real magic

i’m sitting at a card table pushed up against a window that’s pushed up against cedar trees. i watch the squirrels be squirrels, and every once and a while, a chickadee passes through, and i feel like i have a secret portal window into their cedar tree world.
i couldn’t sleep last night. crawled into bed tired then became suddenly awake. after awake time rolled from parts of hours to multiple hours, i made toast and hot water + milk and read a book. The Gallery of Lost Species by Nina Berkhout. it has a unicorn on the cover which is possibly why i spontaneously grabbed it from the New Arrivals wall of my village library. i don’t think i’ve ever read a book with a unicorn on the cover, but i wrote one once when i was in grade 3. i also really liked the quote on the inside cover:

“Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”
– Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

i took a long walk to the dentist this morning. i mostly dread the dentist, even though this guy is probably the nicest one around. they put sunglasses on me, turned on Father of the Bride 2, and froze half of my face. an hour and a half later, i paid them money i don’t really have and walked home kicking leaves, trying not to drool. i never did find out how the movie ends.

on my slobbery walk home i stopped in the used book store. the last few years have been mostly about letting go rather than acquiring, so i haven’t spent much time scouring bookshops in a while. in fact the woman at the counter made it clear to me that i hadn’t used any of my store credit since 2013. but today it seemed like a good place to be while my face thawed, and i remembered what a wonderland a second-hand book shop is. dog-eared corners, highlights and underlines, scribbles in the margins. i pay extra for that sort of thing. it didn’t take long to build a stack in my hand, but i held myself to the 3-for-the-price-of-2 deal and showed some self control. my treasures? Flannery O’Connor to travel with me across the hemisphere in a couple of months; Witold Rybczynski and his Most Beautiful House in The World to mail to a friend; and a pocket sized Carl Sagan, because he wonders about things that fill me with wonder. i will go back again soon and unearth some more gems.

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan

its election day here in Canada. i should probably be ashamed of all the ways i feel un-informed. but i’m working hard on self-acceptance so i’m not going to go there. instead i will just tell you how i took all of my fragments of understanding, and all the un-quantifiable feelings i have in my gut, and i cast my ballot before i stuffed my face with turkey dinner, during the advance voting last weekend. and it felt good. there was no fanfare, barely even a line-up, and everyone was pretty keep-to-themselves about the whole affair. but i felt really good. and really grateful. its a taken-for-granted right + privilege. i hope you do it too.

the wind is moving through the cedar trees. i’m sipping ginger ale + o.j. through a straw and i can almost feel a bit of my lips again. in another hour or so i’m hoping i can eat. the sidewalks around here are honestly thick with leaves. if summer is the season of aliveness, fall is the season of glory. so much glory. so much beauty. no matter the politics. no matter the drool. makes me want to tear out my liver and bear witness to the magic. or at least try to tell you about it.

unicorns. scientists. frozen tongues. scribbles on paper. X marks the spot. how about we just say something today. me + you. whatever is in us to say. it’s easier than losing your liver. it’s just as glorious as fallen leaves.
it’s magic. real magic.
and it feels really good.




norman + the guinea pigs

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sometimes our stories come back to find us.


gloriousness & wretchedness

illustration by lisa congdon

illustration by lisa congdon

good one.

(thanks pema chodron for always saying it just right. and thanks lisa congdon for making the words jump off the page so that i hear them.)

stepping back, away


Not all those who wander are lost,
at least i think that’s how it goes.
i’m pretty sure old Tolkien was right.
i’ve been wandering for a while now,
i’m still not all that sure where i’m going,
but i’ve never felt so certain,
so found.

taking to the skies,
gonna meander me some miles.
who knows what roads will rise to meet me,
i just know one will lead me home.

when i have wings

art by Lisa Congdon

art by Lisa Congdon


(image courtesy of the much-loved Lisa Congdon.)

Madeleine L’Engle

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
Madeleine L’Engle

image credit: ken lewis

image credit: ken lewis

Frida Kahlo

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
Frida Kahlo

image c/o Lucienne Bloch

image c/o Lucienne Bloch

Louise Bourgeois

“Art is a guarantee of sanity. That is the most important thing I have said.” – Louise Bourgeois

image by Erica Freudenstein

image by Erica Freudenstein

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

a way to make your soul grow

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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