I Come From . . .

I was searching for a free-writing exercise topic to use with my writing group when I ran across this “starter” phrase in Writing Alone and with Others, by Pat Schneider:  “I come from . . .” Usually I hear moans and groans as we do timed free-writing, but everyone jumped right into this one.  You may want to try it yourself.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI come from war-time love songs and bitter tears, from a white cross in a field of white crosses in a French cemetery.

I come from a departed father and a difficult stepfather, both of whom my mother grieved  – one after his death, the other while he still lived.

I come from Dutch immigrants and English settlers who thought they were too refined for the earthy Dutch.

I come from a line of marriages mourned by disapproving families: grandmother and grandfather, father and mother, daughter and husbands.

I come from compassion, courage, inventiveness, musicality, and political savvy.

600  Klompen Dancers took to the streets surrounding Centennial Park Wednesday night in Holland .<br /><br />  (Photo by T.J. Hamilton/Grand Rapids Press)I come from  piano lessons, choirs and concerts, wooden shoes, and basketball with the boys.

I come from “Gone with the Wind,” ” To Kill a Mockingbird,” The Grapes of Wrath,” all read undercover and under the covers before I was 13.

I come from tulip-lined boulevards, the lapping waves and warm sands of Lake Michigan, weeds turned into gardens, messy catalpa trees, and purple-scented lilacs.

I come from the Hallelujah Chorus, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Amazing Grace, Crown Him with many Crowns, He Touched Me,  How Great Thou Art, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

I come from Sunday “roast the preacher” dinners featuring, for dessert, sarcastic family jokes spawning raucous laughter, which both hid and caused pain.dysfunctional button

I come from  family secrets,  grudges, misunderstandings, unforgiveness,  and being alone in  a crowd

– and sometimes it’s all still really sad.

image of dutch dancing from blog.mlive.com; image of crosses by the savvyexplorer.com; button image from http://www.pinterest.com

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