My sister recently did an exercise from reading a book called “Writing to Change the World” by Mary Pipher that’s entitled “I Am From.” It’s basically writing a poem-esque piece that begins with “I Am From” and filling in objects, places, thoughts, and memories that you deem formative in your life. It stretches you to think beyond geographical locations and delve into what is the make-up of your personality, your values, what is you — and how did you get there?
Inspired by her own stab at the exercise (check it out here) I wanted to give it a go. It was difficult for me to not copy and paste a lot of her lines since we’re from the same lineage but I did my best to express it in my own way. 😉
Without further ado…
I Am From
I am from the compassion of a therapist and the curiosity of a thinker.
From the organist hammering out “Bringing in the Sheaves” and Pop-pop’s hugs.
I am from snoring like a bear and cackling like a hen.
I am from “She may never walk.” to “She won’t stop dancing!”
I am from birthday parties of Olympic proportions and church musical productions.
From homemade icing and peach pie.
I am from playdates in the attic and dress-up in the basement.
I am from “Go blow the stink off ya” and muddy-knee blue jeans.
I am from the day I received Jesus as Savior and a sour apple blow pop.
I am from hand-me-downs and “Let the sun shine in.”
I am from long legs, big feet, crooked teeth, and near-sightedness.
I am from bad backs, gravelly kidneys, calloused hands, and courage.
From imperfect people.
I am from hot cocoa and toast mornings.
From algebra homework and book reports at midnight.
I am from the middle seat in the mini-van.
From the tall girl in the back.
I am from the studio and the stage.
From the right side of the brain.
I am from the stands in volleyball tournaments, the audience at band concerts and competitions, and the spectators at gymnastic meets.
I am from small-town stop signs and lead-foot drivers.
I am from late-night conversations that led to lifelong friendships.
I am from a walk on the beach to “For better or worse.”
I am from faith, not luck.
From Providence, not coincidence.
I am from a plan bigger than where I am from.