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.

when sleep won’t come

when sleep won’t come
and the clock keeps counting down
toward daylight
and your tired bones
are cursing that earl grey tea
you just had to have
to settle your mind
that now is anything but
settled;
when in the middle of the night
you find yourself awake
in the dark
with nothing to distract you
except everything
you’ve ever thought about,
wondered
or done.
when you find yourself there,
far from sleep
and alone,
be patient.

these moments are not wasted.
they’re just not as you planned.

other things, just as cold

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……
i bought myself flowers two days ago. just because.
tulips – orange ones and purple ones.
i bought enough so i could put some in every room of my little nook.
i wanted to be able to see them, no matter where i was.
they’re really starting to open up today. the petals are relaxing. stems curving.
their sweet, subtle smell keeps catching me off guard.
i can’t tell you how much i like that.

……

there is something strange in my bones these days.
an awkwardness. an unsettledness.
a neither here nor there.
they feel sluggish and unfocused but at the same time, antsy and in-want of.
at first i called it jet lag. then i blamed the full moon. maybe it’s more aptly
a question i don’t yet have the answer to.

……

my mind keeps wandering backwards.
it’s not nostalgia. more like the opposite.
tip-toeing back through moments and memories and tender places
that don’t feel so good. that make the heart feel its weight. that force me to reckon with
forgiveness and regret.
i don’t know why that’s the path i keep returning to. i have theories, but no proof.
i keep hoping it’s leading me somewhere good.
out of brambles and thorns come berries and roses…right?

……

i’ve been opening the windows whenever i can. even just for a few minutes. layer on another sweater, more socks.
it’s worth it.
to feel that fresh spring air.
to smell dirt and hear birds. to have the lines between inside and outside become just a little bit thinner.
i’m so hungry for sun and wind and warmth.
i think i’m just really ready for something new.

……

Spring is a time for dreamers. Spring is a time for coming clean in the scrubbing scream of the wind. Spring is for breaking free of the manacles of whatever cold thing that has been holding you far too tightly, for far too long. I’m not even talking about ice and snow, I’m talking about other things, just as cold, that shrink and burn the spirit and nibble on your bones. Cast it all off and begin anew. This season gives full license to beginnings, limitless living, leaping forth into height and strength. Upward. Onward.

Dear hearts, oh, dear hearts. Grow only hope, I will too.

– from The Noisy Plume

……

on the seventh day

DSCN8563
i grew up on a story that taught me to believe
that this whole wide world was
made from scratch
in just under seven days
(leaving time at the end for a much needed step-back, admire, and rest).

i’m not so sure what i think anymore about
Adam and Eve
and that whirlwind tale of creation.

my faith doesn’t seem to have the legs to leap that far these days.

but,
what i do know,
is that seven days ago
i stood on the other side of this great big planet
and watched the moon rise in a cloudy sky.
what i can believe,
is that seven days is more than enough time
for a heart to feel uprooted
and bones to grow lonesome.

one’s world can look so different by weeks end.

things rarely finish like they began.

i’m still trying to find it good.

when i have wings

art by Lisa Congdon

art by Lisa Congdon

mmmmhmmmm.

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

keep a light touch

i don’t know how it all works.
there are things in this world, moments in this life, that leave me amazed, in awe of the mystery.
i can’t explain the happenstance.
the coincidence.
the crossing of paths.
i have no words for why that persons words/presence/touch/song
resonates
more
than another’s.
why they find me/i find them at the exact time
when i really needed them.
i don’t know why.

i just know it happens.

again and again it happens.
in big ways and small ways.

today it happened in this way.
a poem.
by a woman who i’ve only barely met
but whose words have found me in perfect timing
ever since the first day i laid eyes on them.

it’s like she knows me or something.
it’s like she saw me this week, in that storage room, packing and unpacking boxes,
hitting the floor,
remembering joy,
receiving the gift,
feeling the pinch.

it’s like she’s been there before
and she knows what it’s like
so she wrote me a poem
so i wouldn’t feel all alone,
so i would again be in awe
of the
mystery.

it worked.
….

things

When the moving man comes with your boxes, the ones a storage unit
housed for the seasons between then and now, keep a light touch
on the stories they carry. Some will gift you back the pieces of yourself
you hadn’t thought to miss and spread a grin to your solar plexus, a knowing
that certain things – thank God – will never change. Then there will be
those that pinch an unfamiliar nerve, splitting the length of you to pieces,
and you will wonder how the trek you made not that long ago
could have rendered an estrangement of these sweet intimacies keeping you
cocooned to comfort. Be kind to that history of yours. It brought you here,
tromping up a new set of front steps, breathing this lucid, tender air.

