Sing It Into Existence [on Two Artists Tuesday]

Lately I am awake for the sunrise. I know it is coming because, very slowly, the birds begin to sing. At first there is one voice, then a few more and then more. By the time the light through the window glows soft purple and gray, the full bird chorus is in session. They sing the sun into rising.

Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, these lawn-art-birds would come to represent to me threshold guardians. Harbingers of the test that my move to Wisconsin would bring. In story terms, threshold guardians are not friendly; they serve as the test of readiness: are you willing and able to greet the challenges that come with change. Or will you run away? Sometimes they are monsters. Sometimes they require the answer to a riddle or solving a puzzle. The new world will open after the obstacle is met. In facing and overcoming the challenge, the guardians often become allies. In truth, they are allies all along. They help you find your self by testing every idea that you have of your self.

Driving the Budget truck on my move from Seattle, filled with the artifacts of my life, Kerri and I stopped in a little village, Stockholm, just as we crossed the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. We wandered down the street and into a gallery. We were drawn to these simple bird-sculptures. They are the first thing we bought together. They represented our step into relationship. Us. They would stand together in our yard.

My first few years in Kenosha were akin to being lost in the woods. My livelihood disappeared. My networks disappeared. Art opportunities vanished. Many of my friendships faded. Every project I tried to pitch or create stalled, every path I attempted to plow broke the plow. I felt stripped. Of little or no value. Even in arenas where I was once appreciated, I was invisible. I’ve done extraordinary consulting work in organizations but learned in my new life that my experience and observations were not welcome. So, silent as well as invisible.

More than once I went out back and sat with the sculptures. They remained silent when I asked of them my questions. Who am I now that I have no useful purpose? What do I do now? In the absence of an answer, the sculptures and I listened to the birdsong.

Often the test brought by the threshold guardians is one of letting go. You cannot become a butterfly if you insist on remaining a caterpillar. The armor must fall. The known shape must go to mush. The what-the-hell-is-happening-to-me necessarily falls unanswered into the void. What’s happening is not complex: you are changing. The old stuff isn’t working because it is too small for the new shape. Let go.

It is not complex but it is uncomfortable. Dark night is cold when you’ve shed your skin. The sun will rise. The birds will sing it into existence. Warmth will return in the moments beyond the soft purples and greys.

We recently moved the bird sculptures from their spot by the pond to a new home by the fence. I hadn’t realized how invisible they were when standing over the pond. By they fence, they are glorious! They are also a metaphor, standing tall, made more vibrant and dynamic by their incorporated shadows. They are transformed. They are present, standing together in the yard. They are signaling the path to the new world, singing into existence the new day.

read Kerri’s blog post about THE BIRDS

Welcome The New Day [on KS Friday]

Strip the religiosity out of the word ‘Alleluia’ and you’re left with its essence: a sunrise. Pure and simple.

Last year – a decade ago – Kerri needed a song for her cantata. She noodled for a few minutes. There was a phrase. A line of music. The next day she said, “What about this?” She played and sang. Magic. I took out my phone and recorded it. “Someday,” I tell her, “someday we’ll record it in a studio.”

She sings of our broken lives, our shattered hearts. Strip the religiosity from it and her song is about tension seeking resolution. Natural order. Basic physics. Broken lives and shattered hearts seek wholeness. Sunrise. A new day. Pure and simple.

Joy does not have to complicated. No symphonic soundtrack necessary. No fireworks required. Yesterday, after spending a few moments with her son in Chicago, we drove the back roads home. It was dark. Gently snowing. She was heart-warm after having received the single item on her wish list. A few moments. No more. No less. Joy, like the first quiet rays breaking over the horizon, announcing a new day.

Years ago, decades ago, standing in the self-made-wreckage of my life, I sent a change of address card to friends so they’d know where I was. An arrow pointing to the earth. “I’m here,” it read.

We’re here. A new day. Pure and simple. Alleluia.

Kerri’s albums are available on iTunes

read Kerri’s blog post about YOU’RE HERE

you’re here ©️ 2019 kerri sherwood

rest now ©️ 2016 david robinson

Hear The Sun Rise [on KS Friday]

dawn at crab meadow songbox copy

It was a few years into our relationship before Kerri and I had the opportunity to travel  to Long Island to see where she grew up.  We drove by the house and walked her old neighborhood. We saw her high school, the marina and Skippers (best baked clams ever!). And then she took me to her sacred place: Crab Meadow Beach.

It was a cold early spring day so we had the beach to ourselves. She told me stories as we picked up colorful shells and special rocks. After a while we grew silent, walked the shoreline and listened to the surf. I stayed back as Kerri walked out toward the waves. Somewhere I have a photograph of the moment she threw open her arms, threw open her heart and stood in full embrace of her wellspring.

Dawn At Crab Meadow. I can only imagine the dawn that inspired this beautiful piece. Sacred happenings in a hallowed place. Sit for a moment. Close your eyes. Hear the reverence. Feel the sun rise over Crab Meadow Beach.

