paradise found.

paradise sunset
i’m perched at a small table, set in front of half-open french doors, looking out on to green hills that roll further than my eyes can see. the sun rises in a window just above my head as i lay in this borrowed loft .12 hours later it sets over the range, soaking the huge sky in fire. at dawn and at dusk, the hills erupt. birds sing and soar and swoop in frenzy. roos come out of hiding to lounge and feast. my late morning ramble brought me past bushes that hummed with bees, down pathways busy with skittering lizards, through swarms of dizzy butterflies. i’m sitting in some sort of paradise here.
i have been thinking a lot about time lately. it’s so tempting to say that there isn’t enough of it. every day seems to end as full as when it began. we lay the calendar beside the to do list and they don’t line up. autumn is settling in over here which means more darkness, less light. our days are ordered by the sun. we need time to do the work. time to make the money to keep doing the work. time for ourselves. time for each other. time to stop thinking about time and just get lost in something unmeasurable.
it’s so easy to get anxious, hearts and clocks ticking too fast.
too fast.
i am trying to write myself a different story. instead of tightening up at the idea of having never enough, i’m working on seeing that time is measured out in perfect doses. Time is constant. in a life full of uncertainty and continual transition, that holds a lot of weight. the sun, she moves steady and sure. she doesn’t change her pace for no man – no matter how anxious or hurried or ambitious they may be. Time is sufficient. it’s me who is over-busying my days or dragging my heels on giving myself to what really matters to me.
time starts to feel inadequate when i focus on doing rather than being. i bet there is exactly enough time for me to be who i was born to be, if i actually live every day fully.
easier said than done maybe. but tight-chest, clock-watching, calendar-flipping, time-resenting feels pretty damn hard and exhausting. i know. i’ve given it a good run.
i want to try a different approach.
it’s quiet hour now, at mid-afternoon here in paradise. i can hear branches breaking and a blow fly buzzing around my head. the gum trees are dropping bark and small branches in the wind. i came to this cabin for a couple days in hopes of remembering some things i could feel myself forgetting. i’m hard work sometimes. but i’m getting there. gently, gently, there’s time enough, by the grace of another dawn and dusk.

norman + the guinea pigs

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sometimes our stories come back to find us.

 

the path between two houses

granny + me

 

i’ve been missing that laughing lady a lot lately.

how long has she been gone now? 5 years? 6 years? i stopped counting.

but still some days i wake up longing for her company. sometimes i close my eyes and try to remember every detail i can about her:

like the way she clapped her hands with happiness + the softness of her skin + the way she kept finding new things to talk about so you’d never leave the room + catching her in the bathroom without her teeth in + the book and bible and scrap paper and book of crosswords that always sat beside her in her chair + the kleenex stuffed up her sleeve + her smile + the childlike glimmer that stayed in her eyes + her laugh + the way she always listened and always wanted to know + her love that left no room for doubt…

the more time passes the more i seem to miss her. as though my growing up makes the space she left behind grow too.

memory is a strange animal. grief an even wilder beast.

……

there’s a path between two houses

you used to run it as a child. barefoot, eyes closed, your bones knew the way.

it was a path from home, to home. it was the way that lead to everything you need.

there’s a path between two houses that runs across a piece of land that tells a story so deep and so wide, no passerby or outsider could begin to understand. you were gifted to this place. it has taken up residence in you. this is a truth that can not be severed.

like a winged migration, sometimes the change in season calls us home. sometimes the longing takes over, the ache becomes almost unbearable.

sometimes if we close our eyes, our feet will find their own way home. soles pounding through long grass, past big trees, taking us eyes-closed, wind-through-hair, barrelling down the path toward exactly what we need…and only our bodies will wake from this blessed dream.

our wild, grieving, animal hearts will  keep on running, will keep on moving toward the outstretched arms of our belonging…

the other day i woke up lonesome.

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the smell of sawdust + eucalyptus.

the taste of lamingtons + vanilla slice + bush honey yogurt.

the chatter of the magpies + the belly laughs of the kookaburras + the all day cry of old Charles’ rooster.

the way the light moves.

the mountain range, unchanging.

the salty ocean within my reach.

the half-built house that is bliss + toil + home.

the good bones + hearts that make it all come alive.

……

i am here and i am there. i feel full and fragmented. i am home and homesick.

i want it all. and with gratitude, i have it.

this isn’t wailing, it’s me exhaling.

when i breathe i feel big enough to contain it.

 

but still

somedays

i wake up wanting

and missing.

 

exhale.

