Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Am From...

While visiting my daughter2 a week or so ago she shared a poem she'd written with her fifth grade class. It was such a precious peek inside her head and heart and is something I wanted to try too.  I'd seen something similar a while back on Pam's blog, and there is a template you can follow on Mama Kat's blog here, but I believe the idea originated with the author George Ella Lyon. It has since morphed into a world wide writing prompt, a thoughtful one at that, so I'm giving it a try today. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be...so much life and memory to cram into so few sentences. I think y'all know that brevity is not my forte.

So where are you from?

I Am From...

I am from soft pink roses on the bedroom wall, Little Kiddles, and Dippity-Do. I am from the green house with white shutters, Barbie clothes under the tree, and paper dolls spread across the living room rug. I am from Crow Boy, Anne Shirley, and a mountain of books read aloud. I am from a twin bed and a baby sister across the dark space, House of the Rising Sun strummed one thousand times on a brother's guitar, and an older sister with mascara, and records, and a bed made for jumping.

I am from purple iris reaching up to my chin, and a real Christmas tree whose needles land in small piles on the sheet around it's base. I am from wisteria outside the kitchen window and pyracantha scaling the chimney brick by brick, year by year.

I am from chores on Saturday mornings and imaginary creatures named Naugahyde. I am from a box of dress ups in the basement, the black and white fuzz of a TV at midnight, and a phone cord stretching from kitchen to den. I am from new Easter clothes and Give Me That Old Time Religion, from farm stock and painters, The United States Marine Corps and the free public library. I am from  the hum of a sewing machine, the whirl of a mixer, and letters stamped Vietnam.

I am from grace before meals and holiday feasts served on good china. I am from sit up straight and elbows off the table. I am from a pew on the left, hymn sings, pot luck dinners, and bless be the tie that binds. I am from Sunday night youth group, The Cowtail Bar, and Jesus Never Fails.

I am from the great blue expanse of an Albuquerque sky and the crisp clean air of Rocky Mountain high. From Aloha and the loving arms of Ga-Ga, an island called Parris, and a base called Quantico.  From a used-to-be farm called Barclay and walking barefoot in the grass. I am from no hands on the bike, running as the can was kicked, and all-y all-y in come free.

I am from enchiladas and hot sauce. From buttercreams dipped one by one and Christmas cookies baked by the dozen.  From quiet strength and sure love. I am from hard workers and careful spenders, integrity, and faith put into action.

I am from a father unwrapping his gifts with a letter opener so as not to tear the paper and a mother,  who in her worst, worst-case scenario fit of worry late one night, convinced my father to remove the door from a bedroom because her perfectly fine son didn't answer her knock. She was sure a spot on the carpet was blood.

I am from racks of slides now in boxes, pictures taken on the steps, 70's clothes and awkward family photos. I am from moving away with home in my heart, and then moving some more, and again and again, and still more agains.  With every again I reach back for myself and the familiar taste and feel of home, certain in the knowledge that no matter where I lay my head,  my present will be stamped with the sweet gentle touch of where I am from.

23 comments:

  1. I loved all the images you wrote of...some were similiar for me, but some unique only to you. It makes me want to try it too, but not today. I've got other things to get done first.

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  2. Joyce, this is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This is lovely Joyce. You are a very gifted writer. I just loved this.

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  4. How lovely - I have not heard of this project, but I shall consider it - though it looks really hard! Yours was beautiful.

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  5. What a nice poem! Now I feel as if I know you just a little bit better than ever before.

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  6. Only you could write this.......you certainly have the gift! Reading this evoked all sorts of sweet memories from my past! A most enjoyable read.

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  7. Evocative, charming, touching, funny, an chock full Of wonderful imagery. I really enjoyed every word and identify with much of them.

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  8. Evocative, charming, touching, funny, an chock full Of wonderful imagery. I really enjoyed every word and identify with much of them.

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  9. What a great idea for a poem, yours is especially well written, the images are so vivid and full or emotions. I share many of them :)

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  10. Love, love, love this! I want to try too. I'll have to give it some thought when I'm not so tired, taxed and sick. By the way, your post last week inspired me to change my security settings so that others don't have to type a bunch of gobblety goop to comment on my blog. :)

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  11. I just love this! What sweet memories.

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  12. Wow that was so beautifully said...I recognize some of where you are from in my where I am from too....You are quite a good writer! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  13. Beautiful! What a fun writing assignment.

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  14. Love this :) You did an excellent job, I never doubted you could do this. It brought tears to my eyes when I got to white fuzz on the TV and the long phone cord!

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  15. Love love this. Or maybe it was the way YOU did it. ;)

    I'm from a lot of these too... (of course) ;)

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  16. You have a wonderful way with words and this is truely beautiful.

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  17. Joyce...This is so well done! You nailed it. I am inspired to try myself.

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  18. Very interesting exercise. I would like to try it too ... if I can find the time and the energy at the same time. :)

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  19. Oh-that-was-beautiful!
    Really, Beautiful!!
    Thanks for sharing this - I enjoyed it very much!!

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  20. Oh Joyce, thank you for referring me back to this post. I don't know how I missed it, but so glad I found it. You have such a gift for writing and for expressing those thoughts and feelings that most of us either have no idea how to write about or choose to leave hiden. Again, thank you for sharing your "I Am From..." with us and for not letting me miss it.

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