some people.

BrianDettmer2briandettmer1some people read books. some people write them. other people take fine blades and insane ideas and blow peoples minds with them. or, at least, that’s what Brian Dettmer does.

BrianDettmer14“My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”

“The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge.”

book surgeon2

to see more of the book surgeons work, go here

head over heels.

Dreams for Weary Sailors

Dreams for Weary Sailors

i think i may have fallen in love.

i didn’t mean to. i mean, sure, i was on the lookout for a little eye candy…on the prowl, if you will, for some inspiration.

but i never expected to be so smitten. so distracted. so head-over-heels.

He Knew The Path Held Dangers...

He Knew The Path Held Dangers...

but i am.

oh boy. i am.

Shadow Play

Shadow Play

it’s the muted colors. the magical light.

it’s tall grasses and small people and shadow puppets on the wall.

it’s sailboats and big waves

and titles that feel like poetry.

this is what has captured my imagination and made me so weak in the knees for the artwork of Elly MacKay .

She wove her crown from the flowers that grew around her...

She wove her crown from the flowers that grew around her...

i stumbled on her work quite by accident the other day. knowing nothing about her, but just being fascinated by the images.

i keep following the threads to find more and more of her playful, heartful, creations.

the more i find, the more i love.

I'll travel with you

I'll travel with you

the fact that she is not only a Canadian artist, but from Owen Sound, Ontario (so close to home in the grand scheme of things),

just makes it all the sweeter.

i love when beauty falls right in your lap

and all you can do is soak it up and say thank you.

thank you Elly MacKay for making art that makes me fall in love. it is a good thing indeed.

this isn’t a contest

rae art 035


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

– Mary Oliver

10 things i miss today.

just a list of sorts:


breakfasts like this.

breakfasts like this.


good moments on this patio.

hours spent on this patio.


eating this.

eating this.


perfect places like this.

perfect places like this.


moments like this.

moments like this.


playfulness without hesitation.

playfulness without hesitation.


days like this.

days like this.


the garden like this.

the garden.


sitting in this field.

sitting in this field.


campfires and the magic they bring.

campfires and the magic they bring.

what i am is

i spent my morning today with one of  my favorite people. his name is mr. jones, and what he lacks in size and years he makes up for in courage and delight.  in the middle of playing cars and watching cars and making music and eating snow and jumping on beds and building towers and destroying towers and trying out words and bursting out laughs, mr. jones and i spent some time dancing.

this boy has a soft spot for a certain songstress named Feist and her 1,2,3,4 masterpiece that she sings on the streets of Sesame. her smooth voice and spot on counting mastery woos him every time, and gets his little hips wiggling and his voice ooooohing. she’s pretty cute too, and i think that doesn’t hurt.

i must admit that i had never fully explored the wealth of Sesame Street music that is, apparently, out there. amazing, really. and while no one really won the boy childs heart away from the countess, we did break out some good moves to a few other songs. including this one, which i think tied as a favorite for me.

you might think you’re too old for Sesame Street now. and if that’s the case, i’m really sorry. i am. and i hope soon you can find that part of you that you grew out of somewhere along the way, and when you find it i hope you dust it off and try it back on, because i’m pretty sure that if you just take a deep breath and wiggle your old bones a bit, you’ll find that childlike part of you still fits you like it was made for you.

because it was.

and it still is.

and sometimes we just need someone to come along and feed us some fresh snow and remind us to stop taking ourselves, our lives, so seriously. to loosen us out of whatever we’ve grown into and help us remember how to dance.

me and mr. jones

me and mr. jones

i was rising up

january 1st was the one year anniversary of the death of Lhasa De Sela, a musician who created with such beauty and passion and originality, it still leaves me speechless.



thinking about lives well lived makes me think about my own life. makes me wonder how well i’m living it. makes me wonder what i’m doing, who i’m becoming…and what parts will people find worth remembering.

