And_The_Stars_Laughed

United States

"half of me is ocean. half of me is sky."

Message to Readers

Thank's again to sunny.v for the inspiration behind this piece! :)
Also, this is my first time writing in this format and so please let me know if anything seems off.
Have a wonderful day! <3

wandering daughter of the bering sea | #childofyournation

June 27, 2020

FREE WRITING

11

/ i am the child of broken sunbeams / light that doesn't 'wane till 11:26 on solstice, / woodstove voices and crackling hearths, / lust that flows like lava. / remember this moment, young girl it'll only get darker in winter. /

/ i am the daughter of neon overalls / bright orange straps and Xtratuf boots / chapped feet skipping through tidepools / and mussels rubbing twixt my fingertips, / rocks piled in threadbare pockets. / maybe if i weigh myself down with seashells / i won't forget this place. /

/ i am the sister of the kenai mountains: / hair coiled beneath porcelain peaks and / hands running through kachemak bay, / boulders of glacial rock. / i am the child of nose-crinkles and shudders / spoon drifting past the lonely eyeball that / bobs in my fish-head soup. /

/ i am the peculiar girl / running through the harbor and wedging clouds in my lips, / five-gallon buckets of king salmon blistering frail skin and / masses of halibut heaved in off the long-line. / i'm his granddaughter in the villagers eyes, / sloppy ponytail and Walmart fishing-poles / rough Midwestern accent. / 

/ i am the lost daughter of alaska / veins painted in fiddleheads and blueberries, / too-bright mornings drenched in too-dark coffee, / faded moments that dangle like the rope-swing / above the slough. /  i am his apprentice / sitting criss-cross next to the woodstove, / scuffed jeans coated in drizzle, / voice sputtering, / hearth crackling. / 

/ i am flickering between lush forests and chamomile tea, forget-me-not petals and dried seaweed, / flickering between this world / and the one i left behind. / 

/ but here's the thing, you see / where i belong may not be / where i come from, / may not be the world i stand in right now / rather, / its where my heart is scrawled: / wandering through the waves of the / bering sea.
I've always felt disconnected from my ancestors -- if that makes sense -- I've always had this deep sort of longing to know more about my past. I've been told that most of my lineage hails from Ireland, yet my family is spread out across the United States, taking up new traditions and embedding their lives into the current places that they reside. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's something about knowing where you come from that helps you determine where you're going. In a way, Alaska is the only place that I've ever felt connected to any remnants of my past. My maternal grandfather moved to Alaska when my mother was young, and he has always been a prominent figure in my life. He, too, is a writer, and through the stories he's told, I see how he's been able to link his childhood, his past, to the place where he lives. Whether it is naming his boat after my great-grandmother, fusing new recipes with old ones, or simply sitting next to the woodstove and sharing memories with me, I look up to his knowing presence. Though I, myself, am not from Alaska, I was not born there, and visits to see my family are scarce -- Alaska will always be a part of me because it is a gateway to my lineage, my "past." And over the course of writing this piece, I've come to realize that, for me, my "past" is my grandfather.

The inspiration for this piece comes from sunny.v's stunning poem "elegant daughter of asia" -- please go check it out! :) Also, thanks to sunny.v again for putting together this awesome community challenge, you are greatly appreciated!!

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  • June 27, 2020 - 4:37pm (Now Viewing)

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5 Comments
  • SunV

    Replying: I love the whole scene in the book, it kind of goes like this

    McGonagall: Is it true you shouted at professor Umbridge?
    Harry: Yes
    McGonagall: You called her a liar?
    Harry: Yes
    McGonagall: You told her You-know-who is back?
    Harry: Yes
    McGonagall: Have a biscuit Potter
    Harry: (What?)

    McGonagall is just amazing. I wanted to write the whole thing down, but then it would be more like a conversation than a quote. In the same book, the scene where they have the career guidance thing and McGonagall's like "He earned top marks in Defence with a competent defence teacher" was also one of my favorite moments.


    4 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Replying: Thanks! It was kind of the first thing that popped to mind. :D


    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Me, the ignorant Cali kid, was able to figure it when you were talking about Alaska, so wow. Sunny said it all and this is awesome.


    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    oh my gosh this was just LOVELY. “ / i am the child of broken sunbeams / light that doesn't 'wane till 11:26 on solstice, /” and “ maybe if i weigh myself down with seashells / i won't forget this place. / ” really took me to Alaska. i’ve been there once, but this reminder was so so vivid and so lovely. i absolutely adore how you tie yourself and your experiences into this wonderful description of Alaska—it makes it so gorgeous and personal.
    “ / but here's the thing, you see / where i belong may not be / where i come from, / may not be the world i stand in right now / rather, / its where my heart is scrawled: / wandering through the waves of the / bering sea.” what a lovely conclusion: you find yourself in Alaska, and that’s exactly what I hoped for with this challenge! for people to show what their heritage/culture/world means to them and how beautiful it is—amazing. and it’s the first time you’ve tried this format??? you absolutely crushed it, seriously! you seem like a master at it, and dare I say, you totally outshined me.
    when I first joined, I totally looked up to you! i adore your writing so much, I actually think you were my first peer review haha. it’s truly an honor to have you participate in the challenge! you nailed it, and thank you so so much for showing me your world. your footnotes really touched me: “ there's something about knowing where you come from that helps you determine where you're going.” aw. thank you for sharing this! i’m sure Alaska loves you just as much, and your grandfather sounds lovely nd brilliant. thank you thank youuu <3


    4 months ago
  • Eblinn

    / i am flickering between lush forests and chamomile tea, forget-me-not petals and dried seaweed, / flickering between this world / and the one i left behind. /
    This is incredibly beautiful! Every line is stunning :) And I feel like I can relate to how you feel disconnected from your ancestors. You worded your feelings so well, it's breathtaking. I'll definitely come back to reread this.


    4 months ago