Skip Again And Again [on Two Artists Tuesday]

On this day* nine years ago I exited an airplane, walked down the concourse, a little nervous to finally meet the woman with whom I’d been corresponding – an email every day – for the past 6 months. She’d written the previous evening that “she’d be the one holding a daisy” so I’d recognize her. I laughed since it hadn’t occurred to her that I’d studied her album covers and would recognize her with or without the daisy. She was at a distinct disadvantage since my face was nowhere to be found in the Google-sphere.

I exited the concourse, saw the woman holding the daisy, and knew I was meeting the woman who would someday be my wife. I knew it. I’d seen this moment before…

We stared at each other and laughed: black shirts, blue jeans, and boots. Both. We were dressed like twins. A hug amidst the laughter, we turned, holding hands, and spontaneously skipped out of the airport.

Two years later, after saying, “I do,” we held hands and, without a second thought, skipped out of the church.

Nine years ago, either my life changed or my life finally arrived. Either way, today (like every day in my lucky, lucky life) is a day to celebrate holding hands and skipping.

[We’ve decide this is our new song. You & Me by Eldar Kedem. It’s good for skipping]

*May 14

read Kerri’s blogpost about SKIPPING

Arrive At The Essence [on Two Artists Tuesday]

This past Saturday we passed a milestone. We began writing our Melange on February 12, 2018, four years ago. We’ve published 5 days a week, every week, no matter what chaos or crazy storm blew through our lives.

Our Melange has moved through many phases. Originally, we wanted to regain some control over the publication of our music, paintings, plays, children’s books and cartoons. In our first post I called it our “pile of creative perseverance.” Also, we wanted to make a living from our mountain of work so we set up Society6 storefronts and spent hours each day developing products based on what we published. It was a blast and a total bust.

Eventually, the stores fell off, the daily themes changed, and we arrived at a pure essence: we love to sit together and write. Each day. There’s always a visual prompt, mostly from photos Kerri’s taken during the week. There’s only one rule: we can’t read or know what the other is writing about until we’ve completed our drafts. And then we read to each other, talk about our posts and clean them up. It’s my favorite thing to do. It feeds our hearts, energizes our artistic souls and that is more than enough.

Somedays I feel as if we are writing ourselves into existence. Our Melange is the story we tell each other – and you – of our life together. It’s a continuation of the Roadtrip, the daily emails we wrote to each other before we met. And, if the Roadtrip was a narrative offering of “this is me,” the Melange is a narrative offering of, “this is us.”

We launched the Melange with this Chicken Nugget (below). I wrote, as an introduction in the inaugural post, that this Nugget – and the Melange – was “a quiet reminder that the universe of feelings was – and is – so much bigger than words can possibly contain.” Ironic, yes? Coming from two people who, each and every day, write words as their way of reaching into this vast universe of feelings.

Thank you for reading what we write. We appreciate every step you take with us on our journey.

read Kerri’s blog post about 4 YEARS

chicken marsala © 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

the melange © 2018-22 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Say Her Name [on Two Artists Tuesday]

From the six-month-email-conversation that led to our first meeting, we compiled and edited a play – in the spirit of Love Letters – that we call The Roadtrip. We took the script through a workshop process, read it a few times for invited audiences, produced a soundtrack, approached a few venues…and then left it. Someday, perhaps, we’ll pull it off the shelf, dust it off, and realize it through performance.

Occasionally I open the script and read a section or two. It’s fun to read because it’s not an invention, not a fiction, it’s our actual coming-together story, edited for length and arranged according to themes. I visit my two favorite sections. The first is Kerri’s story of The Little Pillow (a story she must tell) and the second is our exchange the night we realized that we shared the same middle name. It was priceless. I vividly remember where I was the night I read her email-middle-name-confession – and asking if I had a middle name. My jaw dropped. I laughed heartily. And then I carefully crafted a too-long response finally landing on the surprise. Erle and Earl.

The coffee cup that later arrived in the mail, emblazoned with multiples of D.Dot Earl to match her K.Dot Erle twin cup, firmly established our monikers for each other. Over time we’ve condensed our names to K.Dot & D.Dot.

The crew that arrived this week to put in the temporary slab of sidewalk for the chunk we lost during the great-water-main-trenching-day, suggested that we sign our slab. It will come out in the spring when it’s warm enough to pour the real thing. We grabbed a screwdriver and happily scribbled our names in the wet cement.. As I stepped back to admire our scribble, I was struck by the names we scribed. K.Dot + D.Dot. Kerri and David, those two people who wrote to each other so many years ago, are transformed. Rebranded. It feels funny in my mouth to say, “Kerri.” I never do unless talking about her to someone who’s not familiar with the transformation.

