blink and they’re gone

one hell of a year, in retrospect.

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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.)

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”. ]

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.

we don’t know tomorrow, but we know that right now, we are here.

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.

……

instructions from the bird man.

...

...

Grab a word and just

start writing. You’ll make mistakes.

Think less. Just begin.

……

till things are brighter

till things are brighter

till things are brighter

…make your way to the Cameco Capital Performing Arts Center in Port Hope on Thursday November 3rd for a sweet evening of Johnny Cash goodness, all in the spirit of raising money and awareness of the good work of Green Wood Coalition…a grassroots initiative that Blackbird Studio is honored to work alongside of each week. And if an evening of Johnny Cash wasn’t grand enough, there’s going to be an inspiring art show in the lobby of the theatre, showcasing the work of the Green Wood Art Group. It’s going to be an evening you won’t want to miss.¬† Trust me.

Tickets are $20 in advance / $25 at the door.

8pm.

We’ll see you there…

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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