Be A Neighbor [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

snow angels copy

We were in the basement putting away Christmas stuff when John cleared our driveway and sidewalk with his snowblower. We didn’t hear it or I’d have run outside to give him a big bear hug. I discovered his generosity when I pulled on my boots, grabbed my shovel and stepped outside to find a job well done. Coming back in the house Kerri said in jest, “That was quick.” Pretending to be a snow-shoveling-superhero, I said, “Take a look if you doubt my capabilities!”

She immediately doubted my superhero capabilities because she knew the real superhero was John. Like me, she was overwhelmed with his kindness.

If you could order your neighbors on Amazon, you’d be foolish not to pick John and Michele. Seriously, if I could give the world anything it would be the peace of mind that comes  when you have good and caring neighbors. Neighbors who have your back. Neighbors who, without being asked, watch your house when you are away. Neighbors you can call at any moment, at any time of day or night, “help,” and know that they will be happy to be there.  Neighbors who you look forward to hanging out with, who are curious about the world and passionate about what they do.

My parents were good neighbors. They understood and taught me that ‘neighbor’ is not a statement of location. It is active relationship, connective tissue, participation, the most immediate and potent way of making the world a better place. Start where you live.

Later in the afternoon, knowing that John enjoys good beer, we walked to a local micro brewery, debated which beer he’d enjoy the most, bought him a “thank you” crowler and left it on his porch.

Back in our yard, falling backwards into the deep snow, we made snow angels. Laying in our newly minted angels, looking at the clouds, Kerri said, “You know, we’re really lucky.”

True. Very True. We have great neighbors.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about SNOW ANGELS

 

snowheart website box copy

 

Take A Walk In The Snow [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

snow on the lakefront copy

I just wrote a post about global warming and then I cut it. In truth, I spent a about an hour reading and researching and cross-checking things. We’ve been measuring the ocean temperatures everyday for decades. We’ve been recording levels of human carbon emissions into the atmosphere for decades. The data is there. The science is there. The evidence is there. So, too, is the counter-narrative. A Chinese hoax? The Deep State? So much conspiracy! And, really, what does that have to do with a photograph of snow at night? Delete!

The embrace of the counter-narrative fascinates me. The committed belief in what is demonstrably false -led me to read a bit about denial psychology. Here’s the dictionary definition: “a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.”

So, then, I started writing a post about the denial psychology run amok these days in the USA. If you don’t know what I’m writing about then (to borrow a phrase I read today) you are either a Martian or a watcher of Fox news. I cut that post, too. I suspect you are as sick of the lazy-minded debates, entrenchment and ever-present fearmongering as I am. Even I am bored by what I wrote. Nothing new! Nothing new! And, what does that have to do with a photograph of snow? Delete!

It is not uncommon for Kerri and I to take late night walks in the snow. Especially, when it is actually snowing. There is peace. There is quiet. We hold hands and listen to the sound of our feet crunching the new snow, the whisper of wind through the trees. Peace. Quiet. Listening.

We haven’t had one of our late night walks lately. There hasn’t been any snow. A dusting here and there but that hardly qualifies. And so, we wait for the return of the snow. The return of the listening, the quiet, and perhaps, too, the return of the peace.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about SNOW ON THE LAKEFRONT

 

snowheart website box copy

 

snow on the lakefront ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood

Wait Here [on KS Friday]

waiting song box copy

Last night when we came out of rehearsal it was snowing, just barely. There is something immediately meditative about a gentle snowfall. We stopped and stood for a moment watching the flakes flutter like tiny feathers to the ground.

Sometimes snow stops time. Or, better, it interrupts the rush through life and drops us into time. It drops us into the present moment. No other place to be.  Nothing more important to do.

Kerri’s WAITING has the same power as a gentle snowfall. It calms the rush and quiets the noise. It opens the door into this moment, the present moment, and asks nothing more from you than be witness to the stillness, the silent emergence of those tiny flakes traveling through infinite space to the place on earth where, at just the right moment, you happen to be standing. Just in time.

 

WAITING on the album JOY – A CHRISTMAS ALBUM is available on iTunes & CDBaby

 

 

 

 

read Kerri’s blog post about WAITING

 

bong trail, wisconsin website box copy

 

waiting/joy-a christmas album ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood

ks designs/products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Shovel Snow And Survive

...and that's only half of it;-)

…and that’s only half of it;-)

We have a freakishly long driveway or so it seems to me every time it snows. During the summer months I never think about the length of the driveway. In fact, when it is not snow covered, I appreciate its ability to accommodate several cars. Valet services everywhere might lust after our snow-free driveway. Our neighbors routinely mistake our driveway for the approach to a country club.

Last night Skip took the train up from Chicago. It was his first visit to our house. His first question to me upon seeing the house was, “Are you the snow blower?” He immediately recognized the freakish length of the driveway due to the massive piles of snow that currently define it. Skip also knows I have an excessive amount of hot air (so I am capable of literally blowing snow when on a good rant) that interrupts any sense that I might actually possess. Point-in-fact, we have a snow blower that sits comfortably in the garage. It requires a goodly amount of maintenance or perhaps a single bullet to the engine. I’ve considered mounting it on a pedestal for my yard maintenance sculpture series. Had I confessed possession of a snow blower Skip would certainly have asked, “Does it blow snow?” What an absurd question! Of course not!

There’s something in me that likes a challenge. Last night it snowed and I couldn’t wait to step into my big Wisconsin boots, grab my new green shovel (I broke the old orange shovel in the last heavy snow), and get to it! Kerri shook her head and reminded me that people “my age” routinely expire from excessive snow shoveling and, since we have a freakishly long driveway, there is excessive snow to shovel. She made it sound like my demise was not only possible but imminent. She said it was simple logic: if A) excessive snow shoveling causes early dirt napping and B) there is excessive snow to shovel, then, C) my shoveling excessive amounts of snow excessively would likely lead to early dirt napping.

I reminded her that we are both artists and logic rarely interferes with our decision-making. “Then take your time,” she admonished. “Go slow.” Ah! In the rebuke of logic, a little bit of Zen is always welcome. I shoveled snow slowly and survived. I paused often to breathe-in the cold and listen to the wind.