steppin’ out

i’ve been busy this last little while, lost in a flurry of art-making, trying to push myself a little more, stretch out of my comfort zone a little farther, commit to more goals and opportunities to show and share the things that i make.

this past weekend i was invited to be an artist in the Artisan Village at Shelter Valley Folk Festival. it was a good learning experience for me…a chance to meet and connect with a new community of people…another step in clarifying for myself why i do what i do and where i fit in this funny world…it was humbling and affirming and, well, pretty tiring too.

i decided this year to try to put myself and my art out there in the world a little bit more. if i am honest with myself, then i would admit that i have never really pushed myself artistically to see what i am truly made of. i have coasted on “good enough”. i have a lot of ideas i have never acted on. i have spent more creative energy supporting other peoples art-making than i have exploring my own. and i don’t want to keep living that way. i know that my best living, my best art, will happen when i am perched on that growing edge…when i am taking risks and stepping out…my richest creative work AND my bravest people work, will come when i am most alive in myself.
i know this.
so i am trying.

part of this process for me is going after opportunities to show what i do. there is a lot for me to learn about myself and my art that i believe i can only learn by letting it out into the world, facing the vulnerability that comes with that, learning to sit with those fears and insecurities, trusting affirmation and encouragement when it comes my way…

it scares the shit out of me sometimes.
but i’m trying to do it anyway.

so…all that said…

this Friday, September 7, is the launch of Gallery In The Truck ,a very cool week-long initiative as part of Artsweek here in Peterborough. Gallery In The Truck is a mobile gallery running out of the back of a U-Haul, that will be parked in different locations around the city over the course of next week. I am one of 10 artists who will have their work in the truck. Check out the website, or Facebook, to find more info on when and where the truck will be located.

then, on September 18th, there is the opening of the Inaugural Little Red Hen Exhibition at the brand new Gallery In The Attic, located in downtown Peterborough. this new gallery space promises to be home to many inspiring new ventures, and i’m excited to be a part of it (again, you can find out more info by checking out their website or looking it up on Facebook).

this is just a start, i know.
but a beginning is a beginning.
stay tuned for more shows and opportunities to come out and share in the art that i’ve been making. thanks for the cheerleaders that help me believe that my ideas are worth pursuing.

life is fleeting.
let’s live it well.

http://galleryinthetruck.wordpress.com/

http://littleredhengallery.wordpress.com/

photo courtesy of Gallery In The Attic

why we are here.

“Go be that starving Artist you’re afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what’s on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world. You’ll thank yourself for it.”
– jason mraz

on heatwaves and birthdays and songs that are always worth singing

windows down, fans in full force. finding respite in shady places and icey teas. the constant salty skin, the way the mind loses all sense of time, heat of moments just melt one into another.
fresh peaches and plums, wild blueberries and cherries. baking at midnight, napping afternoons away. max and his wolf suit, piano on the record player, scent of fresh laundry being blown around on the breeze.
chocolate cake under the oak tree, smores around the fire. the way a sister sings, unashamed, giving courage, permission, to join in the chorus. indian food and cherry pits, strangers around a breakfast table. a bird who bathes himself with lemon rind.
waking up to poems that resonate in deep places. the strong legs of a small gymnast, the creak of a bicycle seat. letterpress and guitar strings, birthdays and remembrances. noodles in the park by the big lake. fresh baked olive bread on the shores of the river. comfort and gratitude. these hands that are always ready to hold you.
the days are unstoppable. i welcome myself to another year of living. the road is ever-winding. i’m going to keep walking. my pockets are heavy with lessons learned, treasures found, bits of stories that still hang around. i’m not as afraid as i used to be. it’s okay if you don’t understand. i’m unfolding anyways. it’s not heartless, it’s honest, though even the truth can feel muddled sometimes.
my feet feel lighter. something inside me feels freer. maybe what’s necessary doesn’t always come easy. there’s a path, and i think i’m on it, though i don’t know anymore where i want it to lead. happy wanderer. forgive the bumps along the way. there are too many gifts to worry over the weight of the bruises.
protect your skin. keep it tender, keep it tough. drink plenty of water.
breathe.
the moon is rising, and somewhere else, the sun too.
you’re not alone here, dear girl.
every moment is something new.
listen to the song he sings,
heart to fly, hopes to rise, simple every day
just keep going…

a morning spent, grateful.

