Friday, September 24, 2010

Where I'm From

I am from ancient quilts reeking of mothballs, from lemony furniture polish and well-tuned pianos.

I am from suburban bricks on a cul-de-sac, from spaces filled with books and inherited furniture, from darkened rooms with flickering Super8 family movies on Friday night.

I am from the redbud, the azalea, the tall oak and maple - the riotous daffodils, the drifts of cherry blossom.

I am from Friday's meal of potato and beans and from the Family of Righteous Indignation, from Joan and Jack and generations of Klooster.

I am from the corner of Stubborn and Devoted - the two intersect in many places.

From a house where rowdy boys riled a peace-loving sister; where quiet quirkiness was venerated.

I am from a remnant church, a community in the world but not of the world. I am equally from the wider world that then found me. I am from faith, I am from love, and I am from a life that offers grace at every turn.

I'm from Malaysia, from England, from Veja-Links and cucumber sandwiches.

From the steel-grey and ever-elegant piano teacher who guided a crowd with laughter and poise through war, heartbreaks and car crashes, always taking the higher road. From the gifted and also-elegant elementary teacher who is everything and nothing like her mother, who has a heart forty three times her size.

I am from no place - I am from Family, located on eight hearths before I was eighteen. I am the books, the photos, the film reels, the stories: the memories of a host of genetics. At the core is Family.

***********

This post is linked as part of The Red Writing Hood, over at The Red Dress Club. The assignment this week asked us to participate in a long-running writing exercise in which we were all invited to complete the same basic form, delineating our perceived roots: where we are from. You can read more about the exercise here. I'd encourage you to try it, even if (especially if!) you don't see yourself as a writer.

16 comments:

HisBell said...

I love the emphasis on family...

Cyrene said...

Yes, family! This is beautiful!

Ratz said...

Beautiful.. tat's the only word that came to my mind reading this

Nichole said...

This post is truly lovely.

The middle is my favorite part...

"I am from the corner of Stubborn and Devoted - the two intersect in many places.

From a house where rowdy boys riled a peace-loving sister; where quiet quirkiness was venerated."

There is so much about that section that I love. The unity of your family shines through this entire piece.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

Love this description: the riotous daffodils.

And why shouldn't they be?

Really great job here.

Kerri said...

So eloquent. It just flows so beautifully.

Rebekah C said...

I am from faith, I am from love, and I am from a life that offers grace at every turn.

I loved this sentence in particular. Lovely.

Lori-Anne said...

There is so much I loved about this piece that I could easily just copy it verbatim. Well said! But I have to make a special nod to the riotous daffodils. Aren't they, though??

The Drama Mama said...

Family, perfect. It's where we all come from in the end, eh? I love how you've summarized it up so beautifully.

Adelle said...

My favorite - the cadence is wonderful: I am from the redbud, the azalea, the tall oak and maple - the riotous daffodils, the drifts of cherry blossom

Cheryl said...

Love the Family of Righteous Indignation. HA!

Well, done, my friend. Well done.

Kristy said...

I love this:
I am from the corner of Stubborn and Devoted

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

I love this - "I am from suburban bricks on a cul-de-sac"

Rose West said...

Beautiful post! I love the writing style - this would make a good introduction to some memoirs.

Nancy C said...

I agree with Nichole...the middle part is just right. I love the paragraph about faith...grace in particular.

I agree with the other posters that you just do a fabulous job with the rhythm/pacing of this. It's like a song.

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

You mean I might be able to create something like this. Even if I could write a tenth of your beauty in words I would be ecstatic.
Dana

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