 

DAWN AT CRAB MEADOW on the album BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL available on iTunes & CDBaby

 

read Kerri’s blog post about DAWN AT CRAB MEADOW

 

HH heart in sand website box copy

 

 

dawn at crab meadow/blueprint for my soul ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

 

 

Step Off The Treadmill [on DR Thursday]

sunrise, sunset copy

The county fair is over. Kids are heading back to school. Parents are taking their all-grown-up children to college. The rituals of summer’s end are all around us.

I was delighted when Kerri chose this morsel for this week’s melange. It comes with good memories. I painted A DAY AT THE BEACH after an afternoon at the beach last year. We were in Plymouth. The day was waning. We wandered. We played word games in the sand (I lost miserably, Kerri gloated loudly), watched children squeal and play in the surf, felt the heat of the day cool as the sun dropped below the horizon, the breeze that comes with sunset. There was no place we needed to be. There was no place we’d rather be.

Isn’t that the gift of summer? An intentional pause. Giving yourself the gift of stepping off the treadmill, forgetting about the list of things-to-do? Sun and the space to play.

Master Miller has been sharing with us photos of his summer fun with his young son, Dawson. A day of surprises at the art museum. Coloring together, surrounded by crayons. Adventures for the sake of adventure. Art making for the sake of art making. Laughter in the discovery, the pure joy of shared experience.

All of this goodness comes to you in one little morsel.  Kerri calls it Sunrise/Sunset.

sunrise sunset products copy

 

ADayAtTheBeach copy 3

A Day At The Beach, mixed media, 38 x 52IN

read Kerri’s blog post about SUNRISE/SUNSET

 

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sunrise-sunset/a day at the beach ©️ 2018/2017 david robinson & kerri sherwood

That Morning Someday [On KS Friday]

A sunrise for your KS Friday from studio melange.

jacketblueprintjpeg copy 2I swear I knew this piece of music years before I met Kerri. I think I knew this piece years before she composed it. It is the soundtrack of a sunrise – and not just any sunrise. The Sunrise. Many years ago, on a California beach, wrapped in a blanket, after a night of revelry and playing in the surf with friends, I walked by myself toward the sunrise. I was utterly filled with peace, completely quiet inside. Content. It was a rare and precious moment and so distinct that it was forever burned into my memory. That morning changed me. I revisit that moment often. I revisit that sunrise when I need a touch of peace.

When I first listened to this track on Kerri’s album, Blueprint For My Soul,  my mouth dropped open. “I know this piece,” I said. “I know it.” She smiled, “It’s possible.”

Yes. Possible. That Morning Someday is like a sunrise. It is about the quiet entrance of vast possibilities. Take a moment on this KS Friday, and give yourself a rare and precious moment. Revisit your sunrise. And remember what peace feels like.

THAT MORNING SOMEDAY from the album BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL (TRACK 11 ) iTunes

THAT MORNING SOMEDAY also available on CDBaby

THAT MORNING SOMEDAY/RIGHT NOW products we designed are sold at society6.com

someday product box bar jpeg copy

read Kerri’s blog post about THAT MORNING SOMEDAY

www.kerrianddavid.com

that morning someday/blueprint for my soul ©️ 1997 kerri sherwood

that morning someday/right now product designs ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood

 

Make It Ordinary

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

A midnight train, an early morning taxi, and a day at the Denver airport. Trains, planes and automobiles followed by a light rail into downtown Seattle and then a ferry to Bainbridge Island. I think in a single 24-hour period I will have only skipped submarine and hot air balloon as viable transportation options, though Judy reminded me that I had not yet traveled by camel. And, the day is not over yet so I knock on wood. These days I can make no assumptions about what the next moment will bring.

The benefit of riding on the rails, in the cab and on the concourse is that I’m very productive in transit. I’m a bit shocked at how focused I can be when rocking across Colorado in the dead of night or in the midst of thousands of noisy airport travelers by day. I finished the first true draft of the book. I caught up on emails (mostly). I untangled a banking knot, I made lists and all the while I watched the amazing dramas that unfold in an airport. I talked with Horatio and Diane and Megan. I had a text fest and toasted k.erle with a great cup of java. Judy played her harp for me just before midnight and it was among my favorite experiences all day.

I’m aware of the varied and glorious textures of this day. The amazing palettes of colors of this life are available if we only choose to see them. I saw the sunrise over the plains. I watched hundreds of small kindnesses and acts of generosity. Many were unknown to the recipient. A man pulled luggage off the train for an elderly couple. A woman quietly helped a young mother herd her children through security, doors were opened for baggage laden travelers, bus drivers waited for tardy riders, a barista left her post to give directions to a lost man and all the people queued for coffee stepped out of line to help.

And think about it – it was just a day like any other day. And, no day will ever be like this one. Little generosities swirl around us. The sunrise will never be the same as it was today; it was not like any other and the same will be true tomorrow. We have the capacity to see. We have the capacity to place our focus wherever we choose. The life we experience is a direct result of what we choose to see, where we choose to stand, how we choose to interpret and what we choose to celebrate. The day can be ordinary or extraordinary and the only difference is what we decide to perceive. Why not make the extraordinary ordinary?