"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Unknown (as seen on River's blog, "Drifting Through Life")

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau



Friday, March 8, 2013

* FOURTH VGB: FROM DEBORA RORVIG


I'm so happy to present my fourth VGB (Volunteer Guest Blogger), Debora Rorvig. Debora is multi-talented. She writes beautiful prose and poetry, and is a fantastic photographer. She lives in the gorgeous state of Washington, near the Canadian border. Not a bad place to be for inspiration and "vision." 

Debora is one of my blog friends who I don't remember how we happened to "meet." I must've been blog-hopping and stumbled across her blog, or vice-versa but however it happened, I'm sure glad it did. We immediately discovered we shared similarities......as in, our mother's were both named Ruby. Not a very common name, huh?! Please meet Debora! 

~~~~~

First of all, thank you Becky for inviting me to be a guest blogger!  I love your blog and though we've never met, I feel I know you. We have such kindred spirits, I'm sure we were somehow separated at birth!

Some time ago I was surfing the web, looking for something or another when I came across a poem by a blogger from the Midwest. The poem was hauntingly beautiful with exquisite descriptions of the author's childhood, home, and family. It turns out that her poem was created by following a meme, a sort of template or outline. It is based on a poem by George Ella Lyon.  Since the meme suggests what you should put on each line, I thought it would fairly easy. So I set out to write about 'Where I Am From'.

I soon found that it was not that easy; but oh, so worth the effort. I started by jotting down bits and pieces of my favorite childhood memories. It became a tearful, emotional exercise as I journeyed back through my past. At times I found myself so overcome that  I could not  even continue to write. Finally, after several weeks of compiling the snippets of my past, I was able to compose myself enough to 'sew together' this literary patchwork quilt entitled "Where I Am From".

This poem is my most treasured piece of writing;  a gift to my children, grandchildren, and those who are yet to come through my lineage. I hope that my family will value it as I value the bone china teacup with yellow chrysanthemums left me by my grandmother Youngedyke.

I encourage, even dare you to write your own version of "I Am From". Be warned though...keep a box of tissue nearby! And if you do, please let me know when it's done. I'd love to read all about where you are from! You can visit me at www.thingsthatarelovely.blogspot.com




I Am From

by Debora A. Rorvig

I am from a lumber-mill worker's company house
with peeling paint and a sidewalk made of two-by fours,
from faded flannel shirts that smell of pine and cedar boughs.

I am from Mason jars of home-canned pears,
from Dairygold milk with cream on top
in bottles on the porch.

I am from a garden plot with rows and rows of golden corn
that always wanted hoeing,
and from atop the highest branches of the Gravenstein apple tree in Attolini's orchard--
with apple juice dripping from my chin.

I am from sauerkraut and wooden shoes,
the Millers and the Youngedykes,
and from the lively Scottish clan
who wear the McKinnon tartan.

From farmers and woodsmen
plain folks all,
whose hands were calloused hard,
but whose hearts were tender-soft.

I am from 'what will the neighbors think'
and 'if you can't say something nice
don't say anything at all.'

From saints and sinners who didn't see eye to eye
but loved each other anyway;
and in their own way.

I am from the Western shores of Washington,
strewn with agates, kelp and driftwood,
from Steelhead salmon, salty smoked,
and chowder made from clams we dug
at Semiahmoo spit.

I am from my mother Ruby
who taught me how to sew
on her old Singer treadle-machine
as she told me all about my heritage.

And from my daddy Raymond Claude,
who took me nightcrawler hunting in the moonlight
and showed me how to bait my hook
and fish along the Nooksack River's edge.

I am from an ancient tattered Holy Bible kept safely on the upper shelf
with pictures of Jesus Christ,
and a letter-edged-in-black
carefully tucked inside,
and a poem written by my great-great grandfather
 Alexander Laughlin McKinnon,
who I never met--
and yet I know him
better than some I've met.

Precious is that Book to me!

And that is where I am from.


 You can find this outline at http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm. Try it! You'll be surprised at the memories that will stir in your heart from this exercise.




Thank you, Debora. I've loved your poem from the first time I read it and I'm so pleased to find out how and why you wrote it. 


Readers, please feel free to leave a message because Debora will be checking in from time to time, to answer questions and/or comments.


* Welcome to my newest follower Theresa. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 





"Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes on a kindred heart, like the converged light on a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected till it is shared." -- Jane Porter

25 comments:

  1. Hi Debora! What a wonderful poem. It is really nice to meet you here on Becky's blog. I'll be by your blog in a minute.

