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Friday, December 26, 2014

Writer's Workshop: Where I'm From

This week, I am following the prompt: 1. Complete the “Where I’m From” poem. (template here)

This was a hard one, but something I wanted to complete once I saw the template and examples, as I am on a journey toward higher self-esteem and self-image. There are so many pieces that add up to form who I am, but I tried to think of the main things that have really shaped me, or that have been important, interesting or endearing to me. I'm sure I'm missing something, but here's my attempt at it.

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My birthplace
I am from the calculator and the computer bought for me at a young age by my Papa and my father, who both recognized my love of math and technology, and encouraged it.

I am from the cross-stitch, the paint, the pencil, the joy of creating, handed down by my Nana and my mother.

I am from the music: the dance parties or the soothing sounds, both putting me in the best of moods.

From the many choruses I enjoyed being part of for over twelve years. From the love of harmony, the vibrations that blend us so perfectly that it feels like Heaven on Earth when we hit them just right. From never wanting to sing the melody or be the star, but always wanting to be the supporter -- in other areas of life, as well.

I am from leftover scraps of pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon, rolled, and baked just for me. From Christmas cookies, especially the rum logs and gingerbread bells. From broccoli casserole and Swedish apple pie. From fantastic bakers, and excellent cooks.

I am from every other weekend at my father's house. From chili burgers, burritos, and banana splits. From midnight walks and strolls along the beach. From Newport Vanderbilt mansions and fancy restaurants and playing croquet at Clement Moore's old summer residence.

From put your napkin on your lap, sit up straight, and keep your elbows off the table. (Though, sometimes, I forget I'm from there.)

I am from quiet people who can tear up at just about anything on television -- both happy and sad.

I am from the funniest people, the "smart ankles" who can't keep quiet if something strikes them as hilarious (bonus points if it's punny). From impersonations and belly laughs and getting in trouble in school for laughing too much -- not out of disrespect, but because funny things are everywhere. (Just ask Dr. Seuss.)

From "you can be anything you want when you grow up" and "you're full of bologna."

I am from "Jesus loves me" and "love one another" and "the greatest of these is love." From a heart of service, compassion, and respect toward all my brothers and sisters, regardless of who they are and where they have been.

I am from Rhode Island via relatives from Colorado, Connecticut, and North Carolina. From Native Americans (Apache, we think) and ancestors from Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England, Denmark, and Germany -- many of whom were here before the United States was even a country.

From the Pearl Harbor survivor, the Civil War families fighting against each other, the American Revolution patriots.

I am from Little House on the Prairie and other history books and biographies. From a great interest in politics. From watching C-SPAN with my Papa and working as an intern in the State House.

I am from the fascination with and appreciation of other countries and cultures.  From the love of traveling, seeing new places, and meeting friendly people.

I am from the skier and swimmer and one-time Colorado State Champ Little League catcher, and from the avid sports fan, who somehow together created a hockey goalie.

From baseball players and Red Sox fans. From summer nights on Papa's porch, sitting on the swing while listening to the crickets and the ball game.

I am from the countless photo albums opened at the holidays, the laughing at outdated fashion trends, the perfect capturing of both everyday and special moments.  From the love of both reliving and capturing those moments.

From black and white photos of Irish teenagers with wide grins and curly hair and cheerful commentary written on the back. From beautiful, posed women with dark hair and fancy dresses. From men in military uniform. From big family parties, once held quite often.

I am from my father's slide shows, and the first camera he gave me in elementary school. From my step-father's SLR camera, which I used to take a photography class in middle school.

From, as long as I can remember, constantly framing new photos in my mind whenever I would see something beautiful or interesting. From spending hours looking at other people's photography in magazines, especially National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.

I am from these places and so many more. Now it's time to discover where I will go next.

Mama’s Losin’ It