2010 held a lot of things for me…a lot of beauty, yes…a lot of pain too. a lot of things that made me stop and think, re-think, be brave, give thanks. this past year spoke a lot of words. fragile. mystery. grace. fear. acceptance. delight. humility. courage. truth. trust. i tried to pay attention. to listen well. i hope i learned a thing or two. i hope some of the lessons start getting a little bit easier.

i wonder what this year will have to say? i wonder what story my life will tell? i hope it’s worth reading. i hope a year from now there is joy in looking back and remembering…

for now, i have today and the gift of newness. and i have these songs from this fiery soul who walked a winding road and who shared her joy till the very end. i heard it said today that Lhasa “giggled till she had no breath left…she giggled till the very end.” that made me smile.

may we find our ways to live our days fully, till we have no breath left.



this feast of beauty

every once and a while
i mingle with the divine.

these moments are never planned.
they always catch me off guard.

i’m sure they occur more often than i realize.
but now and then i am awake enough to notice.

we spent a few minutes together tonight.
me and perfection, the sacred, the divine…god.

it was in my car of all places.
on my way home from the grocery store.

bruce cockburn was singing on the radio.
i’ve been convinced for a long time that he is only half mortal.
but tonight he transcended this finite world altogether.

tonight i sat in my car,
in the dark,
listening to the radio as
bruce sang about mystery, about burning hearts,
about the feast of beauty, about stumbling lovers,

and somewhere between the first verse and the last
i realized i was sitting in the presence of something
really beautiful,
something really unexplainable,
something really profound and
really good.

the song finished
and i got out of my car.
it was just a song on the radio on a late november night
on my way home from the grocery store.

it was so much more than that.

don’t tell me there is no mystery.

it’s everywhere i turn.

bruce cockburn

bruce cockburn

You can’t tell me there is no mystery
You can’t tell me there is no mystery
It’s everywhere I turn

Moon over junk yard where the snow lies bright
Snow lies bright
Snow lies bright
Moon over junk yard where the snow lies bright
Can set my heart to burn

Stood before the shaman, I saw star-strewn space
Star-strewn space
Star-strewn space
Stood before the shaman, I saw star strewn space
Behind the eye holes in his face

Infinity always gives me vertigo
Infinity always gives me vertigo
And fills me up with grace

I was built on a Friday and you can’t fix me
You can’t fix me
You can’t fix me
I was built on a Friday and you can’t fix me
Even so I’ve done okay

So grab that last bottle full of gasoline
Grab that last bottle full of gasoline
Light a toast to yesterday

And don’t tell me there is no mystery
And don’t tell me there is no mystery
It overflows my cup

This feast of beauty can intoxicate
This feast of beauty can intoxicate
Just like the finest wine

So all you stumblers who believe love rules
Believe love rules
Believe love rules
Come all you stumblers who believe love rules
Stand up and let it shine
Stand up and let it shine

– Bruce Cockburn

[* i came across this note today, that i had written a year ago in another nook in the interwebs, and it meant something to me still, so i thought i would share it again, here…]

and to think that i saw it on mulberry street

okay it wasn’t mulberry street, but it could have been…

some people grow flowers...

some people grow flowers...

i love when people let their crazy ideas spill out all over their front lawns.

thank you shirley for bringing some magic to my evening stroll down city streets…

...others grow imaginations.

...others grow imaginations.

here, she was saying, is the poem of you.

( sweet gratitude to deb for sharing this and maya for writing this. my discovery was delayed, but the timing couldn’t have been better. i love it when words lay in waiting till right when you need them most. )



Take exquisite care of yourself
she said, and that day, fighting a cold,
I misunderstood, took myself directly
to bed, then to the kitchen for soup,
then wasted an obscene amount of hot water
on a late afternoon shower.

Later, when the weight in my chest
had cleared, when I could breathe again,
and tell the difference between fogginess and fog,
it occurred to me I had not been listening
for a long time.

Here, she was saying, is the poem of you.
Here is your delicate architecture, you fragile aliveness.
Here are your deer legs, your dandelion heart.
Here are your dormouse tracks on fresh, permeable snow.
Here is the way you sing, your voice millimetering toward sound,
how you hold your gaze on the coastline as if it were
a fiber of gold. Here is your language,
thin as a moth wing, your kiss a whisper
of offering. Here is how you cross the street,
how you drive the car, how you throw a Frisbee and bake a cake.
Here are the contents of your purse,
the Chapstick down to the quick
the receipt for midnight groceries,
a square sachet of lavender, a pair of broken
sunglasses still, somehow, salvageable.
Here are the thousand tiny ways you know to love.
Here are your wild little arms,
the soft tentacles of your fingers.
Here is how you sleep and how you wake up,
how you tiptoe toward the edge of the water
like a turtle, a drip of honey, an heirloom sweater
buried in a pile of attic castoffs.
Here are your shoes. Here is the way you eat.
Here are your secret favorite things, the underbelly of clover
lining the deck boards, the moss erupting near the recycling.
Here is your devotion to precision and the giddy, uncontainable
mess you nevertheless effort to contain.
Here are the sounds you make when you’re happy,
the alleyway damp of your sorrow.
Here is the lullaby tucked inside your bureau,
the joy hidden under the last shelf in the pantry,
the smooth belly of peace obscured by traffic lights.
Here is everything you know,
and everything that is still waiting patiently
for you to know it.

