things exactly as they are

beach - r.kennedy

i am home from a night in a small black box theatre that sits at the back of a big red brick building. i watched a tall man play an even taller bass, and breathe music to a group of people that numbered only as many fingers as are on my one hand.
our minuscule audience learned each others names and the songs filled the space as though it was a packed room 5 times it’s size.
my life is filled with a lot of live music and i hold a deep reverence for the art. but every once and a while i get the chance to witness something really special unfold. tonight was one of those times.
Oliver Swain played his voice for the crazy instrument that it is, and embraced that upright bass like a lover. it was gorgeous to watch, and equally beautiful to listen to. it will reverberate in me for a long long time.

when gorgeous moments happen something in me craves to have people there to share it with. i want someone else to see that sunrise too. i want more people to hear the howl and yip of the coyotes as i fall asleep. i want people i love to understand how incredible it feels to stand in that spot on that beach on the shore of that ocean. i want a full room of eyes and ears to take in the sweet music that’s being created. 

but…i’m also learning to stop wishing that something was different and just fully embrace the way things are.
i am trying to practice being fully aware of MY own presence in those moments.
i am a witness. a participant. maybe that is enough.

Oliver deserved a full house tonight. his art and his talent are worth it all. but there was also something absolutely perfect about us 5 random listeners sprinkled around the tiny room. the beauty was performed whether or not a crowd was there to witness. the art was made with skill and heart despite a near empty room.
the experience left me feeling incredibly full.

sitting in that darkened room i found myself forgetting that anyone else mattered at all. i was just there, feeling grateful and inspired.

i drove away and came home to an empty space, all that energy burning inside me. you weren’t there to feel what i felt. but you’re here now, and the least i could do, the best i can do, is try to tell you about it.

the least we can do.

color me beautiful

color me beautiful

the trees speak

the trees speak

empty pews in hues of blues

empty pews in hues of blues

brilliant floating fireball

brilliant floating fireball

light in the dar,

light in the dark

winter glorious

winter glorious

“The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped.

His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second, through empty air.

Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass.

I had just rounded a corner when his incouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest.

The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

Annie Dillard

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

Subscribe!