a list.

autumn days + late afternoon light + soups made by lanterns glow + hot water bottles in the bed sheets + early morning sun + backyard apple trees + beautiful spotty gums + dusted off guitar strings + pushing pen to paper + needles and thread + setting goals + getting the old bicycle on the road + bottomless cups of tea with ramble by neighbours + having a wild beach all to ourselves + following roo tracks + song of the bell bird + getting letters in the mail + hanging the laundry on the line + stack of wool blankets + dancing in the dark + handmade soda pop + good bones and good souls + another day to enjoy it all…

lost beauties

there’s a little silver caravan that sits at the end of our dirt lane. it’s a rickety tin box with a tarp over the roof. it’s a loaner from good ol’ Sambo, and for the last couple of years it’s rotated between being our bedroom, our kitchen, and our tool shed.
this year, it’s my art studio.
mmmhmmm. lucky me.

it is perched on the edge of the hill that slopes down to the valley, and when the wind blows, the little room rocks and sways. i always keep the door propped open, just in case i need to make a quick escape in a gusty breeze.
the corner window blew out in the winter rains last year. it’s now just a permanent breezeway.

i have a table that hinges to the wall, adorned with pencil scribbles of roof angles, wall measurements, and wiring maps. my chair is a hand-me-down drafting stool from Miss Anne’s shed. there is a clothesline along the wall, cluttered with photos and findings and notes. the ledges are piled with sea urchins, spools of thread, rusty metal, and beach-combed bric-a-brac.

i love it in there.
somedays i sit until the sun has sucked out all of the light, and my strained eyes just can’t see to sew another stitch. even then, sometimes i just linger and sit. and listen. and drift.

the other day i wandered over to open up the caravan doors for the day…let the cool of the morning move in. i saw something move in the corner. i found not one, but two ¬†little butterfly beauties hanging out in my little art home. they found their way in, but somehow couldn’t remember how to get out. or maybe they just liked it there…smile.

i cupped them, one at a time, in my hand, and walked with them outside, and then i opened my hand and waited…delighted, that they didn’t just up and fly away. one in particular seemed quite happy to hang around. she even spread her wings and flaunted her glory for me. i reveled in it.

i love when the days hold tiny surprises.
i’m not sure there’s a better way to have started my day than a visit to a windy tin can art room that fluttered with lost beauties, and a few rare moments of stroking the fine hairs of a butterfly spine while it rested in the sun in the palm of my hand.

goodness + gratitude, indeed.

sometimes breaking is the only way to heal.

last night i sat on the steps of the shack under dark night clouds. only a few stars were poking through.
to the left of me i heard music floating from the neighbours field, a celebration of a song let loose in the world for the first time.
to the right of me i heard crying, the kind of crying that claws and pulls, rather than floats, coming from another neighbours field, a letting loose of a different sort.
i sat still somewhere in the middle of it all.
listening.
bearing witness, i suppose.

sometimes i just need to stand still and pay attention. like a compass, getting my bearings.

my love reminded me that sometimes pain is the only language that will work. in some moments it’s the only vocabulary we have. sometimes we need to cry and wail and yell. sometimes, some things, can’t be said in a gentle whisper. they need to claw and pull their way out. getting free can hurt like a bitch sometimes. sometimes breaking is the only way to heal.

just a few hours before, we pulled in our dirt lane, and looked at our home of concrete and beam, roofs with few walls, light from the sun and water that runs from the rain. we turned to each other and told each other how happy we are. how grateful.
i know that some people can only see what we live without. but every day i reach my hands out and they come back overflowing.
sometimes letting go is the only way to find content.

it’s morning now, almost midday.
there is mist over the valley and rain on its way. i’m about to bake some scones and bottle up some relish. i’m listening to Lightfoot on vinyl in a friend’s borrowed kitchen. the world isn’t so big after all.

sometimes breaking is the only way to heal.
sometimes letting go is the only way to find content.
bearing witness.
pay attention.
how happy.
how grateful.
reaching out, overflowing.
the world isn’t so big after all.

like a compass, getting my bearings.
i’m right here.
steady on my feet.
more okay than i ever could have imagined.
gratitude, like a pulse, moving me through my days.

xo.

a girl and a ‘roo.

today i hung out on the beach with a kangaroo.

a big one. a grey one. probably the biggest, greyest ‘roo i’ve ever seen.
it was a big beach. a wild beach. a pretty much empty beach.
except for me, and the ‘roo…
(and D., but he was having a nap in the shade ).

Mr. Roo was having a picnic on the grasses that lined the edge of the sand by the big rocky cliffs.
I was rambling the shoreline and scavenging for washed up treasures.
i’m pretty sure we were both in our bliss.

we hung out together for a good while. he eating. me scavenging.
sometimes i sat down in the sand and just watched him. laughed at my good fortune. a ‘roo and me taking in the last hours of light on a beach off the Tasman Sea!

i smiled at him a lot. gave a few waves for good measure. sometimes he looked up and just watched me. i watched him back.

i thought about taking a picture. even had my camera in hand. but then i turned it off. put it away. what would a picture prove?
this was happening. in real time. in my time.
the picture would only disappoint.
you’ll either believe the story i’m telling you or you won’t.

a girl and a kangaroo on the shores of the sea.
both aware of the other, both content with their company.

i walked away with a pocket full of shells and a grin even the Aussie sun can’t melt.

bless the day.
i think i might burst.

count it all.

there’s been scavenging and stitching and sorting and digging and settling and listening and breathing and sitting and watching and eating and savoring and sleeping and plenty of dreaming. there’s been slowness and progress and creation and risk-taking. there’s been laughing birds and dying spiders and skittering lizards and rambling echidnas. there’s been sun and rain and wind and stars. there’s been moments of pause and delight, company of friends and strangers. there’s been a lot of things in only a handful of days, and right now i’m perched on a high hill looking through a wall of windows at nothing but cloud, and i can’t help but count it all as blessings and say thank you.

cowboys and caravans

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late night pork rolls.

truck nap
while the band plays on.

drunken cowboys
turning out the
lights.

Let no one keep you from your journey

a week later.
after time travel, jet lag, and a flu bug.
feeling like i left home, to come home.
a snow+sick day.
some pictures and a poem.

one

two

three

four

five

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(pic courtesy of Christina)

(pic courtesy of Christina)

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Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it cannot be done.

Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.

You are the only explorer,
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

Mark Nepo

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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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