And I saw that this exquisite care
I was asked to take was not a matter
of sleep or soup, or hot water,
but an unflagging allegiance to my own wisdom,
the curves and wayward bends of it,
wool-scratched and seaglass-soft
syllabled or a baby’s babble,
however it was shaped and however it shaped,
wisdom, mine, certainty and uncertainty, a light,
however dim, steady and beckoning.

and this too:
loyalty to the peculiar and exceptional
ticking of my heart, which, without any intervention,
knows exactly what it needs
to chase the next breath
and the one that will come
just after.

Maya Stein

time lost and found

I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.

Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.

This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement. That multitasking can argue a wasted life. That a close friendship is worth more than material success.

Needless to say, this is very distressing for my writing students. They start to explain that they have two kids at home, or five, a stable of horses or a hive of bees, and 40-hour workweeks. Or, on the other hand, sometimes they are climbing the walls with boredom, own nearly nothing, and are looking for work full-time, which is why they can’t make time now to pursue their hearts’ desires. They often add that as soon as they retire, or their last child moves out, or they move to the country, or to the city, or sell the horses, they will. They are absolutely sincere, and they are delusional.

I often remember the story from India of a beggar who sat outside a temple, begging for just enough every day to keep body and soul alive, until the temple elders convinced him to move across the street and sit under a tree. Years of begging and bare subsistence followed until he died. The temple elders decided to bury him beneath his cherished tree, where, after shoveling away a couple of feet of earth, they found a stash of gold coins that he had unknowingly sat on, all those hand-to-mouth years.

You already have the gold coins beneath you, of presence, creativity, intimacy, time for wonder, and nature, and life. Oh, yeah, you say? And where would those rascally coins be?

This is what I say: First of all, no one needs to watch the news every night, unless one is married to the anchor. Otherwise, you are mostly going to learn more than you need to know about where the local fires are, and how rainy it has been: so rainy! That is half an hour, a few days a week, I tell my students. You could commit to writing one page a night, which, over a year, is most of a book.

If they have to get up early for work and can’t stay up late, I ask them if they are willing NOT to do one thing every day, that otherwise they were going to try and cram into their schedule.

They may explain that they have to go to the gym four days a week or they get crazy, to which I reply that that’s fine—no one else really cares if anyone else finally starts to write or volunteers with marine mammals. But how can they not care and let life slip away? Can’t they give up the gym once a week and buy two hours’ worth of fresh, delectable moments? (Here they glance at my butt.)

Can they commit to meeting one close friend for two hours every week, in bookstores, to compare notes? Or at an Audubon sanctuary? Or a winery?

They look at me bitterly now—they don’t think I understand. But I do—I know how addictive busyness and mania are. But I ask them whether, if their children grow up to become adults who spend this one precious life in a spin of multitasking, stress, and achievement, and then work out four times a week, will they be pleased that their kids also pursued this kind of whirlwind life?

If not, if they want much more for their kids, lives well spent in hard work and savoring all that is lovely, why are they living this manic way?

I ask them, is there a eucalyptus grove at the end of their street, or a new exhibit at the art museum? An upcoming minus tide at the beach where the agates and tidepools are, or a great poet coming to the library soon? A pond where you can see so many turtles? A journal to fill?

If so, what manic or compulsive hours will they give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or meander? Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for.

Will they give me one hour of housecleaning in exchange for the poetry reading? Or wash the car just one time a month, for the turtles? No? I understand. But at 80, will they be proud that they spent their lives keeping their houses cleaner than anyone else in the family did, except for mad Aunt Beth, who had the vapors? Or that they kept their car polished to a high sheen that made the neighbors quiver with jealousy? Or worked their fingers to the bone providing a high quality of life, but maybe accidentally forgot to be deeply and truly present for their kids, and now their grandchildren?

I think it’s going to hurt. What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life.

I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.

– Anne Lamott

anne-lamott-0410-m ( from , with many thanks to darling Lesley who shared it with me on   this beautiful Sunday morning. These were good words to wake up to.)

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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