Kassandra O’Brien : 2015

A couple of bits

Bits #1 Kassandra O'Brien

We are all people who’ve just walked away from lives in some place which is else (I’ve forgotten yours, but I already asked you three times where you’re from) and which were made under the kind of premises, collected, that define a life, give it shape (I don’t know you well enough to have asked).

Anyway, we’re all here stuck now, we might as well start building.

Bits #2 Kassandra O'Brien

I remembered this, yesterday:

We don’t have to be bound by the way things were before we got here.

There is something beautiful about this city.  It has been rebuilt;
Flowers out of concrete.

We’ll remake the world, you and I.

Bits #3 Kassandra O'Brien

Today we put some seedlings into the earth and we cleared some ground and built things of whole wood – there’s something beautiful about a heft of true wood, pulled out of a tree and knotted and grained, if ‘to grain’ is a verb.  We’ll say it is.

A neighbor walked past our waist-high wood fence; it’s fronted with the gasping, half-alive raspberry bushes we planted.  This neighbor, a bandana wearer, long-hair haver, late-twenty something, raised his fist in a kind of cheer and just said, “Moral support.  Welcome to the neighborhood.”

Somewhere in my bones, this is the thing I’ve always wanted.

Bits #4 Kassandra O'Brien

Moving is beautiful and sad because you have to touch everything you own.

Pick it up and hold it and feel its shape and weight and mentally rate the likelihood it’ll smash at any given box-level; find the right paper to wrap it or folder to file it or drawer it really should have been in this whole time; remember where you got it and why you kept it and what the memory or function is worth to some imagined future self.

You do all this and you end up with these careful boxes of things you believed were important enough to have bothered with, memories worth keeping.

Artifacts.  Not of a former life, but of the day you put everything you owned in a box and decided this thing and that thing were worth the space in a truck.

Bits #5 Kassandra O'Brien

Once, when I was very small, I stole duck eggs I had found under a park bench.  I meant good things for them, but being small and forgetful, I left them hidden in the car.  I found them weeks later, rotted and broken.

This is the first time I remember having a conscience.

Bits #6 Kassandra O'Brien

I have never loved anyone like I love you.

It’s sharp, sometimes; air running over some long gash across my chest.  Mostly it’s dull, though, like the constant presence of a piece of clothing, the sensation staying mostly under conscious thought.  It simply sits there, cloth on skin:  this knowledge that, at least for today, I am not alone here.

Although, to be fair, I’ll tell you this:  I am not the best namer of things.  I once cured a thing I was calling anxiety with a pack of Tums.  Turns out that sometimes that hollow aching under your ribs is stress, is fear, is danger.  Other times, it’s just heartburn.

Back to Artists