 

heap of thanks

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…can i just say thanks?

thanks to those of you who keep reading these pages, even when my scribbling is sporadic and my presence sparse.

thanks for spreading the word that this space exists. thanks for sharing links and passing my words along to your family and friends. thanks for giving my writing wings.

thanks for telling me that you keep checking in. that the words that i write mean something to you. that you want me to keep going.

really.

because i will always write. i don’t remember my life without the love of words. but sometimes i struggle to believe that people will want to read what i write. that it’s worth the energy and risk to make myself vulnerable and put it out in the world.

but when you tell me it is, when you write me and comment and come up to me on the street and let me know that it all matters to you, even means a lot…well, i believe you. and it helps me remember to be brave and keep going.

so thank you.

we all need each other, don’t we?

here’s to being brave.

xx

more of this

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some days are about other things:
work + sweat + lists + labour + questions + duties + fear + striving + worry + recovering + appeasing + pleasing + pushing + pretending + getting it done.

but other days are about these things:
play + rest + pleasure + remembering + trust + delight + imagining + adventure + savouring + appreciating + deep breaths + indulgence + making the most of it all.

i just marked the milestone of one more journey around the sun.

from when i was a little girl i was always told i had an old soul.
with every year that i’m alive i keep trying to re-learn how to be a child.

i’m not afraid of getting old. i’m only scared of waking up to the end and realizing that i never really gave this trip an honest go.

at the close of the day, on the occasion of another year, i held a melting ice cream cone in one hand, and a cupcake in the other and i looked around the kitchen full of love, and my memory raced through the faces and moments of my days, and the only thing in the whole world that i could think to wish for was more of this.

more of this.

you can keep all of those other things.

but please, bless, give me more of this.

walking the inward road

you start at the beginning
with, if you remember, a deep breath.
it’s all bends and turns
from there on in,
just follow the path.
it will lead you somewhere.

it always leads you somewhere.

road

it’s everything worth sharing and nothing worth explaining.

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it’s the quietness.
it’s the crickets.
it’s the coyotes howling,
the way it makes my spine tingle
my heart tremble.
it’s refuge.
it’s uncertainty.
it’s waking up to the sound of rain.
it’s breathing air that feels real.
it’s darkness at night.
it’s all the things i’ve taken for granted.
it’s hummingbirds at my window.
it’s butterflies in the fields.
it’s the thistle cactus that stands so tall in the meadow.
it’s learning to let go.
it’s the rhythm of the seasons.
it’s noticing something new every single day.
every single day.
it’s bird-watching from the bathroom.
it’s showering under blue skies.
it’s frosty mornings
and campfire nights.
it’s simple.
it’s foolish, in all the right ways.
it’s one of the wisest things i’ve ever done.
it’s an act of generosity that i will be always grateful for.
it’s not a forever plan.
it’s a blessed right-this-moment story.
it’s perfect.
it’s exactly what it is.
it’s enough.

it’s not everything, but it’s enough.

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Otis and Janis and Lauryn are serenading me in random rotation
while bread bakes and scones are prepped
and rain falls
and this night kitchen warms
my tired bones.

this is art.

lately i have been feeling like i haven’t had very much time to make art. i rented this little studio for the summer and the weeks pass and i feel like i barely ever get there. and i get grumpy and antsy and start opening windows for self-doubt to creep in, and start listening to those internal voices that tell me that if i’m not creating consistently, if i’m not focused and driven in my art, then maybe i’m not really that into it…maybe i don’t really love it…maybe i’m just fooling myself here…

but then i have moments where i remember that a big part of the work is in the living.

that opportunities for creation happen all the time.

that art is not confined to a studio and creativity is nourished through all sorts of outlets.

and while i still need to keep working on carving out intentional time to sit and flesh out ideas and “make art”, i also need to acknowledge and validate..and celebrate…the acts of art that are unfolding in my days, every day.

i baked a strawberry loaf last night. i took pause to admire the sweet crescent moon. i tended to my tiny garden patch. i sang along with Florence and the Machine and got my dance on in the kitchen. i snapped some photos of strawberries and enamel dishes and the way the hummingbird blue of the cupboards lined up against the chipped red and white of the counter. i drew a 3-eyed alien with a pearl necklace on a chalkboard wall. i penned some words to paper. i cut and pasted bits of paper onto bits of wood. i watched the clouds fill the blue sky. i kneaded dough.

and it was more than just good enough.
it was good.

here’s to living the every day art.

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Words + Photos + Credit

Unless otherwise noted, all original photography and text are property of Raechelle Kennedy. If you see or read something here and feel inspired to share it somehow, please be considerate and give the artist (me!) credit, or even better, drop me a note and make sure I don’t mind.
Thank you!

Here + There

Secondhand Sainthood and the gift of losing it all – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Ten Things Made – Topology Magazine, December 2015

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