I Come From . . .

Today I started a new writing group with a facilitator who provides prompts and support. One prompt, with a brief period of time in which to write, was “I come from . . .” and here’s where it went.
I come from Illinois. From an educated mother raised and hating small-town Pennsylvania. From a father who flip-flopped between Chicago and a small town in Indiana he loved.
I come from a deep respect for education and reading and grammar. Yes, grammar. My mother, an English major, insisted on it as did my father who worked hard to move from poverty to slightly upper middle class.
I come from a childhood of freedom. Freedom to run and play with little adult supervision. Freedom to create – plays for the neighborhood each summer, go-karts, and lemon pie. And freedom to dream. As long as those dreams were appropriate to girls.
I come from restriction and repression. Go-karts were fine when I was nine. Not fine when I was thirteen. Dreams of building houses were encouraged when I was a child. Squashed when I was an adolescent. Freedom to explore became freedom to choose one of just a few life tracks “approved” for females.
I come from rebellion. How could I not? I am, after all, a child of the sixties. The magazines I was encouraged to read as a child showed me a world far wider than suburbia. The nightly news showed me injustice I felt compelled to struggle against. My parents showed me a lifestyle I chose to toss away.
I come from teenage escapes to the city. To folk music and the blues. To drinking wine while sitting on the sidewalks of the near north side. To the end of the beat generation and beginning of the hippies.
I come from a ride across the country in an old hippie bus, from parents with looks of worry and concern as I left.
I come from raspberry patches, a backyard garden and ice cream every day.
I come from nearly fifty years of work to the blessing of retirement. If only I had fifty years to enjoy it.

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5 Comments

  1. Poignant…yes, very!
    This prompted me stop and think about my past…and my future. I love your final comment!

    Reply

  2. Lovely! I remember those plays and spending all day playing where ever we wanted to roam. Do you remember playing “horses” ? Keep on writing!!! mj

    Reply

  3. 🙂 Rebelious???? MY aunt EMILIE???? I’m going to have to try and process this shocking information! 😉 This is very cool, by the way!

    Reply

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