this town.

me + hills

These small town streets only ever seem to point uphill. I walk the shoulder to the general store to buy the backyard bread that shows up fresh every Friday. The roadwork crew has sprayed white happy faces at the base of every metal picket. The air is damp after morning rain, a sultry mix of eucalypt and mud. Dry leaves drift. The river runs, half empty.

On the street I meet a family because they look like strangers and have beautiful black haired children and I’m at a place in my living where that’s all the reason I need. We talk about the last remaining phone booth, our shared roots, and the beauty of the valley. I all but invite them over for tea.

The gas man is the bedrock and keeps the main street feeling like home. There’s smoked trout and a smart alec barista and a guy in a sarong who makes it all smell real. The afternoon sun is long. A man in shorts smoking a ciggy passes me on horseback. I watch for heat hungry snakes and get greeted by a feasting Rosella and two small clingy dogs.

The mountain range is in silhouette. The black cows have brought the flies home to nest. The season is changing. Light moves more quickly now. It will be dark soon. A full moon. Suddenly the sky comes alive, a feathered blur of grey and white and pink and song, as a giant flock of Galahs decides to relocate, move west, follow the setting sun. The swallows fill the space they left behind, and dance as only swallows can. I let my breathe sink deeper, try not to blink, pause to take it all in.

 

a bridge.

fay + rae

i live in and between two worlds. they are lands of similarities and opposites. they are miles and miles and miles apart. i hold them both inside of me.
i’ve never been too afraid of distance. sometimes i’ve even craved it. solitary spaces. this woman is an island. by default or design, i have a habit of retreating.
but lately i’ve been longing for bridges.
i’ve been wanting to find ways to weave yarns to connect here and there, this and that. maybe i’m just craving cohesion.
maybe my fragmented heart just gets tired sometimes.
maybe it just seems easier that way.
less explaining, more understanding.
see it all with our own eyes.

i cling to patient hope.
word by word, picture by picture, all in due time. the lines between spaces will strengthen and bind.

two days ago this beautiful soul showed up at my door.
this is Fay. she has been a teacher, a mentor, and a gorgeous friend in my life for many years. she is a life-giver and a truth-teller and I love her deeply. and today she came all the way from Haliburton, ON to sit and eat lunch with me in our half-built house in Candelo, NSW. it was both surreal and completely normal. and I am so so so grateful.

sometimes a bridge is built of steel and stone; other times of flesh and bone. this vibrant woman was a bridge between my two worlds this week. i realised as she was leaving how profoundly her presence touched me. the power of that connection. the gift of being seen.

bless the spaces between us.
bless the courage required to cross the divide.
bless that gorgeous smile.

xx

flexing my muscles.

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Tis the season…needle felting workshop time!


On Sunday November 25, from 2 – 4pm, I’ll be teaching another Intro to Needle Felting workshop at the ever-so-lovely Needles In the Hay here in Peterborough. These workshops are always a good time…cozied up around the table in the shop…walls full of wooly eye candy…meeting new people…making beauty with our own hands…perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in late November.

The workshop is $20.
Contact Bridget at Needles In the Hay :: 705.740.0667 :: to sign up.

p.s. also check out the FELT tab at the top of this page to learn about Blackbird Studio’s Traveling Wool Show…a sweet way for you to host a felting workshop in the comfort of your own home :)

Once upon a time there was a little red hen…

(photo courtesy of John Marris)

Last night was the inaugural show of The Little Red Hen Collective at the lovely new Gallery In The Attic.

It felt good to be there – warm room, city lights, big walls full of art, so much history, so much new – and a sweet privilege to be a part of the show.

The show runs until October 13th.
Wander over and check it out.
It’s worth the climb.

Tuesday – Friday // 11 – 5
Saturdays // 12 – 4

Apt. C, 140 1/2 Hunter Street West, Peterborough
705.740.1162

travel as equals

i drove old familiar roads today to attend a celebration,
a memorial,
for a beautiful woman
with mischievous eyes.

not bound by walls or coffins or concrete crosses
this honoring, this grieving,
was happening among the trees
and their changing leaves
and the beauty of mid-september skies.

i knew the route to the forest like the back of my hand,
my mind barely aware of the landscape,
the landmarks,
as my car rambled by.

i was thinking about lives lived, lessons learned.
i was trying to put my finger on the words
that could explain what remains
after her passing.
what it is she leaves behind
in me.

those sorts of words don’t easily come.
i search for them anyway.

my friend was a woman who didn’t travel light in heart in this world.
her story was not simple nor easy to share.
but her laugh was contagious
and her perseverance relentless
and i think it would be safe to say
that her footsteps got lighter the longer she walked.
i don’t know if she would claim
that the journey got any easier,
but i do think she could write you poems
about the beauty she was learning to see along the way.

and i know that she knew
that she wasn’t travelling through life
alone.

in the afternoon light,
with black eyed susans and burning tobacco,
we brought our still-living bones
to gather together
to tell stories
to whisper prayers…pleads…blessings

to express our gratitude.

for so much.
for the way we are changed when we let ourselves walk close enough to someone else.
for the way a heart, even (especially?) a broken one, can be a vehicle for so much blessing,
so much light.

i don’t know, at the end of it all, if there is anything more that i aspire to,
anything greater that i could hope for,
then to have a community gather under autumn leaves
and say
we are better for having known you.
we are thankful for your life.

thank you, dear girl, for living your story with such courage, generosity, and humility.
you are already missed.

[ on my drive home, with the sun dropping lower in the sky, this song came on the radio. i had never heard it before today, but it seemed strangely fitting. If there is one thing that my beautiful friend and her gracious community have taught me, it’s that “the only way we can survive, [is to] travel as equals or not at all”. ]

what you make of it.

A Closed Door by Veronica Derry


1.
the rain was teeming down.
i stood under skimpy shelter and peddled market pastries while holding down tents from gusting wind, all the while dripping and smiling.
nothing beats a market morning.

2.
a decaf latte
and an art gallery on wheels.
simple. exactly right.

3.
rolling northumberland hills
with hairy dog in tow.
watching the sky change, driving the miles
believing that the inspiration at the end would be worth it.
it was.

4.
monoprints. lino blocks.
paper dolls. fraying quilts.
the journeys of our own unfoldings.
the way the body vibrates
when it knows it’s in good company.

Contentment in Flight by Barbara Buntin

in the shelter of the valley [ pt. 1]

art in the garden

the perfect way to spend this coming Sunday afternoon. some sweet art in a magical garden, raising money for good work. well worth wandering your way there…

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.

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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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