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where i’m from….

September 28th, 2010 | 16 Comments »

I’m from the heartland, midwestern stoicism, the strong and silent types that never talk about their problems, much less admit they even have them. I’m from the large green house on the creek, the body pulled from the water that has never left my memory, from the moaning of pine trees outside and the wind-whipped leaves, verdant green playgrounds with twisted dirt paths and hiding places. I’m from the idyllic childhood that fractured at the seams and poured forth to disappear forever; I’m from the fresh and innocent turned empty and aching, from the heart that sought refuge for too many years to count, or get back. I’m from the pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start all over again side that finally, finally got it right.

I’m from a land of four seasons, the blistering summers, burnished autumns, icy winters and fragrant springs. I’m from summer vacations of cabins and sandy beaches, swimsuits and fishing poles, boat rides with thick lifejackets and sunburned noses. I’m from shortie pajamas, crisp cotton sheets and bedtimes before the sun went down. I’m from backyard picnics, Mom’s potato salad and jello in the colors of a rainbow. I’m from hotdish and baked chicken, mock chow mein, meatloaf, homemade cookies and bars and bundt cakes. I’m from smudged peanut butter fingers, graham crackers with butter and cinnamon sugar, and waffles on Sunday, Dairy Queen treats, pails of ice cream, the old green water jug in the fridge and gallons of milk.  I’m from the coffee percolator on the stove and the dishwasher that connected to the kitchen faucet. I’m from the accident-prone tomboy with skinned knees and stubbed toes, torn fingernails and broken front teeth, the wild tangle of sun-bleached hair that my mother could never tame. I’m from constant moving around, never feeling settled; a written note of promises dropped on the sidewalk that I tried desperately to catch before being borne away in a stiff wind. I’m from the eyes that watched the promises disappear, never to return.

I’m from the college educated parents, the fifth child in a family that was supposed to stop at four. I’m from sleepovers and birthday parties, bicycles, neighbor girls and their brothers who teased. I’m from shag carpeting and plaid sofas, a console TV in a wooden cabinet with four stout legs, the grand piano in the corner, a record player that sometimes caught on fire and burned fingers from the hot iron. I’m from Ennis and Jane, and influenced by Roger and Elaine and Carol and Jan. I’m from Kris and Karen and Mark and Mike. I’m from Karen, full of suffering who gave up and stopped her own story, breaking us in a way that both stunned and saved us. I’m from Mike who was, and still is my hero. I’m from Jane who left me far too soon. I’m from Jesse who dealt me pain I didn’t deserve, and Griffin who smoothed it all over. I’m from the husband who tempered my heart, who showed me unconditional love again, who held me up when the world wanted to rend me from his hands. I’m from a little part of every soul and smile that’s crossed my life. I’m from every friend who led me through a season, those that faded and reappeared, from the lives that touched mine in the most unexpected and perfect ways.

I’m from ambition and depression. I’m from high expectations and the infertility that turned my dreams into an eternally empty and painful reality. I’m from that which never seems to settle, from a desire to always better my life, from the need to be heard and appreciated, from a tumbleweed of emotions that catches on a stray branch only to be yanked free once again. I’m from coffee and cooking, laundry, gardening, reading, writing, evolving, seeking and reaching. I’m from the admission of imperfection so I can truly stop striving for the impossible; I’m from brokenness and redemption, from the Holy Trinity that saved my life, from the desire for internal peace, from forgiveness and moving on, from stretching and never ceasing. I’m from every moment of a lifetime that’s tattooed on my mind, still constantly shaping, directing, influencing and spurring me onward.

{{this post was inspired by the ever thought-provoking Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary, fueled by Amy of The Never True Tales and this writing exercise}}
{photo credits to ‘Oh Eliza Jane’; The Christian Meditator; The Bostonist}

16 responses to “where i’m from….”

  1. I usually don’t post in blogs but yours forced me to, awesome work… gorgeous

  2. Hi! I found your blog on Yahoo.It’s really comprehensive and it helped me a lot.

    Continue the good work!

  3. Boyd Hone says:

    Just wish to say what a excellent blog you got here! I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but now decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


  4. This is absolutely beautiful!

  5. WillBinMN says:

    I am alway s truly amazed by your writing. The ability you have to paint a picture with your words is awesome. Thank you!

  6. Lisa says:

    This is beautifully written, thank you for sharing it.

    (ps- when I read the title before I read anything else, the lyrics to the song “where I’m from” by Jason Michael Carroll began running through my head haha)

  7. Love this lots. Thanks for making my day.

  8. katessisterkris says:

    I smiled, I teared up, I nodded “yeah”….

    This is pretty neat Kate.

  9. car salesman says:

    wonderful post, thank you.

  10. Johanna says:

    Wow. Truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. Molly says:

    This is stunning. And so are you.

  12. Jennifer says:

    This is superbly amazing. I’m not even sure what else to comment. It was just so stunningly beautiful that I’m left speechless.

  13. darcie says:

    Breathe. Taking.
    Such beautiful words…


  14. This was so freaking beautiful. I loved every word. You are a WRITER, yo.

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s a gift to not only you and yours, but every person who reads it.

  15. Bette Ashcroft says:

    I’m from the same town as you, wherever that is, or certainly very nearby. Thanks for the reflections- you have a wonderful blog with great pictures, recipes and especially writing.

  16. Nicole M says:

    What a great post, very brave and evocative. Thanks for sharing. 🙂