Sunday, February 8, 2009

Where I'm From

Please stop by and read Vonda's post on The Little Egg Farm.  It will explain where this post came from.  She challenged all who read to do a similar post.  Honestly, I'm a little worried about mine.  I'm hoping it will remind me of a mostly drama free childhood, despite some of the sadness I feel about it.

I am from his, mine and ours.  I am from suburbia. I am from middle class.  I am from Ellis Island, and Missouri, and Russia and North Dakota.  I am from a big family and a small family. I am from disfunction and function.  I am from World War II meets small town girl.

I am from soil and gardens.  I am from tomatoes as tall as the eves.  I am from boiled shrimp for birthdays and pork ribs for 4th of July.  I am from nature and hunting.  I am from bird dogs and shotguns.  I am from fishing and mushroom hunting. I am from respecting nature. I am from alcohol.  I am from depression. I am from someone damaged by war.  I am from love.
I am from sewing.  I am from determination.  I am from beautiful.  I am from cupcakes for birthdays at school.  I am from thoughtfulness and thoughtlessness.  I am from love of reading books.  I am from art and creativity. I am from summer canning.  I am from long-suffering.  I am from self preservation.  

I am from open-mindedness. I am from acceptance of race, and sexuality, and religion.  

I am from much older sisters and brother.  I am from not knowing them well because they were so much older.  I am from admiring them from afar.  I am from riding bikes.  I am from cleaning on weekends. I am from watching and learning.  I am from kick-the-can.  I am from ring-and-run.  I am from weekends at the lake with best friends.  I am from long car trips to North Dakota and Minnesota and Canada.  I am from long car trips with smokers.  I am from sunup to sundown, outside. I am from grocery store brand ice cream, and milk and and cereal.  I am barefoot--all summer.  I am from home perms. I am from rhubarb and strawberries. I am from silver dollars from grandpa.

I am from good people. I am from no church.  I am from good neighbors in good neighborhoods. I am from ice cream trucks. I am from summers of bike riding and creek exploring. I am from attic fans and windows open.  I am from cold winters and hot summers.  I am from a public pool.  I am from 80 stitches and popsicles.  I am from basements during tornados.

I am from good times and bad.  I am from love and hate.  I am from happiness and extreme sadness.  I am from survival.  I am from those that wished for something different and waited to long to do anything about it.  I am from failure and success. I am from the next best idea. 

Where are you from?


  1. Hmmm... that seems like a very hard thing to write. I really enjoyed yours, it gave good insight into who you are.

  2. Dear Cee Cee,

    I love your poem--its tenderness and toughness.

    I'm the poet who wrote the original "Where I'm From" and I'm always amazed and delighted to see how the idea has traveled.

    Write on!

    George Ella Lyon

  3. I haven't read Vonda's yet, but I enjoyed yours. I hope it lifted you up - it's amazingly powerful to see all the good and the bad together and how it has shaped us into who we have become.
    This reads to me like someone who has weathered a lot of storms but has also lived many happy memories. A person who is strong and knows where she has come from.
    Are you ok after writing this?

  4. Cee Cee this is really neat to read. It is so real and honest and I hope it doesn't stir up too many bad memories. When I wrote mine it was the good things of my childhood mostly. Just an exercise in trying to pick out the good things in my life to stay positive.

    I love that George Ella Lyon left a comment for you. Who knew she was the author of the original. I heard this at a funeral long ago and loved it.

  5. I saw this over at Vonda's, too, and have been trying to gather enough courage to write one, too.

    Yours was very wonderful, CeeCee. I'm amazed at how it read like a simple biography of you, yet without revealing too many raw details.
    It must be more difficult and challenging...and also joyful to write, because you do know the details.

    Thanks for sharing this, my friend.


  6. Thanks everyone. I really meant to stick to a more poetic look and keep it upbeat, but that would have meant more work. I just let it flow, with very little revision.
    Ms. Lyon, so lovely for you to have stopped by and commented. Your idea has traveled quite well and your original was wonderful. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  7. That was really beautiful,lovely poem that was well written.

    I don't think I could even write a third of that, you made it flow and it was so interesting and real.

  8. You made that so worth reading Carla. A window into who you are. Thank you for letting us look.

    Not only would I not be able to come up with a tenth of the good you recalled to write that....I would slip into a deep depression if I thought too hard about what I am from. I tear up just thinking for a moment about it.

    I suppose it could be a challenge - for to some day be able to state that I am from something, anything, that is wonderful or good.

  9. Tracy, I'm sorry. It's so awful that childhoods can be so screwed up. Some people should just never be allowed to raise children. You seem to be breaking the cycle of whatever happened to you, with your little sweetie. She's a lucky girl and you are doing a fine, fine job with her. :)