I am from

May 11, 2011
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I am from my mother’s incense, wafting through the house
From Paul Simon’s voice pouring out of my father’s record player and my long white skirt twirling as I dance to the tune
I am from the small apartment with the wide, wide, windows, looking out at the beautiful churches and skyscrapers of a city I thought I owned
And from running through the waves with sand in my toes and salt air in my lungs, closing my eyes and imagining I am melting into the ocean
I am from the pots and hanging baskets on our balcony overflowing with roses and petunias and
pansies, and how my mother used to say if we planted enough of them they would block out the whole world and it would just be us in our flowery cocoon
I’m from curling up in front of the fireplace at Christmastime, listening to my father read A Christmas Carol aloud
I am from a small family, a mother who stops to give spare change to people on the street no matter how tight our budget is, a father who taught me to meditate, and a little brother who never stops moving
I am from Tamari and Sam and all the other people who are part of my family, not because they are my blood, but because
they have woven themselves into my life
From painting in the kitchen and laughing when the whole bottle of paint gets knocked over on my new shirt, and from reading until 2 AM under the covers
I’m from “You’re too young” and “Do what you’re told” and other things that make me want to scream
And the opera music that my mother and I always listen to
I’m from wading in the creek and picking blackberries with my brother every summer
I’m from San Francisco, that I miss, and Norway, that I wish I remembered
From homemade bread and big bowls of pasta
From when Deborah spent a year and a half making me my beautiful quilt,
covered in stars and cherry blossoms and reminding me of all the dreams I have ever had
I am from the photographs and candles, and handmade birthday cards and seashells

And all the other seemingly ordinary objects

On the mantelpiece in the living room

That bring back all the precious moments that make up what I am





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