Where I’m From

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. Awesome! I bet this is a great exercise to do!

  2. lynnhouse

    Thanks Stacy W. , aka Styzzle.
    It was fun to write. I want to do it again and spend a bit more time thinking through some of it. This was sort of a freeverse exercise. Good stuff to think through though.

    You should probably do where you are NOT from… like, I am NOT from Panama. 🙂

  3. Tracy

    Girl, and I thought that I didn’t sleep! I actually caught 2 hours and you put this out there and it’s another example of the many layers of Lynn that I didn’t know but are truly amazing! What’s up with the beer cooler and guns story? Heidi told me that there were so many parts to you that would impress and amaze me if I ever got to read your book and this just makes me want it more! I want to see how “you” are woven together to be the wonderful and amazing YOU that we all love and care about. Please keep writing it down!

  4. Always enjoy your blog Lynn! Another great entry. Enjoyed the poem very much – and related with a few of them myself.

  5. Alan Lambert

    Very nice entry and I agree with Doris – you can write! But….I always thought you were from Winnetka Lynnetka?

  6. Sue

    love it. you are truly amazing. i can not wait to read your book. love you so much.

  7. Lynn well things happen for a reason then. I wanted to ask you where in Wisconsin/Illinois are you from? I am from both places and talk about both in my books.
    My first book is “Stolen Innocence” and my second book released last month is “Living For Today”

    There in bookstores or can be ordered on amazon. Check them out I think as a parent you would benefit.

  8. Leslie

    Powerful exercise…everyone should try this!

    P.S. Yeah for puffy pink dresses!!! 😉

  9. Jon

    Love it. No more to say.

    • lynnhouse

      Thanks Jon! It was really fun to write. Total free-verse style and brought up lots of memories.

  10. I love this! I decided to use it as a writing prompt on my blog. If you want to join in just post it in Mr. Linky. Follow the link for the March writing prompt/giveaway.


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