Since it’s the end of the year, I’ve been looking through old posts from a couple of years ago to find some favorites. This writing exercise based on a template born of a poem is one I truly love. I’d love for you to try it out, if you haven’t done it before. I didn’t know many of you two years ago, so I’m republishing it (can you tell I am suffering from a block? I’ve been staring at an empty screen for a week).
I am from loud ceiling fans, old fashioned Singer sewing machines and smooth marble floors.
I am from an old tin mining town in a valley of limestone mountains, where spring water runs deep and clear. From quiet neighborhoods of brick homes and orange roofs.
I am from the veins of precious tin ore, that of silvery malleable metal.
I am from late dinners at the table and Sunday morning breakfasts, from Vincent and Jennifer, adopted names from Western culture, and the most popular Chinese surname in the world.
I am from the stubborn, talkative and I am always right.
From is that the best you can do and family is the most important thing in your life.
I am from Sunday School and stories of Jesus, to placing incense on the altar to many gods, that of the water lotus and the fat Buddha.
I am from Ipoh, city of tin, limestone and rubber, by way of the ‘Blue Sea’ province in Guangdong, China. I am from homemade secret marinade fried chicken wings and bowls of white rice.
From the fresh food markets that smell of fish and chickens with my grandmother, crackling sounds of fireworks at Chinese New Year, and weekend swimming in the pool with my siblings and cousins.
I am from old crinkly photo albums of my father’s large family, the house he grew up in and framed black and white photographs of his late parents, one who passed too young and never met his grandchildren, the other who lived a full life and filled her grandchildren with everlasting memories.
I am from the carefree childhood of making homemade jam with my aunt and playing tea party with my little cousins.
I am from the early days of Game and Watch, Atari, card games of Go Fishing and endless board games of Monopoly and Scrabble.
I am from tradition and modernity. I am from conformism and rebelliousness. I am from stubbornness and adaptability. I am from the East and the West. Just as my children will be.
Where are you from?
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