Where are You From? I’m Not Sure!
Recently an Americorp team came to stay and work here at the Bishop’s Ranch for six weeks. Their first evening we had a little social for Ranch staff and the Americorp crew. As a conversation starter we were asked to put three things on our nametags: first our name, an easy enough question I was able to handle without discomfort. The second question was a bit harder for me, write down your favorite sport, ughm, well I not too big on sports and while I played basketball in High school I wouldn’t say it was my favorite now, so I put down my favorite physical activity – hula hooping. Ok two down one to go, “where are you from?”. Oh no, this is a stumper! Where am I from? Usually I answer that query with a vague “small town northern California” explaining that my family moved a fair bit. But somehow, this day, the question put me in an existential crisis. Where AM I from? Having gone to four different schools in four different towns as a kid, three of those in five years, wherever I was I always felt like a bit of an outsider. Like someone just pretending be from around here (wherever here was at the time), just pretending to fit in. Before my fifteen years at the Ranch, the longest tome I lived any where was in San Francisco. After a few years of living and working I felt an ease and comfort there that I hadn’t felt many places in my life. But I couldn’t really say I was from there, that would imply an urban upbringing that is far from my small town past. So finally, to answer the question “where are you from” I put HERE. This is where I am, where I feel myself, where I have been grounded the longest. It put to mind of the mass of birds gathering around my yard that I wrote about last week. Some staying the winter, some moving on to warmer climes soon. But all seemingly wildly happy, singing, sounding, shrilling, HERE, I am here! Where are they from? Where are they going? Their communal joy at being here in this wondrous place on this wondrous day seems to say the past is but a dream, the future a mystery, I am here, be here now, HERE.
This piece and others like it, along with fine art reprints, fun jewelry and much more will be for sale at my Holiday Art Sale and Show, Saturday, December 3rd, in Healdsburg. If you would like more information and you aren’t already on my art updates email list please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the list to find out about classes, sales and shows.