Last Saturday, I drove down to another writing workshop in Mt. Angel, Oregon, at the Shalom Prayer Center. It was wonderful! Pat Love, the instructor, gave us a lot of wonderful writing prompts, and asked thought-provoking questions in order to encourage us to think about those small things in our lives that we could use as fuel for our writing. One of our assignments ws to make a list of all the things in our refrigerators, including stuffs in the freezer. Her accompanying questions were:
- What snapshots are triggered from this list?
- What do you need?
- What do you want?
- What can you learn from the stuff in your fridge?
Write about the answers to any of these questions.
So I made a quick list of some of da stuffs in my fridge and came up with this:
Yoshida’s Sweet and Sour Sauce
Science experiments (heh heh heh)
And this is what I wrote for the assignment. Pat only gave us about ten minutes to do it.
“In my fridge, there is a lot of stuff that helps me feel connected to the ‘āina [homeland] and my childhood growing up in Hawai‘i. But along with those things are connections to my present life, including the red Oregon raspberry jam given to me by a friend. Past and present linked in my fridge. Flavors of childhood, flavors of adulthood. Which do I choose? Which is my comfort food when I am sick or feeling needy?
“Past and present, flavors linking me to my childhood like a bridge. A small bag of poi, shunned by my mainland friends, but to me, carrying flavors of the sun-drenched land where I was born and raised. I taste it, and I am back there, a keiki o ka ‘āina [child of the homeland], gloriously ti-leaf sliding down a muddy hillside in Mānoa Valley, listening to the shouts of laughter from my friends. I taste the raspberry jam, and I am here in Oregon, an adult with one foot on the mainland and the other on ku‘u one hānau, the sands of my birth.”