-judgment to rest. After reviewing all that we’d done in a year, Kerri looked at me (tired of hearing my endless self-criticism) and asked, “Now, doesn’t that give you a greater respect for what we’ve done?” Yes. It did.

Although we didn’t say it this way, we told Mary Kay and Russ, Linda and Jim, John and Michele that they had made it into the calendar. This year was tough for us and when I was ill, when things were going badly, they brought us food, they offered to carry some of our load, they showed up to shovel our walks. So, rather than thinking of the year as bad, in our ritual we read about year of generosities extended to us.

Mary Kay said, “But that was nothing.” Kerri responded, “That was everything! It changed our world.” We were reminded in our ritual that the world is changed for the better everyday, not by the grand gesture, but by the small things, the passing kindnesses. From the point of view of the doer, they are often too tiny to remember. From the standpoint of the receiver, they are monumental. Opening a door can change someone’s day. And who knows how far a kindness-ripple will travel?

From the archive: 'Angels At The Well.'

From the archive: ‘Angels At The Well.’ This painting is available at zatista.com

Fun products featuring details of my artwork are available at society6.com.

 

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What Happened?

787. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today was too beautiful to stay inside. My pals kidnapped me and took me to the beach. We ate chicken salad, looked at the waves roll in and talked of things past. We talked of changes in our lives, particularly the changes in the narrative we tell ourselves. The story of my life in 2013 is drastically different than the story I told in 2003 or in 1993. I have changed and the story I tell about myself has changed with me.

Personal change happens when we change our story, when we change our relationship to the story we claim as our past. Growth is not possible when we hold onto the story as we’ve always named it. Growth happens when we can open our hand and let go of the story that says, “can’t…” or “will never be….” Growth happens when we suspend the judgment and see the choices and opportunities.

Once I metaphorically lit a backfire so I might survive the forest fire that was roaring toward me. At the time I thought my actions were cowardice. Now I see them as wise. I survived.

Once I stood alone and without friends in a new city called Seattle. I had no job and no reason to move there. It was a pretty day in September so I decided to stay. “This is where I am so why not here?” I thought. At the time it seemed so arbitrary and without consideration. Now I see it as destined. It was the right choice at the time. Now I tell myself, “I was supposed to live in this city.”

Memory is a construct. It is a story that changes in the re-membering. It is not fixed in time. It is not truth. It can be contradictory. What once seemed so difficult, so painful, is now a story of potent learning. What once seemed so important is now insignificant. The smallest gesture can leave the greatest mark. The sequence of events is malleable. Memory is untrustworthy. It is unreliable. Memory is fickle. We create our past again and again and again.

We create ourselves again and again and again.

What if the story you tell yourself is neither true nor false? What if it is simply a story with multiple interpretations and you get to choose which version you claim? What would it take for you to open your hand and let go of the old story? What would it take to tell the story of thriving and fulfillment? As Megan recently reminded me, “What would your story be if you assumed the entire universe was conspiring for your good?