Origins

Casey's original piece "Divided We Stand," 2016.

Casey’s original piece “Divided We Stand,” 2016.

Origins

I have been told this is my home.
It is true, it is where I was born.
But I must beg the question: do the lines of a nation trace the lines of my soul?

Gripping to an identity, the ink etched deeply in the tightly wound document I hold in my hands.
This, these pages give me freedom, yet give me cages
give me power, yet strip away the power to love;
to love unconditionally, without question, without motive
a place to run free, and yet no place to hide.

My skin, my eyes, my tongue; give a clue, speak to the generations that have come before
but is the place of my birth the place of my soul?

Photo: Casey Kilburn

Photo: Casey Kilburn

At times I long to live as the bird, ever flying high
catching glimpses of a world beautifully,
perfectly sewn together by mountains and oceans,
instead of laws and borders.

Circling, circling around
passing from one place to the next as delicately as a gentle breeze.

We originate, but where is our home?
Is the place of my birth the place of my soul?

Photo: CK

Photo: CK

 

“‘Origins’ was born out of born out of the honest questioning and searching for my place and belonging at this point in my life. Trying to discover my identity through where I am and where I have been, without making those things the identity itself but simply helping me grow. It was also questioning the sense that any one place is better or worse and simply because we were born or lived much of our life in a town or country, should we be expected to always be there? I think about immigration and the simple power of a sheet of paper to change someone’s life drastically for better or worse. Why this identity has to divide us instead of coming together as a collective people, not necessarily as collective nations. I don’t think I have ever fully felt a deep longing or patriotic connection to the States or any one country, and for me I am starting accept and believe that that is okay. My allegiance will go to my family, my neighbor, to the beautiful human beings I encounter each day; finding a home in the simple beauty that surrounds, wherever that may take me.” -Casey Kilburn

Casey was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and over the past few years has had the deep privilege to learn and travel to some known, and lesser known, corners of the earth. Through her love of the beautiful game of futbol, traveling, and people, she has gained, and still learning everyday, about this difficult, wonderful, immensely diverse, and fascinating world. She hopes to convey some of these joys, questions, and her spirit through her writing.

Her original piece “Divided We Stand” as pictured above features “A dove that is carrying an olive branch. I envisioned that as the voices of immigrants and refugees, sending the message of peace to our country but the question is ‘Has this message actually reached America? Or has the message been lost in the journey, giving rise to the current rhetoric surrounding so much of the immigration discussion?”

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