loaves and fishes and so much love.

i made gingerbread men with glasses and moustaches to sell at a folksinger show in our tiny town hall because it seemed like a fun idea and i needed to make some dough. literally.
i was squeezing out icing and swatting at flies and grooving to a hobo jungle fever dream. i took a break to run next door to buy coffee from the blokes who brew a tasty decaf. while i waited for my frothy soy i looked down at the days news. blood and tears and airports and fear. it was everywhere. in color and bold print. i felt my stomach roll and my mouth run dry. my loves were miles away and i wanted everything dear to be within reach. the world felt crazy.
back in the kitchen i felt lost. disoriented. getting scared comes so easily. despair is a cinch to inhale. i felt my feet wobble, my knees go weak.
then i thought about love.
i thought about the way love is a force of courage. the way love heals. i thought about love as light in darkness. i heard the wise J Byrd sing in my ear that Love Is The Law. it’s not ruled by law. it is the law.
i thought about love and felt the wobble of fear and i stared at dozens of gingerbread in-waiting and i remembered the folksinger who’s not afraid to let his freak flag fly and i decided that the best thing i could do in that moment was tap in to all the brave love inside me and keep going.
i stopped worrying and thinking and started squeezing out icing like i was the Keith Haring of pastries. it may sound like the smallest thing and the silliest of notions. but for me alone in that kitchen, icing cookies became a tiny act of revolution. it was a choice to move from a place of love rather than a place of fear. it was trying to be honest and brave in the very place and moment i found myself in.
maybe it doesn’t make much sense to explain.
but later that night while i sat in my seat and listened to the whole-hearted song-slinger sing, i wanted to weep with gratitude and relief.
sometimes the world steps over the line.
but with time, all things shine.
i sold a bunch of cookies that night. i gave a lot away too.
the darkness hung heavy over so much of our world that day.
in some tiny way, i just wanted to live a bit of light.
there were cookies and folk songs and stories and a small town. there was a lot of courage and probably some fear.
and there was love. so much love.
the more we gave the more it grew.
loaves and fishes. miracles multiplied.
when there’s nothing else, there’s still that.
love.

rainbow shack

sucking the marrow

it’s one of those days where i wake up to a sore belly and a dead bird and a cup of tea and a cooler breeze and a sad dog and a box of memories and a gnawing ache that i’ve got something to say.

 

flexing my muscles.

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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.┬ábut 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

still, these years later

granny 6

some times the shadows make it hard to see the light.
some things don’t get easier with time.
some days the road feels too long. too hard.

just keep going.

just keep going.

These Things Are Your Becoming

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drifting in and out.
packing. sorting. purging.
letting go feels a little bit easier this time.
practice makes perfect. or something like that.

this spring brought its’ full share of sorrows.
forced to look the fear in the eye
again and again.
make the choice to see the beauty
and find the good
all the while
the heart
it breaks.
still learning to live with, and love, the questions.

making choices and changes
in hopes of bringing more
sun
more light
more space
into my life.
saying no to stuckness.
saying yes to all the things that make me feel alive.

it’s too short, this season of living.
even though, sometimes, the days feel so long.
these things are my becoming.
i want to live them all.

the question in the doorway that won’t leave me alone.

i feel ready to let another layer go.
it never happens all at once,
this shedding of skin.
at least not for me.
it’s a gradual untangling.
a piece by piece.
a one step at a time
until
something shifts
and everything clicks
and then
enough is enough.
then there is no going back.
then it is game on
or game over.
immerse or abort.
pick up your heels girl
you’ve been shuffling for too long,
for just long
enough
to know
that this is not what you were made for.
this has been, at best, a catch-your-breath-place,
but it was never meant to be a sit-down-and-stop-trying space.
lighten your load.
loosen your grip.
your hands have bigger things to reach for,
your feet are itching to run.

the hanging question, always begging for an answer

the hanging question, always begging for an answer

To this day.

because it’s raining.
because rainy mornings make me want to read poems.
because his poems are some of my favorite poems.
because this poem is worthy of being heard
again
and
again.

blink and they’re gone

one hell of a year, in retrospect.

73

80

171

183

210

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and a million other moments in between.

so grateful.
so humbled.
so blessed.

(all photos c/o me, except the one of The Boss rockin’ out…that one is courtesy of The Globe and Mail. i was too busy dancin’ in the dark to snap a photo…smile.)

What treasure lies within our bodies

Pina Bausch

Pina Bausch

” Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost.”
……

i think i was born a dancer. maybe we all are.
we just get taught to sit still instead of to soar. we get stuck, we get distracted, we get afraid. we forget what our bodies are capable of; we stop learning what they can teach us, what pleasures they love.

for as long as i can remember, dancing has been something i have longed to do. for too few years, it’s been something i’ve actually done. it used to weigh on me, a big regret. a missed opportunity. a yearning and delight that was for too long overshadowed by awkwardness and self-doubt; heavy feet and self-conscious limbs. there were spurts of bravery – at a concert, a wedding, the odd attempt at a class of some sort – where i would let loose and flail around and lose myself in the pleasure of rhythm and bones. but more often than not, i made excuses. talked myself out of it. sat out rather than jump in.

until a few years ago, when i stood in the bathroom with my then-still-living grandmother. i was helping her get ready for bed, her limbs too weak and tired to do the ordinary tasks of buttoning and un-buttoning, bending over to pull off socks. i asked her, as she washed her face, if she had any regrets in her life. she paused and said yes.
“i regret that i never danced, and now that i’m willing by body’s too old.”

i promised myself then and there that i would dance my still young limbs as often as i could. fuck the excuses, the self-consciousness, the fear. this life is too short. just dance, girl.
……

“be honest. in every movement, in every gesture.”
……
i sat tonight in a large theatre and watched an extraordinarily breathtaking film. i really knew nothing about it going in, other than it was about dance, and i had a pretty good feeling that i would leave inspired. inspired is an understatement.

i was moved. touched. pulled. delighted. awed. broken. challenged. reminded. speechless.

as the film maker, Wim Wenders, said:

What treasure lies within our bodies, to be able to express itself without words,
and how many stories can be told without saying a single sentence.

what treasure lies within our bodies.
the ability to say so much without using a single word.

the way one woman’s life and creative vision can challenge and compel so many other lives to stretch and move and search and exist with vigorous honesty and passion.

your fragility is your strength, she said.
and from my seat, i felt my bones leap.
……
“just keep searching. even if you don’t know what you’re looking for, or if you’re on the right track…”
……
every tuesday night i get in my car and i drive to a loft in a big old house and i take off my socks and my shoes and i dance. i dance for my body, because i know it enjoys it. i dance to feel limber; to remember what it feels like to stretch, to jump, to bend, to really move. i dance even when i don’t feel like it, especially then. i dance when my head hurts and my back aches. i dance when i feel stuck; when i get sad. i dance to catch my breath again; to laugh; to tap in to pure delight. i dance so i can grind my hips and shake my limbs. i dance for my grandmother and her one regret. i dance for all the times i sat out and felt ungraceful and afraid. i dance for the little girl who is still very much alive in me. i dance to stop thinking, stop worrying, stop trying to figure it out. i dance because when i dance i have no questions and therefore need no answers. i dance to take flight. i dance because it takes me somewhere new, every time; because it gives me what i’m looking for without me ever having to ask.
i dance because i believe it’s what i was born to do.
i dance because otherwise, i am lost.

……

Pina Bausch - 1

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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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