Virginia’s public schools reopened today.
It’s the annual start of a new year with lots of opportunity.
On top of that the Governor announced a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian’s imminent impact.
Whether embarking on an exciting new journey or bracing for a challenge it’s always a good time to review our assets.
One of our most important assets are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, where we come from and the wells from which we draw our strength.
I am from… is a popular writing prompt.
Whether the skies are blue or not, here’s to an exciting adventure where we’ll all bring to our best selves to play.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
Six Word Stories
For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.
This example of Flash Fiction has been attributed to Hemingway, but there are examples of the theme showing up earlier. Frankly, I find the source of the idea immaterial. It’s an example of an amazingly evocative execution of an idea; amazing in its brevity, and amazing in the emotions it elicits.
Brevity is the Soul of Wit.
This quote we attribute to The Bard. I have no idea if it was his idea or not. William Shakespeare is infamous for not only copying other’s plots, but for making up words, so plagiarism as we know it today, doesn’t appear to have been an issue. The point is he trimmed an idea to its essence.
I Am From…
This morning, I was asked to sum up my life in Six Words. I fell back on an exercise Minton Sparks (a national treasure) gave me years ago, “I am from…”
I responded, “I am from Marguerite and Buddy.”
I know how blessed I was and for that matter am. They gave me life, they gave me trust and they gave me heart. They taught me to aspire, but most importantly, they taught me to find joy in what I had.
I was listening to NPR last week and the “I am from…” writer’s prompt is being used to encourage people to write poetry. Ironically, when I had finished the assignment, I felt I had written lyrics.
I Am From
I am from Buddy and Marguerite
I’m from the stage
I’m from the job site,
where my cousins would say, “Look at him, acting like he’s working.”
“You know the right thing. Would you jump off the roof if the rest of them did?”
“I would if the roof was on fire.”
I’m from the voice from the back room,
“Don’t backtalk your mother.”
I’m from playing football in the backyard by myself, because I didn’t want to play baseball that day
I am from,
“Honey why aren’t you playing with the other children?”
“Mom you can’t have it both ways. You want me to do what I think right, or you want me to follow?”
I’m from the voice in the back room,
“Don’t back talk your mother.”
I’m from a really heroic Dad –
“You see me wrestling a bear you help the bear.”
I’m from, my daddy thought he was wrong once, but he was mistaken.
“If you had half a brain you’d be dangerous.”
“You put me in charge, you’ve got to take some responsibility.”
I’m from a heroic daddy who taught me to “Never ask people to do something you are afraid to do.”
“What were you thinking, running into that burning house.’
“I wasn’t thinking. I just did what I thought you’d do.”
“Don’t tell your mother.”
“You can do anything.” I’m from,
“I don’t care how big you get you will respect me.”
“No man will ever hit me; he’s got to go to sleep sometime.”
“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
“Original sin? There was no sin in your birth.”
“You are the living proof of your father’s and my love.”
I’m from, the first time a show opened and momma and daddy couldn’t be there, a telegram arrived.
“Remember what we’ve always told you, everybody loves you.”
I’m from, I’ve lived longer than my dad now.
I’m from, what will I do with this gift?
I’m from, I don’t want the world to lose my father’s stories.
I’m from, I don’t want the world to lose my parents love.
I’m from I want my children to love and be loved with the certainty that they’re worth loving, the certainty I grew up with.
I’m from love and the only way I can help that happen is by loving them and everyone I run across.
I’m from, listening is one of the nicest things you can do for anyone.
I’m from, we live into the stories we tell ourselves.
I’m from telling stories worth living into.
I’m from strong, black, chicory coffee.
I’m from serenading my wife and showing I love her by cooking for her.
I’m from showing my love through my touch.
I am from showing my love by words of kindness and expressing appreciation.
I’m from showing love by listening.
I’m from being there, showing up.
I’m from saying,
I’m from thanking God for the love I’ve received.
I’m from sharing it with others.
I’m from Buddy and Marguerite.
I Want to Hear from You
I’m from encouraging you to take a stab at this exercise.
Where are you from?
I’d love to hear your “I am from…”
Til next time,