Monday, 12 January 2015

Where I Am From

I came across a writing exercise this morning.  Called Where I am From, it directs your to fill in the blanks to create your own story about how you came to be you.  On a different day, I would probably complete it differently, and to that end I have downloaded the template and will revisit it again in the future. 

I added a few pictures and voila!

Where I Am From

I am from new shirts from Woodward’s dollar forty-nine day, from scotch mints tucked beneath the couch cushions.  Newborn kittens in the hayloft.

I am from the stucco and beam farmhouse with the sliding patio front door and wild pink flowered wallpaper in the kitchen.  From aromas as welcoming as stewing chicken or as repugnant as canning salmon.   Pipe smoke.

I am from music.   Mom singing in the kitchen, or the garden, or the barn.   Records.  Soundtracks from The King and I and My Fair Lady.  My piano. 

I am from paperwork and party lines and a home based business .  The dining room desk with it’s clutter.  Typing Dad’s correspondence on the clunky manual typewriter.  The mistakes never forgotten by the carbon copy.  The expectation that you would answer the telephone politely, in case it was a business call.  Take proper messages, written down. 

I am from the tall sweet grass in the field, where we would lay down and name the cloud shapes as they drifted past.  From the cool of the tree canopy at the back of our farm on hot summer days.  From the outdoor swimming pool where we trained most mornings at 6am. 

I am from overseas phone calls at Christmas and a family of giants.

From Edna and Jim and Jennifer.

I am from the bargain rack shoppers and the good night kisses.

I am from dogs and cattle and horses and chickens.  All with names, and personalities.  From parades around our side field where the parents would sit in their folding lawn chairs,  watching us kids circle the field, riding horses with flowers braided into manes and tails, towing dogs with painted toe nails and floral collars, pulling wagons with the littlest kids inside or maybe riding a bike with a playing card clothes-pegged to the spokes.

From “I will come up to tuck you in” and “you get as much out of something as you put into it”. 

I am from the bonnets and white gloves of Anglican Sunday School, the satin gowns and purple robes of Jobies.  From the pile of books on my bed borrowed from the book-mobile, where I discovered “The Religions of the World” which I read cover to cover while sick in bed.  I was about 11. 

I'm from pond skating in Port Arthur ON, by way of a red door in England near the train bridge and an apartment in Bombay with turkey’s on the balcony.  I am from spicy curries and rich beef stews made from our own animals that we raised and garden veggies that we produced.

I am from the ships engineer who was lost at sea; from the kind man who was illiterate but still tried to read to his eight children, substituting the words “apple cart” for any word he was unable to read; from the desperate young mother of four who died from infection from a self- induced abortion.

I am from home movies, flickering soundlessly in a dark basement, from letters from my grandfather to my father and from my father to me, from creased and bent black and white prints of my sister and me posing in the snow, and framed portraits of my parents through the years, side by side.





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