Thursday, May 11, 2006

Where I'm From

I am from home-delivered milk in glass bottles; from Jungle Juice, Eskimo Pies and the Edmonds Cookbook.

I am from the three bedroom bungalow on the slopes of Mt Hobson, the big goldfish pond in the back lawn, the tree house in the monkey apple tree and the irresistible smell of just-baked bread.

I am from the big grapefruit tree that provided breakfasts when in season; from blue hydrangeas and the much played-in Chinese garden ‘down the back’.

I am from fish and chips with the next door neighbours on Friday nights; from gratefully accepted slender genes; from Hannah, who preferred her middle name and was known as Vi; from Neil, who took my brother and me tramping and ‘protected’ us from Rover; and from Pa, of the bottomless Minties bag.

I am from internalised anger and understated emotion; from the Santa Claus who liked a bottle of beer and a few biscuits before he flew on to the next house, and a mother who would get sent to jail if we didn’t to go to school.

I am from St Aidan’s Anglican Church, where I was christened and sent to Sunday School; from more charismatic experiences, entered into as an adult and pursued for eighteen years before being abandoned in favour of reality.

I'm from New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and England; from creamy fish soup with parsley and raw mushroom salad; from cream filled sponge cakes served at Sunday afternoon teas in the house overlooking the Tamaki estuary.

From Nana and Pa who were not next in line to marry and so married secretly until it was their turn and they could safely let the cat out of the bag; the mysterious sibling who preceded me in the womb but miscarried before his/her time, and Poppa who, at the age of eight, drove a herd of cattle through the King Country backblocks, single-handedly.

I am from black and white ancestors, collected between the pages of family albums and viewed through the eye and fascination of a child; from the little 19th century birthday book, passed down through the female line; from the Venetian glass vase filled with Proteas; from snippets of long-past events, relayed via fragile memory; from people, unknown but no less influential for just having been.

Acknowledging Lulu's part in this exercise. To try your own hand, go to: http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm .

Artist/Leonardo da Vinci

9 Comments:

Anonymous Jacq said...

thanks. i feel like i've learned something about you, and what i already knew has been filled out by being contextualised.

5:04 PM  
Blogger adagio said...

minimally contextualised jacq. minamally.

5:06 PM  
Blogger TDharma said...

you write beautifully, and from the heart. What a lovely share.

Oh, and yes, the lemon cucumber has an edible skin once you wash the little stickers off! Sometimes has lots of seeds. It's a little round cucumber and it's beautiful bright yellow (hence the name).

8:40 PM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

ooooh, this is so beautifully written and gives such a vivid picture, albeit in glimpses, about some of your life. I love how you put things together in such unexpected ways, and how the fragments of memory drift in and out of the picture. A stunning post!

7:57 AM  
Blogger zhoen said...

That is the loveliest incarnation of that formula I have read, thank you.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous pohanginapete said...

Yes, there's some beautiful poetry in that; in particular:

I am from black and white ancestors, collected between the pages of family albums and viewed through the eye and fascination of a child...

Marvellous. Congratulations and thanks, Adagio.

2:44 PM  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Hallo from WA,
Thankyou for yr kind comment on my blog. Have just read this post of yrs...so evocative....so visual. Thankyou.

I am off on another part of our Holiday in half an hour, so have bookmarked you to settle down and read on our return.

5:03 PM  
Blogger brio said...

this was eloquent and beautiful. it's amazing how poetically simple a self-description can be. we forget the beauty of ourselves through the constant mundane. you've inspired me to give this a shot.

did you feel that you re-connected with yourself while engaging in this?

--brio

4:48 AM  
Blogger adagio said...

thanks to all for kind words. wow.

brio: actually, i was really surprised at how difficult i found this exercise. and re-connection? yeah, i guess so. yes.

1:40 PM  

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