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?”

What My Heart Beats For.

IMG_0675Falling in love without fear or hesitation
The evening sun sinking like a golden backdrop behind magnolia blossoms
Flowers that sing of emerging hope in spring
Snow days in winter

High fives and peace signs
Standing on my pedals while biking downhill
Strangers acknowledging each other with a jovial, “hello!”003
The view of the world while up-side-down in a cartwheel

All this is what my heart beats for
Oh this is what my heart beats for

Seeing people I love in my dreams at night
Barefoot walks on soft grass
My sister’s laugh
Nothing-to-hide smiles20140419_135824.jpeg

Raising hell and creating heaven
When people say what they really want to say
Watching a woman fall in love bicycling
End-to-end rainbows shouting ROY-G-BIV

All this is what my heart beats for
Oh this is what my heart beats forny 12

Catching elderly people in unadulterated moments of touch and affection
The last ten seconds before the finish line at peak speed
The sanctuary of warm evenings on the front porch
Spontaneous play

mel cliff jump

Living out of my boldest dreams and creativity
instead of debilitating fear and doubt
Healing touch
Looking people in the eye
The three seconds after jumping off a cliff, body entangled in open air, before landing in water

All this is what my heart beats for
Oh this is what my heart beats for.

The questions and conversations that ensue from lying beneath dark star-filled skieselephants
Gathering around the table in beatific communion
Seeing animals face-to-face in the wild that I’ve only ever seen caged in zoos
Late night heart-to-hearts reminding me that each human heart contains some of the very same pieces

Laughing at myself and taking down my defensive wallssouth korea plane
The velocity of take off
Landing in a place my senses have not experienced before
Gentle rains hitting the Earth at night, a steady lullaby

All this is what my heart beats for,
Oh this is what my heart beats for.

All of this tastes of Heaven on Earth
A portion so sweet, tears collect in the corners of my eyes
Reminding me how beautiful it all is
I take one more breath, not wanting to close to my eyes

Copyright MO 2009

Copyright MO 2009

I want to see it, touch it, taste it, inhale it, exude it, splash in it, roll in it, make waves in it
No skipping beats, no wavering from the present
Steady my heart; this is what keeps it beating
A rhythm that cannot be quelled

And one day, death it will arrive
But life will just be getting started

We’ll meet on the other side;
A heartbeat yielding to the soul’s beat of all that cannot be explained.