For the last month I have been participating in an amazing practice called Wild Writing, a writing approach developed by Laurie Wagner of 27 Powers. The practice involves listening to a poem, and using it as a jump off point to write, straight from the heart and soul, for 15 minutes, no editing, just, as she says, pen to paper, words to page. Today's prompt spoke to me, and so I am sharing a slightly edited version. I think I could write from this prompt for a very very long time.
Where I'm From
Where I'm from is the land of milk and honey, where blood runs in the streets and nation lifts up sword against nation, and all people know war forever more.
Where I'm from, fig trees blossom, waving their lazy hands to the whispering olive branches next door; the heat bakes the stone streets reflecting white and cool on bare feet in the shadow of laughing children.
Where I'm from, prayer is the language of love, sounding as the song of autumn leaves, crunching beneath feet and rising in a swirl of a rogue breeze.
Where I am from, a place to call home was always uncertain. Always welcomed, until we weren't, the option to comply and convert, subvert or flee. Perhaps, where I'm from, some chose to stay but those names and faces are lost to history.
I am from hard-working dreamers and stow aways, building new worlds, forever leaving behind their Hungarian accents, Yiddish language, and careers as doctors and dentists. I am from laundromat owners and linen supply companies, carpenters and basement dentists, and matriarchal home-makers. First-generation Jews in America, trying to find a balance between tradition and transformation, between all that was once known and all that could be dreamed.
Where I'm from day follows night, night follows day, in an undulating rhythm, eyes open as light touches lids, birds and brush call for songs and tending.
Where I'm from, humans might not be welcome, and that includes me. How this can be so is a peculiarity of psyche; a trick played on itself in an endless taunt that it never seems to tire of, much like the playground bully, or a dog with a bone.
Where I'm from, laughter is always desired but rarely found. And what I speak of is the full belly laugh, the roar of the internal tickle that starts with a chuckle and like a spark that bursts into flame, explodes into the cosmos and reverberates across universes.
Where I'm from, the rib cage cannot contain the fullness of expression ready to explode into the mystery of creation and so everyone walks around blooming from every pore, blossoms spilling forth for all to see. And where I'm from, it is only natural for those blossoms to wilt and dry and turn to seed, and this too is part of the reverence.