Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Belatedly ... (and a poem)

Check out this afghan that my friend's mom made her!  Isn't it cool?

I love how she connected the squares.  I never would've thought to do it in this way.  She says her mom knit them up at random and then improvised the rest.  Wow!  I aspire to reach that same level of crafty coolness one day.

OK.  I am totally, totally embarrassed by this.  But I may as well 'fess up.  Ages ago - really, it's been months, I hang my head in shame - not one but two lovely ladies passed on blog awards to me, and I, in my infinite inability to handle my life at the time, was not able to express my thanks to them for their kind nominations. 


If you are wondering, that is somebody looking remarkably discomfited as beads of sweat trickle down their forehead.

Asianified emoticons aside, I apologize Cecili and Andi!!!  Two lovely, talented ladies.  Since it's been embarrassingly long, I think I will cop out of passing the awards on further but instead nod to Sigrid's thrown gauntlet (mixin' up my metaphors here) and leave you with a poem.

I Am From

I am from plastic washbasins full of loquats, plucked from Grandpa’s trees on arid summer afternoons, such a smooth flavor that slipped easily over my tongue.

I am from family vacations to Hawaii spent shooting the moon and falling one heart short.

I am from two knitting grandmas – one who started the lesson, the other who finished it 6 years later.

I am from fresh avocado sliced onto toast.

I am from Super Lemons and Red Hots and Gobstoppers and wasabi peas.

I am from sleepover clubs with midnight snacks (ice cream sundaes), drive through movies, Truth or Dare, MTV, reading books on the drive home, scary movies, and Oujie boards.

I am from Anne of Green Gables, the Wizard of Oz and all his friends, Harry Potter, and the Little House series.

I am from playing dress-up in Mom’s slips, and running down in them while company was over, and not understanding the mortification behind Mom’s rebuke until years and years later.

I am from the bilingual education that none of the professorial experts on early language acquisition thought was possible (in the 1980s). I am from summer vacation homework, the Chinese science and Chinese math and Chinese history courses that were introduced and nixed and introduced again, from Chinese movies and soap operas and music consumed in the name of “learning Chinese,” from the controversy over whether to teach my brother to write his name in Simplified or Traditional because it was too many strokes for such a small boy to remember.

I am from Aunt Edna (the lifesize doll for whom we sewed organs, why, what you were learning in 3rd grade?), from bulletin boards covered with paper plate decorations because that’s all we could afford, from volleyball practices in the parking lot with a makeshift net, from recess up on the “blacktop” which was a 100+ step climb from our school, from school grounds rented from the Army on the Presidio for $1 a year due to the connections of our Board President.

I am from A League of Their Own, X-Men and Captain Planet, and later in high school, from episodes of Friends stealthily glimpsed during my parent’s walks around the block.

I am from the nicest (socially) high school experience imaginable, from friends who would get to campus half an hour early because that’s how they rolled, from biking very slightly uphill in the mornings and coasting downhill after cross country and badminton practice, from boba runs to Verde and Fantasia.

I am from leftovers and frozen pesto and Costco pizza Fridays.

I am from parents who flew to Boston and Beijing to help me get over my homesickness.

I am from the brother who, to this day, remains my closest friend.

I am from fairies and magic and secret worlds.


Sigrid said...

Oh, I love these poems and the way they speak volumes ! Some very evocative images here, Jessica.

Minnado said...

I love it and feel I have had a glimpse into your growing up now:) The afghan is pretty fab too:)

Ally said...

Jessica, I have goosebumps.
I feel like I just watched a beautiful film of pictures of your life just by reading your poem.
I wonder, what would I write if I was to look at the good things of my life?

Thank you for sharing it with the world.

Alessa said...

That's so beautiful! You really have a way with words. :)