    I live in La Pine now, but grew up in Eugene, and have been to the Washington coast the past few years with my husband. I picture Aberdeen in my mind when I read your poem.

    Thanks, Becky.

    Kathy M.

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  2. I love, love, LOVE that poem. It does so much to tell who you are, Debora. I hope your family treasures it forever.

    I may have to look into that poem format to see what I can come up with. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Kathy, Susan, and Mary! Thank you for your comments. When Debora gets home from work, she'll be stopping by, too.

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  4. Beautiful. I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    Hi, Becky!

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  5. This is such a wonderful poem, each line hewed with a sharp ax of insight. The hard work shows here. I would love to create something like this...a meme got you started, how wonderful!

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  6. Debora, you've created a beautiful poem. I will definitely take a look at the template and give this a try.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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  7. Hi Kathy!! My kids live in Portland and one of their spouses' family hails from LaPine. I love it there...it's just a little milder in climate than up here, which is especially nice for gardeners like me. And yes, Aberdeen is very much like where I live.

    Hey Susan, Mary, Carol, Bookie, and K9friend! I am really hoping you all will use the meme and create your own family treasure. I've read so many on line, and honestly, every one is just beautiful!

    And to those who visited my little blog...welcome--and thank you!

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  8. Hi Carol, Claudia and Pat! Thank you for stopping by. I really love Debora's poem, too!

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  9. That was a lovely post, Debora. Thanks, too, to you, Becky, for sharing it with us. Susan

    p.s. Also thanks for stopping by today and commenting! Susan

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  10. Deborah, I can see why this poem is your favorite. Such imagery!

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  11. Thank you kindly, Val and Sue!

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  12. If I can get more than a little misty eyed reading your poem I am not in the slightest surprised that you wept while writing it. Thank you so much for sharing this gem with us.

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  13. Tears are one of the most sincere compliments one can give a poet...thank-you!

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  14. Just wonderful, Debora!

    And thanks to Becky for introducing us!!

    =)

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  15. Hello Sue,
    Thank you for the compliment! I visited your poetry site...lovely!
    I especially liked Library Lib and
    Calypso Nights. I'm coming back to read more!

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  16. Deborah, I felt as if I lived your childhood through your poem. It's beautiful. I can see why you might have needed tissues while writing it. I'm so glad to have read your past.

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  17. Hi Susan, Val, and EC! I'm so happy that you also loved Debora's poem!

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  18. Hi Sue and Myrna! It's a nice feeling to know I helped others to meet Debora and read her beautiful words!

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  19. Thanks Myrna! I think what made this so emotional is that my father died when I was about 15; and my three older brothers and mother have all passed away. When you add to this the other things that have passed away such as bottle milk delivered to the door, wooden sidewalks, and the treadle sewing machine; it made me feel as though I lived another life back then; and sometimes I miss it desperately. Ah, such bittersweet melancholy! :)

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  20. What a beautiful poem and tribute to your family. I'm going to look at the site you used to write this and attempt it, though it won't be as poetic as yours. Thanks for sharing this.

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  21. Hi Sandy! Thank you for stopping and leaving a comment. I hope you do write one of those poems. I'm sure it would be lovely!

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  22. Thank you, again Debora for being my guest!

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  23. Thanks Sandy! I wouldn't be so sure about that! I would really encourage you to take some time and jot things down that come to mind from your past. You'll be surprised at how colorful your childhood was! Let me know when it's done. I wanna see them all!

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  24. Pssst! Come on over and leave a comment on today's post to get a chance at winning a signed copy of Carol Kilgore's book.

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I love comments, especially because I know the time it takes to stop and type one, even a short one! Thanks very much!