Sunday, September 18, 2011

Where I'm From

Where I’m From

I am from Manitoba and old Russia, escape from the Revolution,
walking 14 days and nights,
hiding from bombers in hay fields.
Every generation had a Peter.
Susanna, then and now.
What they carried to the new country they could list on one hand – everything gone.
Memories moved with momentum into the new world.
I am from the first born in Canada, bringing hope into the memories.
One of six.

I am from Jesus loves me, this I know.
It’s gone now.
Way too many rules for women and girls.
It just ain’t so.
Devouring books whole. A writer’s heart. Knowing the world was huge.
Not hiding my light under a bushel.
To let my little light shine.

I am from orchards, the agony of peach fuzz.
From cherry juice dripping.
From riding bikes, hide and seek in the dark.
Working, always working. Cars waiting to be fixed.
That ’63 Impala was a stunner. Didn’t know it then. Know it now.
Little hick town then.
Niagara-on-the-Lake. Honey Harbour, the mighty Chub.
The “Bigg-a” Slice on the way home.

I am from Manitoba calling – it was always there.
Surprise baby and then two more, at once.
Pumpkin, you came to me,
your hands waving.
He didn’t stand a chance.

I am from art and paintings, books and clay.
Clay is everywhere!
His love for clay is deep and wide.
Little did I know.

I am from kookaburras in my back yard, hollering.
I am from Kallista down the hill.
I am from Kai and Gabriel: “I’m hearing two heartbeat patterns that aren’t your own.”
I am from dreams as bright and twisted as life itself.
I am from love your neighbour as yourself.
No more waiting.

This is the result of my first assignment of the new academic year.  We have been asked to create a piece of writing to assist in creating classroom community.  It's a wonderful exercise -- stuff just flowed.  And Tom is going to use it with his students, in one of their assignments.  The goal is to express ourselves, to share our experiences, to reflect upon our origins, and look toward our futures (Bryan, 2011).  It's set up as a powerpoint presentation, which includes some images I scanned for the assignment.  It makes me emotional every time I read it -- I don't know if I'm going to be able to stand up in front of a new group of "strangers" (my new cohort) and read it without some form of breakdown.  Let's hope for the best!

1 comment:

  1. The man on the bottom right is my great grandfather, Peter Wiebe. His father, Philip Wiebe, is the bearded man in the middle of the picture. My father, another Peter Wiebe, was very connected to his grandfather, a man of amazing strength, both physical and personal. He didn't get to Canada until he was in his mid-70s, following WWII, and built his own house.