April 2010

Field of Fortune

fieldwork, Cynthia O'Brien, Field of Fortune, spring
Fieldwork, Cynthia O'Brien, Field of Fortune, spring

My childhood is infused with images of Ottawa’s Chinatown - from buying White Rabbit candies and Hello Kitty paraphernalia, to memories of Christmas Eve family dinners at our favorite restaurant on Summerset Street.

It is exciting to think that someone far away writes a fortune, incases it in a cookie, cooks it, packs it and sends it to a restaurant.  My job is to eat a really great meal and for that I receive a departing gift of a small cookie.  That cookie holds a thought that engages and connects me to a diversity of hopes and aspirations.

In Field of Fortune I want to share these hopes and aspirations with not only the visitors of the field but the field itself.

I want to dream that the words of fortunes can actually bring about fortune.  Not only to me who received the words but also to the very ground they are now enveloped by.   That ground will produce all manner of plants that we may use in feeding ourselves, building homes or even just walking through.  By summer the field will be rich in growing things, insects, animal life and what better fortune can there be. 

Cynthia O’Brien lives in Centretown, Ottawa and is still eating cookies and collecting the fortunes for life. 


Fieldwork, Cynthia O'Brien, Field of Fortune, spring