Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I am from

I am from peanut butter, from Nilla Wafers and powdered milk.

I am from the southern part of the South, dripping with humidity and hypocrisy, balancing redemption and restitution, forever pushing people away all while calling them to come back home.

I am from the chaise lounge in the forked branches, the climbable magnolia.

I am from Sunday dinners and slow talking, from a line of Tom's and Henry's and Suttle's without being it at all.

I am from love felt deeply, loud laughter, fiery anger, long grudges, and stubborn pride.

I am from how you get to Hell and how you get to Heaven.

I am from Presbyterians, serious and regimented. I am from the Book of Order. I am from committees, liturgy, and sacraments. From preachers and elders. From Sunday School teachers. I am from tight knit youth groups where friendships remain even after time unraveled the rest.

I am from Mississippi. I am from buttermilk biscuits and pound cake. BBQ ribs and vegetables fresh from the garden that grew in town behind my grandparents' house. From the busy road, you could catch a glimpse of country in a part of the city that had been so very developed. I am from the country stuck within the city.

I am from boxes stuffed with photographs, unordered and smudged. From CD's I won't listen to anymore. From songs I won't sing again.

I am from five sets of china and antiques battling for space within my home. I am from a wedding dress boxed up and passed down, a wedding dress worn and then forgotten, and a wedding dress still new, hanging clean in the bag, overlooked for eloping. I am from dress gloves and costume jewelry that I will never wear, but yet never let go.

I am from a pipe that stills smells a little like my grandfather. I know this because I still pull it out of the drawer and expectantly smell it every now and then. I am from cardigan sweaters that used to warm my Daddy when he stayed so very cold all of the time.

I am from joy and pain. Pride and shame. I am from all of this and so much more.


Jennifer at Playgroups Are No Place for Children was the first place I saw this. Then today, Maggie at Magpie Musings wrote one as well. They are both beautiful writers, and I hesitated to join in - but the template (from the Campbell Folk School in North Carolina) is lovely and the results all so different. Schmutzie has also done it and is making a link-up. Come join in.


  1. Oh, I love reading all of these! Yours is beautiful. Thanks for writing it.

  2. Hi Marty,
    What a pleasure to follow you back and read this fascinating and poetic piece. You truly did a lot with it, enticing me to read more of your posts. After work, sadly!

  3. i smell your grandpa's pipe. i feel your daddy's sweater.

    (and i feel better - i only have three and a half sets of china!)

  4. Beautifully written! Mom and Dad's house, yard and garden popped into my mind as if I were driving in the driveway to pick up our weekly supply of veggies. By the way, I'm thinking of adding to the antiques, pictures and stuff. Thanks for making my day.

  5. So evocative. I love 'dripping with humidity and hypocrisy, balancing redemption and restitution'. Wonderful writing.

  6. This is beautiful (just like you)! Thanks for the template link -- maybe one day I'll get brave and try it.