We still write everyday only now we’re not 1500 miles apart. And we’ve finally met. And married. We sit together, side-by-side. And when the tap-tap-tapping stops, I say, “K.Dot, will you read what I wrote?”

read Kerri’s blogpost about NAMES

Eat Your Consolation [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

We love roadtrips. We’d rather drive than fly.

The rules-of-life change when on a roadtrip. Special allowances are made, especially at snack time. And, the most important rule change when on a roadtrip: it is always snack time.

In our early years, during our first-ever-roadtrip, I learned that Twizzlers held a special place in Kerri’s roadtrippin’ heart. They go waaay back. They are essential equipment. Competition is involved. I’m more of a peanut M&M guy and had never thought of turning my road-snacks into sporting events. In the road-snack department, I apparently had lots to learn!

I lose the Twizzer competition every time. She has years of practice and I adore how wildly she celebrates my defeat. I’m not saying that I throw the game. I legitimately lose. My losing streak has actually become part of our roadtrip tradition. I don’t mind my no-win-record, my consolation prize is a handful of multi-colored peanut M&M’s.

Life on the roadtrip is good. Very good.

read Kerri’s SMACK-DAB thinking

smack-dab. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com

Laugh At Yourself [on DR Thursday]

Had you come across our website during the era of The Roadtrip, a play that Kerri and I wrote from the several-months-email-conversation we had before we first met face-to-face, you’d have read this phrase: smack-dab in the middle of middle age…a true story of quiet hope and the arrival of life’s second chances.

Smack-dab. In the middle of middle age. We met. We married. We walk the neighborhood arm-in-arm. We write these blog posts each day. She brings her wise-eyes into my studio and I tell her what her music makes me feel and think.

For an intense year or so, we tried-like-crazy to syndicate a cartoon strip called Chicken Marsala, the imaginary child of two people who met smack-dab in the middle of middle age. In the course of writing and drawing Chicken, we also pitched a single-panel cartoon, Flawed, and another called At The Door. Chicken Marsala had several iterations because the syndicate liked it…almost. They asked for improvements though never specified what those improvements might be – in the writing? The art work? In this age of too much information, no answer ever came back to us.

In the face of unspecified and uncertain improvements, this ONE thing is certain: we generated a mountain of material in the hunt for the elusive improvement. Oh, and this, too: we laughed heartily at ourselves. The mountain of material was about us. We were poking fun at the things we do and say each day.

This morning I found Kerri furiously working at her computer guffawing. She’d pulled up the old Chicken file. There was an iteration of the strip that was pre-Chicken, the middle-aged couple prior to the appearance of their imaginary son. We sat this morning and laughed again at ourselves. These things actually happen and how joyful is it to chronicle yourself in-and-as a cartoon?

I suspect we are going back to the drawing board. This time, we’ll not hide behind our imaginary son. This time, we’ll pull the blankets on the source. Smack-dab. In the middle of middle age. Two artists met and got married. What could be a better set-up for ridiculousness?

read Kerri’s blog post introducing SMACK-DAB

*don’t believe a word she writes, she guffaws all of the time.

smack-dab ©️ 2021 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Pat The Hood [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

scion sisu copy

 

{and now the unexpected something i wouldn’ t have expected to add a mere two weeks ago i hope to somehow someday have an actual cuppajava with my road trip companion not just tagging along but whose presence i now cherish and totally counts on this trip} ~ excerpt from THE ROADTRIP [Kerri and my play]

We’ve been on our roadtrip since a surprisingly-long-phone call in December 2012. When I met Kerri in person later in the spring of 2013, she picked me up from the airport in her little-baby-scion. I laughed at her little lunch box car because it suited her perfectly.

Since our ride from the airport we’ve been all over the country in the scion. Back and forth to Florida 9 times to see Beaky. To Colorado again and again. Kerri white-knuckled little baby scion over Independence Pass and we celebrated at experimental drink night in Minturn (we walked back to our hotel…well, we staggered back). We’ve tooled around Boston and Hilton Head and Savannah. We broke down once just outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. DogDog sat on my lap in the tow truck. We’ve outrun a tornado, crept through blizzards, and sat out downpours on the side of the road. We’ve napped in too many rest areas to count (yes, we were those people).

Almost every mile of our road trip together has been in the seats of the little-baby-scion.

4 years ago this week, I married my roadtrip partner. Best Day Ever. We drove from the church to our reception in that little lunchbox car. And then we drove it all the way to Breckenridge for our honeymoon. And all the way home. On this anniversary week at studio melange, it is only right that we pat the hood and say (as we do everyday), “You go, little baby scion!”

