sounds of silence.

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standing in the bakery kitchen, apron covered in flour, spatula in hand, mid- mix in a bowl of chocolate brownie cookie dough, the clock turned 11 on 11.11.11 and everything went silent. stirring stopped. mixers off. like someone just pressed pause on the world.

i let my eyes drop to the counter in front of me, my right hand still gripping the bowl. for those first few seconds my mind ran in circles, trying to find a thought to focus on, trying to remember how to remember.

i thought about being a kid at school, parading out to the yard every remembrance day, poppies properly pinned, standing in classroom rows, performing a ritual year after year that felt so far from my lived experience but so weighted in importance.

releasing balloons. reciting poems. visiting veterans. never really knowing what any of it meant. really.

i thought about my schoolmate just recently killed while serving in Afghanistan.

i thought about the kids i’ve met who lost their dad to war. their questions. their fears.

i thought about the sadness that takes over hearts.

i thought about the anger that capsizes bones.

i thought about the way we hurt the people we love the most.

i thought about how fear is a powerful weapon.

i thought about the questions i can’t find answers to.

i thought about the way conflict tears us apart, piece by piece.

…and i thought about peace.

peace.

and then somewhere in there i think i stopped thinking altogether.

somewhere in the silence, apron clad, mixing bowl in hand, all my thoughts turned to whispers and my mind stopped moving…i think my heart just started yearning.

i can’t tell anymore the difference between yearning and longing and praying. it all feels the same to me. wordless and desperate. a hoping for something. a surrendering to something. a fight for something that feels at the same time both weary and brave.

whatever you call it, whatever it is, that’s where i found myself today in the quiet.

in a desperate place. asking for something so big and elusive and simple…asking for peace.

i’m not even sure that it was world peace i was after, whatever that is or would be.  i think today that kitchen quiet was more about asking for peace within.  peace for our hearts. peace for my heart. for freedom from conflict. for courage. for release from fear. for comfort in sadness. for gentleness. compassion. forgiveness.

those silent moments took me somewhere.

i didn’t release any balloons or recite any poems. i didn’t even wear a poppy.

but in the quiet of the late morning in a bakery kitchen i remembered what it is i want to fight for.

lest we forget.

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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