Maya Stein

DSCN7739

it’s not everything, but it’s enough.

DSCN6284
Otis and Janis and Lauryn are serenading me in random rotation
while bread bakes and scones are prepped
and rain falls
and this night kitchen warms
my tired bones.

victory speech.

a chilly loft and leg warmers, limbs that stretch and move.
the way dancing breathes life into hips, spine, and knees.

a to do list that cleans out the nooks and the crannies,
trying to face those things so they quit following me.

a president re-elected to the sounds of marvin gaye,
and i for one am reveling
in lighter loads,
satisfied bones,
good luck
and
humility.

highways and hurricanes

when a week ago you wondered about a plan b
in case of freak weather
i laughed it off.
all i knew in that moment was unexpected sunshine, bare skin, warm breeze.
a day of road trips and fall wine and golden leaves.
i couldn’t imagine clouds on the horizon.

but last night, on that highway, with wind and rain that shook the trees, the car, these bones
i drove through the heart of that storm
that arrived precisely when we didn’t want it to.

fingers clenched, shoulders hunched, eyes unblinking
i slowly steered myself home,
while behind me planes took flight.

and i was reminded
that we never know what lies ahead;
that life is this awkward dance
of learning to be
at once both fully in the moment,
while at the same time fully open to whatever is coming next.

wind blowing
time rolling,
i’m still moving
i’m still right here.

steppin’ out

i’ve been busy this last little while, lost in a flurry of art-making, trying to push myself a little more, stretch out of my comfort zone a little farther, commit to more goals and opportunities to show and share the things that i make.

this past weekend i was invited to be an artist in the Artisan Village at Shelter Valley Folk Festival. it was a good learning experience for me…a chance to meet and connect with a new community of people…another step in clarifying for myself why i do what i do and where i fit in this funny world…it was humbling and affirming and, well, pretty tiring too.

i decided this year to try to put myself and my art out there in the world a little bit more. if i am honest with myself, then i would admit that i have never really pushed myself artistically to see what i am truly made of. i have coasted on “good enough”. i have a lot of ideas i have never acted on. i have spent more creative energy supporting other peoples art-making than i have exploring my own. and i don’t want to keep living that way. i know that my best living, my best art, will happen when i am perched on that growing edge…when i am taking risks and stepping out…my richest creative work AND my bravest people work, will come when i am most alive in myself.
i know this.
so i am trying.

part of this process for me is going after opportunities to show what i do. there is a lot for me to learn about myself and my art that i believe i can only learn by letting it out into the world, facing the vulnerability that comes with that, learning to sit with those fears and insecurities, trusting affirmation and encouragement when it comes my way…

it scares the shit out of me sometimes.
but i’m trying to do it anyway.

so…all that said…

this Friday, September 7, is the launch of Gallery In The Truck ,a very cool week-long initiative as part of Artsweek here in Peterborough. Gallery In The Truck is a mobile gallery running out of the back of a U-Haul, that will be parked in different locations around the city over the course of next week. I am one of 10 artists who will have their work in the truck. Check out the website, or Facebook, to find more info on when and where the truck will be located.

then, on September 18th, there is the opening of the Inaugural Little Red Hen Exhibition at the brand new Gallery In The Attic, located in downtown Peterborough. this new gallery space promises to be home to many inspiring new ventures, and i’m excited to be a part of it (again, you can find out more info by checking out their website or looking it up on Facebook).

this is just a start, i know.
but a beginning is a beginning.
stay tuned for more shows and opportunities to come out and share in the art that i’ve been making. thanks for the cheerleaders that help me believe that my ideas are worth pursuing.

life is fleeting.
let’s live it well.

http://galleryinthetruck.wordpress.com/

http://littleredhengallery.wordpress.com/

photo courtesy of Gallery In The Attic

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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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