Where I’m From

I am from dirt trails, from multi-colored super balls raced in rain-flooded gutters and tunnels carved through wild raspberry bushes.

I am from the orange house with the soaring views and quirky angles, perched on the edge of the hill, toward the end of the dead end street, past the plum trees and tiny houses to where the sky opens above.

I am from the sunlight between willow trees and evergreens, the purple burst of blossom on the hearty rhododendron bush and then later, from the perfume of the orchards dancing on the cool breeze at sundown.

I am from late night puzzles and last minute genius, from Annie-bird and B. Davie and the creator of the cool walk.

I am from the irreverent and the sentimental, from the wisdom of “Fuck’em” and the crackle of the long distance connection and soft I love yous..

From faerie blankets and loving you thiiiiiiiiiis much.

I am from acceptance and empathy, from discovery and absurdity. I am from molds that don’t match the set, but that find a way to come together.

I’m from the lush edges of Eugene and from the craggy, elegant roots of family ‘back east’, from salty treats shared family-style in big bowls alongside board games to Mexican buffets presented over sarapes amidst the intoxicating din of laughter and conversation.

From the time we nearly hit Mexico trying to get home, from dusty softball fields and sticky bleachers. I am from the familiar route we traveled along the Columbia Gorge, popping snake bite medicine as we went and swaying to the soundtrack of St. Elmo’s Fire and little sister teasing.

I am from the edge of water; the pools at 816, Pilgrim Place and the Donald Street apartment, the shores of Lake Tahoe and Santa Cruz, the banks of theWillamette River and the Yakima River. I am from the clap of a cannon ball and the slosh of a dog retrieving tennis balls in the deep end. I am from the spring of hope and purpose from which I was lucky enough to drink.

*******

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like a meme or writing prompt, but this morning as I scanned my favorite faces on twitter, @sarahvis linked to a post that she wrote as part of a writing prompt. In the way that tends to happen she found it through a couple of people, both of whom I admire. There is Ali and Jennifer, you should go explore both, it’s worth the clicks!

Exploring my past through these gentle prompts was incredible. You can find the template here. Please go and try it, I’d love to read where you came from! So let me know if you join in.


I'm not kidding when I ask you to tell me what you think.

  1. A salve to my soul. That your composite memories can be woven into such poetry relieves some chronic regret of what was tragic and difficult in those years. Thank you for this. BDN would rhapsodize.

  2. I love this prompt – I wrote mine last summer and still think of it often. Love hearing these details from your childhood and life. xox

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  4. So glad you pointed me here. And this was written well before we found each other, I think. Loved getting to know you better in this way. I liked your after note too. I think this was one of the only memes I have ever done! And for sure the first full prompt. It was truly liberating to go with the flow and not come up with my own idea for the structure, allowing the more specific memories to come quickly. Lots of people from my hometown really liked it on FB since they shared so many memories of the same places. That was fun!

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