touch the edge

 

 

It was early evening light on a pebble beach on a hot day. It was me, and a beautiful 10 year old girl, both in our bare feet, waves splashing. We had made the trek to the small stretch of shore on the big lake to hunt. To scour. To search and fill our palms and pockets with washed up treasures.

We set out on a westerly course, away from factory smoke and dog-walkers. We passed a few other scavengers: a pair with arms laden with large rocks; another couple, fists full of sticks. Otherwise, we were all alone, heads down, eyes roaming.

While my blonde-haired companion was collecting black stones and smooth grey rocks, I had my eyes set on mermaids tears. Beach glass. I have a weakness for it, and every piece I find, no matter how small, delights me. Every single time.

My small satchel was gathering a good haul – some nice clear white pieces, a few greens. I even found a holy stone, another cherished beach-combing treasure that my friend Veronica opened my eyes to last year. I was feeling lucky.

To the west, the walking stretch of the beach ends at a rocky point. The land narrows, and most ramblers don’t bother to go that far. We had been combing for a while, and our bags were getting full, and my sun-kissed partner was wondering when we were going to turn around. We were both getting hungry. But, for whatever reason, I had it in my head that on this day I needed to go as far as I could – I wanted to go all the way to the edge.

I couldn’t turn around just yet.

I mean, I could. Sure I could. And part of me thought that I should. Just turn around, head back to the car, call it a day. Our pockets were full.

But no. I couldn’t shake this little thought that kept dancing inside my head that said: sometimes the best gifts are found right at the very edge.

So I pointed to the big rock at the far edge of the shore, and told my girl that I just needed to make it to that rock, and then we could turn around and head home. Almost as soon as I took my next step, a beautiful piece of deep blue glass caught my eye, half buried in sand. Lifting it up, I grinned: I would never have known that I was one step away from this gem if I had packed it in and just turned around.

In the few moments it took me to reach my rocky edge, I found the three best pieces of beach glass I found all day. When I put my foot down on my goal, the big rock at the far edge of the shore, I held out my hand and took a picture.

sea glass - R.Kennedy

……

It’s just pieces of glass, I know.

But in that moment, for me, it was a reminder. It was a reminder that sometimes I need to take myself right to the edge; a reminder that what is easier is not always what is best; and that sometimes the best stuff is waiting just ahead…but I won’t see it unless I take the next step.

And…just to top it all off…as I turned to walk back from the edge I looked down and found my second holy stone of the day, which is a new record for me. I always thought that finding one holy stone at a time was more than amazing. Apparently this hot, pebbly, sun-streaked shoreline was on a mission to expand my expectations and coax me to my edges today.

As we made our way back to the start, my stone-heavy companion asked with wide eyes how I was able to find my handful of colored tears. I was quiet for a moment…what do I say?

How do you teach someone how to look with more than their eyes? How do you tell someone all that you are learning to see?

……

holy stone - R.Kennedy

 

 

 

pile it up, let it go

1. farm fields at sunset with four-leggeds and best friends. doesn’t get much better than that.
DSCN9414

2. re-arranging furniture…again.there are always possibilities, even in the smallest space. never ceases to delight me. is there a career in that?

3. listening to some Andrew James O’Brien. yup.

4. how does a small life aquire so many things?

5. the birds are singing in your eyes today

6. Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal muffins still hot from the oven. making this rainy night smell so good.

7. i can’t wait till i get to eat more of this:
DSCN9049

8. i have shelves full of books that i’ve never read. i’ve moved them in boxes from one house to the next. i like the way they look. the way they feel. i like the idea of them. but they’re strangers to me still. stories i’ve never met. just covers or titles or writers i thought i might like or want or read.
enough already, rae.
read them or let them go.

9. love.
DSCN9408

10. this season of newness really is a wonder.

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.

a list for curing what ails you

Golden Sails by Elly MacKay

Golden Sails by Elly MacKay


1. a bus ride in a snow storm
2. hot water with fresh squeezed orange juice and honey
3. noodles. always noodles.
4. pocket size hand-bound books
5. neighbourhood farmers markets
6. pear and ginger jam spread on homemade bread topped with thin slices of goat gouda
7. waking up to scones
8. 2 year old dance parties
9. foot rubs
10. the way he wonders about everything
11. beautiful music in bakery forts
12. laughter
13. the company of friends who just let you be
14. sleeping in
15. drawing pictures
16. listening to this. on repeat.
17. spending hard earned money on things that people’s hands have worked hard to make.
18. a long walk on rainy streets in another town
19. chocolate + mint
20. getting back up again, even when it feels like the world keeps knocking you down.
21. losing yourself in a story
22. leaving.
23. returning.
24. the tenderness of sleep.

Lhasa de Sela

“The world doesn’t adjust itself to the soul: the beauty, the magic of the soul is what I want to bring out. My job is to do it my way.” – Lhasa de Sela

Photo Credit: Jérôme Lapierre

Photo Credit: Jérôme Lapierre

Give yourself a beautiful gift and just listen.

……

(Lhasa de Sela quote c/o the black ewe )

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”. ]

lazy sunday breakdown pt.1


Michael Kiwanuka
+
strata with arugula and parmesan and a side of greens
+
slow rising
+
whirr of fans
+
bruce-the-dog’s warm breath on my toes
+
the comfort of gentle words and hearts that love
=
good morning, sunshine.

there are things to write about every time i blink my eyes

the ever wonderful Tanya Davis has long held a place of honor in this Blackbird nest. she writes words and sings songs that touch the most shadowy and tender of places…they linger long in my lungs…they curl up inside me and make themselves at home. both her poems and her person have become so very important to my wanderings in this world.

Photo Credit: Mark Maryanovitch

Photo Credit: Mark Maryanovitch

today Tanya posted this link to an interview with her and CBC, about poems and words and how she does what she does. it’s well worth the read. i’m pretty sure you could ask her questions about anything and the answers would come out sounding like poems.

speaking of poems, if you haven’t heard one recently, you should give this one a listen.

early in the morning, when the church bells toll

1. orchestra of song birds singing the sun up outside my bedroom window

2. sad news on morning radio

3. the stillness of a dark room

...

...

sometimes you’ve just got to say it

...

...

there are a million reasons to be proud of my family. i don’t write about them much because they’re a bashful bunch and i’m a private sort of bird. but sometimes you’ve just got to say it.

i’m blessed to keep company and bloodline with the finest bunch of people i know. they are each, in their own way, beautiful, creative, and full of heart. we all have large tear ducts and strong bones. we were born of deep roots and taught to live with eyes wide open. we are learning, always, still, but we love with a ferocity that is not to be questioned.

we have watched each other take big risks in the name of things that matter. from parents down through to youngest child, i think we’ve all come to believe in the value of taking chances. we’ve never been rich, but we sure know how to dream.

today this music video came out.

the lead singer is one gem of a man who also makes for one hell of a big brother. the release of this video is one part of him living his dream. and i couldn’t be more proud.

i think it is always an honor to see anyone in this life pour their heart into what they love. when you get to witness that in your own family, in the lives of those you love the most, it just makes the joy that much sweeter.

……

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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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