This is a poem in response to a writing exercise I found recently.
To see the original, go to http://www.georgeellalyon.com/where.html
Here’s my very off-the-cuff first attempt. I started with a Christmas thought since I was sitting by our tree, and then went from there. It’s totally random, but I suppose that is the best way to describe a person anyway, huh?
I’m from my father’s shoulders/ from the skinny, little body stretched toward the tree top to add the golden angel / from Christmas trains around the base of the tree / and ornaments made from popsicle sticks and pom poms.
I’m from Grandpa Freese’s ticklebug and Gramma Morton’s homemade noodles/ from a down-syndrome aunt and drunk uncles dancing around bonfires / I’m from Chicago and Wisconsin and French Canadian natives / from Indiana, the suburbs and the city.
I’m from Jim with his Eli Lilly loyalty / and Doris with her stay-at-home nurturing. / I’m from ice skating, gymnastics, diving and tennis lessons / from Young Life summer camps and family vacations to California, Williamsburg and Bermuda.
I’m from Barbie and Baby Chrissy and dolls from my dad’s international travels/ from the musical Annie, The Sound of Music, Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton John. / I’m from brothers and front yard football games and little league baseball, / from their classic rock, drums, electric guitars, strobe lights and inscence.
I’m from Cottilion and white gloves and cha-cha-cha / from show choirs with puffy, pink dresses and Gershwin’s “Embraceable You,” / I’m from insecurity, buck teeth, freckles and frizzy hair / and from braces, straightening irons and wavering confidence.
I’m from a new identity in Jesus, who showed up at camp / and I’m from ego and the war between the two / from St. Pius, East 91st Street, Tabernacle, Grace and Common Ground / from liturgy and evangelism, from discipleship and community.
I’m from babysitting and Kelly Girl, / from public relations and marketing from waitressing and men with guns pointed at my back / from prayers in beer coolers and rescuing policemen.
I’m from books I cannot put down / from C.S. Lewis, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott and Henri Nouwen / from words and language and the pull of a good story.
I’m from music and the magical spell it casts with powerful lyrics and arrangements, / from art and the awakening gained from the colors, the brush strokes and the texture, / I am from theater and films, from entrancement in watching lives and plots unfold on stage or a screen.
I am from romance and giddy feelings and intense emotion / from courtship and marriage / from sickness and health / and from shattered dreams and birthing new ones.
I’m from mothering four boys, laughing out loud and gray hairs / from milestones and setbacks / from unspeakable joy and from the mundane.
I’m from the mosaics of friendships across the years / from passion for people and from love that makes a heart nearly explode / from experiences of loyalty / and from the heartbreak of betrayal.
I’m from the mountains, from Telluride, the Tetons, Mount Princeton and the San Juans / from the sun casting diamonds across the snowy trails in winter / and from wildflowers bursting across the valleys in summer.
I’m from summertime on Grandview Lake / from skiing and wakeboarding and screaming kids on a tube. / I’m from Fourth of July fireworks in the dark of the night / and the peace of a lone kayak in mid-afternoon.
I’m from Florida in Springtime / from browning, bare skin and painted toenails peeking out from flip flops / from the foam of the waves and the piles of salty seashells.
I am from the love of a great God / from the sacrifice of his Son and the wisdom of the Spirit / I’m from forgetting whose I am / and most importantly, I’m from a place where I remember it again.