I am from

My favorite thing about the blogosphere is the trail of community. Follow one blog, that writer does a link-up; go to that blog, that writer does a link-up…and the most fun is when all the link-ups intertwine and the connections between bloggers are numerous. I’m privileged to be a very teeny, unnoticed corner in a web of community that is wonderful enough to include my real-life, outside-of-the-web friend over at Little Did She Know, a blog that blows me away with its beauty all the time, and SheLoves Magazine.

SheLoves, a self-described “global community of women who love,” is currently doing a synchroblog which was so much fun that I had to break my blogger silence not with a usual post, as I had planned, but with my response to their prompt. I love occasionally doing writing to a template: there is something in structure that allows such freedom for creativity. The template this time is based around a poem by George Ella Lyon.


I am from beer bottles become vases and candlesticks,
from piles of unwashed dishes and unhung clothes, from a stack of half-read books.

I am from the end of the last, long driveway,
a terrarium of bugs, a naughty cat, and a constant cup of tea.

I am from the Property, the rocks long carved into a thousand imagined things,
from the long-chained swing and the zip-line I can never do on my own.
I’m from junk-food tree-decorating and chaos,
from a predominance of testosterone and a thick brotherhood.
I’m from a cup constantly poured out and from Stargate

and from teacher’s hands.

I’m from stubborn and independent, and
“As the Deer.”

I’m from chocolates divvied out on Sundays, Lord of the Rings ultimatums, and earth-shaking aspens.
I’m from the West, the edge of the Wild, the governor of Colorado,
from the proud Swiss and the mutts-from-who-knows-where.

From burn-your-tongue-off chili and kebabs off the grill.

The daughter of a father’s father, from a mischief that sneaks out of bed to the beach
during U-boat imposed curfews. From love letters to Japan, an old Swiss pipe,

from my own love-letters in ribbons, from the dried petals of an endangered bridal bouquet,
from that one wedding picture of two kids scrounged from a bad photographer.
From the carefully folded handkerchief in a top dresser drawer that hardly captures
the memories of a Nana’s heart.

I am from distance, from a heart broken into so many pieces
across so many states and into Heaven that one life
can’t put Humpty together again. And I am from hope,

from the promise of fullness, from the Father of the Wholehearted.



  1. Cara Strickland says:

    Jenni, this is beautiful. I found this exercise to be so life-giving and I hope that you did too.
    Thank you for your kind words, dear friend. xoxo.

  2. Michaela. says:

    this is really “real.” I feel like I can see a lot of your heart here.

  3. Julie Little says:

    So beautiful, Jenni. What a tribute to your heritage. I could read this again and again.

  4. Is it bad to get tears on one’s keyboard? Thanksgiving and joy! I love you! “Golden Days” is superb as well…

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