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."
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