i spent the morning sitting in a garden, painting prayer flags, with a group of art-makers who have helped me to learn what it really means to bless, what it really means to be brave. i ate the most beautiful and thoughtful cake…i felt loved to my very bones…i was humbled by the kindness they wrapped me in.

i have made many mistakes. i walk around with so many unknowns. but this morning in the garden i was reminded that the world is full of broken hearts who are not afraid to lavish grace.

we can only ever be exactly what we are. perfectly wounded. perfectly beautiful.
thank you, my dear gwc art friends, for helping me to understand that that is enough.

promise me.

a list kind of day.


1. bagels for breakfast. the good-french-dense-chewy kind.
2. the heat of the summer, the way it slows me down like molasses.
3. remembering how much i love Justin Rutledge’s No Never Alone album. 7 years old and never sounded so good.
4. en masse felting with a brave, if somewhat reluctant, group of women.
5. warm wind and beach glass and waves crashing against shoreline.
6. clothesline weather.
7. heart shaped pebbles and driftwood logs that makes my heart ache.
8. brave on the rocks.
9. summer skirts.
10. devilled eggs on the back deck. decaf coffee in the grass. gratitude.

cut and paste

this is my voice. there are many like it. but this one is mine.

sabrina ward harrison

sabrina ward harrison

for the last 6 weeks or so, i’ve been spending my Thursday mornings with the brave art makers at Green Wood Coalition writing poems. we put down paints and brushes for a while, and picked up paper and pens. and we’ve been writing our way down courageous roads, opening new doors inside ourselves, and unleashing our honest-loving-wounded-hearts.

it’s been nothing short of amazing.

we decided at the start that it wasn’t about writing poems that rhymed (though some of them do), or that even necessarily followed any sort of form (though some of them did). it wasn’t going to be about proper spelling, or vast vocabulary, or even being very good at reading.

poems didn’t have to be long. they didn’t need to be succinct.
they just needed to be true. to be honest.

we just needed to start to believe that we all had something worth saying, and we were all worthy of being heard.

and i think we’ve done that.
at least i hope we have.

this Thursday night, at Harry\’s Little City of Bricks in Port Hope, at 7pm, this brave group of new writers is going to be host to an Open Mic poetry night. we want everyone to come, armed with some words to share. we’re going to try our best to share some of what we’ve been working on, including a self-published poetry Zine of some of our selected writing,  that will be for sale that night.

we’d love to see you there with poems in hand. you don’t have to have it perfect. you can even do it afraid. you’ll be in good company.

you’ve got something worth saying, and we’d love to hear it.

come join us. it’s gonna be great.

……

Unmistakably, unstoppably

57

What remains, always: a hope, stubborn and inimitable. A loyalty to her own heart. The knowledge embedded in her bones. Someone could have said to her, “Look how blue the ocean is,” but she – bent on seeing green – would have refused to believe it. A trick of the eye, she would have told herself, and sure enough, the light would bend and the blue would go away and in its place the greenest green, an unequivocal, incontestable green. This is the way it always is. She must see it to know it. She must taste it in her mouth, hold it in her hands, feel the truth of it on her own terms, with her own senses. It is sometimes inconvenient to be so optimistic. Her faith in implausible outcomes creates confusion and, occasionally, anxiety, in others, her compass illegible as hieroglyphics. But when stops trying to make things easier, more palatable for someone else, when she resists the urge to package and perform, when she allows the river of her wild instinct to carve its way around the cumbersome opinions of others, she comes face to face with the real contours of her own life. And it is messy and imprecise and muddy and frayed at the seams, and it is whole and light and depth and wonder and it is unmistakably, unstoppably hers.

– Maya Stein

……

words, returned

a few years ago i sent these words out on permanent loan to a friend of mine who was more brilliant than she realized. just the other day, she sent them back to me. i think they still fit her just fine, she just understood that right now this is a truth that i need to cloak myself in for a while:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson –

painting by Francoise Nielly

painting by Francoise Nielly


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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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