 

read Kerri’s blog post about THE ODOMETER

 

reflectioninxb website box copy

Clink [on Two Artists Tuesday]

starbucks copy

Not that Starbucks should be our sponsor but Starbucks should be our sponsor. And every independent roaster across the country, too. A quick stroll through our photo roll will reveal way-too-many shots of our espresso-cup-clinking-toast-pix. When traveling, we send them to 20 to let him know that we are alive and well and attending to our priorities. Coffee rules our world. Coffee is the organizing principle of our day. If you wanted to pry deep-secret-information from us, the best and most effective torture would be to withhold coffee. We’d weep and tell all.

Our play, The Roadtrip, is taken from the 5-month daily email chain that Kerri and I wrote to each other prior to actually meeting. When we invited an audience to hear the  play in order to get feedback before attempting a performance run, one audience member exclaimed, “You talk about coffee a lot!” It’s true. In the play, as in life, we talk about coffee a lot.

For us, coffee is a ritual. For kicks, I just Googled ‘coffee rituals’ and read about the varied and rich traditions that coffee inspires all over the world. Some are new. Some are ancient.

The riches in our life are simple and accessible and never taken for granted. And, that is exactly how we like it. A good day includes a walk holding hands. DogDog and BabyCat antics. A sip or two of wine. Good bold coffee. A moment when we stop and realize how fortunate we really are. And another cup of coffee to clink and celebrate.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about COFFEE

 

coffee hydroflasks website box copy

 

[note: All product placement and logo shots are merely coincidental. Any resemblance to products, actual or imagined, is purely accidental and should not be taken for an outrageous appeal for support. Really. No, Really.]

 

Write Into Life [on KS Friday]

written in your life songbox copy

Kerri and I wrote to each other for nearly six months before we actually met. It was a written conversation that, well,…just happened. Neither of us woke up that day in December of 2012 and thought, “Today I will start a months long conversation with a stranger.”

I’ve read the entire transcript of our correspondence several times. What strikes me most, the reason I believe we wrote day after day, is how real, how vulnerable our words were.  We wrote about the grit and the mess. We wrote about art and love and divorce and loss. We wrote about family. Wine and coffee were consistent themes. The more we wrote the deeper we reached into the everyday and the monumental. One day I realized that I was looking forward to her next installment. I would grow anxious if there wasn’t an email in my inbox by midnight. At the time we called our correspondence The Roadtrip.

Looking back, we quite literally wrote ourselves into a life together. After months of writing I thought I should probably find a way to meet my Roadtripping partner. It was only later, months later, when I read the entire transcript of our Roadtrip, that I realized we’d written a months’ long love letter. I am, after all, a very slow study.

Kerri composed this piece a decade before we met. When I listen to WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE, I like to think she was somehow prescient, that long before she actually began writing to me, she looked into the future and wrote, “Hey! Are you out there?”

 

WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE on the album AS SURE AS THE SUN  available on iTunes & CDBaby

 

read Kerri’s blog post about WRITTEN IN YOUR LIFE

 

halfmoonbay CA website box copy

written in your life/as sure as the sun ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood

Take Stock [on KS Friday]

ks friday primary image BOX copytakestock PRODUCT BAR copy

We just passed an anniversary of sorts. Five years ago, en route to a consulting job, I stopped for a few days to meet a woman. We’d never met, but for the previous five months had exchanged daily emails. It was a surprise correspondence, a deep diving conversation about art and love and divorce and aging and…life. We called our correspondence The Roadtrip.  I thought it was about time to meet my Roadtrip partner. I stepped off the plane, met Kerri, we held hands and skipped out of the airport, drove to her place, sat on the roof and drank wine. And, my entire life changed. I felt as if I’d finally come home.

So, this past week, five years down the road, we’ve been taking stock of all that has happened, all that we’ve experienced together. We are telling each other the story of us. So much extraordinary life in all of its color, bumps, losses, discoveries, illnesses, good coffee, frustrations, delights and small moments of appreciation.

I sit next to H in the choir. He is 92 years young. He inspires me. I told him about the week of taking stock. He nodded. It’s good to look at where you’ve been. It’s the only way to know where you next want to go. I told him that it seems to me that life moves really fast and he laughed and said, “You got that right!”

On this KS Friday, take a moment. Take stock and tell yourself the story of you. Let this beautiful composition, Kerri’s Taking Stock from her album RIGHT NOW, inspire you to look back and, as H said, “Touch the riches.”

 

TAKING STOCK on the album RIGHT NOW is available on iTunes & CDBaby

Kerri’s Designs, TAKING STOCK gifts & products

 

read Kerri’s blog post about TAKING STOCK

www.kerrianddavid.com

taking stock/right now ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood

taking stock designs & products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson