Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Where I'm From

This week, I started a month-long writing course called "Discover the Power of Your Voice" by Allison Vesterfelt, the author of Packing Light.

I found out about this class on Twitter, and just couldn't shake the feeling that I should go for it. Immediately I heard opposition. You know what I'm talking about? That inner bully that gets all up in your face?

I had to mentally karate chop the voices yelling,
"You don't have time for that!"
"You'll only feel more guilty and overwhelmed!"
"You aren't good enough!"

(I'm not the only one who hears these voices, right? RIGHT??)

After the in-my-head karate session, I signed up, paid the fee, and prayed I would follow through well with this. I've got a nasty habit of jumping in with excitement, but getting distracted or discouraged in the middle and not finishing well.

So, let's at least start off on a good foot and get this first assignment onto the old blog, shall we? I suppose the grand test will be if you see the LAST assignment, and not just the first.

The first assignment is a poem called "Where I'm From." After some brainstorming about my childhood, here is the poem that came to the surface. The beauty of this exercise is that it truly helps you remember who you are and what brought you to today.

As Allison writes in the workbook, "...I find as we begin to think consciously about these experiences, messages, and images, we gain insight into who we are becoming as a writer and what we want to say." Agreed!

 I'm from Ivory Soap, swinging kitchen doors,
Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
I'm from big bowls of popcorn in front of the TV
 a black cat sneaking around your feet
I'm from singing around a piano, harmonies rising like the sun
 big laughter that can't be contained
tickling, poking, and picking
until you can't take it anymore
but you hope it never stops
I'm from Del and Marge and Harold and Vernita
Blessed Assurance and Just As I Am
I'm from
Remember who you are
 Good Lord willing
 Turn off the light 
Call me when you get there
I'm from big Sunday dinners and pork chops on the grill
Peanut butter toast and cheap chocolate ice cream
I'm from the middle of nowhere
and the middle of everywhere that matters
the places where love and joy take root
and grow into something so strong


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