This is from Charlotte, who did it so beautifully that she may have just set the bar too high. But I thought I’d have a go.
I am from flat, coastal lands, from fens and marshes, from the cavernous bowl of the sky that booms and rumbles with its own emptiness. I am from the ghosts of centurion and wild Iceni women, but from long, long ago. I am from the insulated intimacy of a small family, from many hands that all worked creatively, and that could not play but productively. I am from freedom in the neat outline of a task. I am from the untrusting watchfulness of the recluse, from four walls and a book as a perfect microcosm. I am from solitude, and from contemplation poised on the brink of concern.
I am from ivory towers and dazzling spires, from gargoyles leering over the parapets of chapels, from cobblestones and rickety wooden staircases. I am from mental gymnastics, from thought tumbling flick-flak along a precarious beam. I am from dusty lecture halls and the unfinished but passionate arguments of youth. I am from the fascination of watching them unfold. I am from authority, but only in the acknowledgement of so much that is unknown.
I am from words. I am from the babbling, singing, giddy parade of language, from the tower of Babel and the carousel of many tongues. I am from the power of fantasy, I am from dreams and anxieties, I am from all that lingers on the edge of the mind and cannot quite be recalled. I am from the jewel-bright beauty of an idea. I am from the strangest of mental landscapes, from canyons of thought and oxygen-starved peaks of possibility. I am from the imagination, from the conditional and the as yet unformed. I am from a web of stories, as strong as scaffolding around my life. I am from the gift of meaning, that lets there be light.
I am from a time of metamorphosis, the recognition of a life half-lived, from a child nearly grown and a husband growing older. I am from still too many unfulfilled desires and the old, familiar unwillingness to let go. I am from exhaustion and elation and the hunt for something in between. I am from transition and change, in the quest for a still, settled place to be.
Where are you from?