Today I brought leftover chili for lunch. As I was crumbling crackers into it, I suddenly realized that I was standing there in New York, a Creek girl from Oklahoma, crumbling matzo crackers into "steakhouse chili," the recipe for which I got from an Italian-American food writer. America's diversity is the result of all kinds of violence, cruelty and pain. The "melting pot" burns and destroys. And I can't figure out how to say this next thing without sounding trite and sentimental. We have so many opportunities to try new things, and seemingly endless patterns into which we can arrange them. It doesn't make up for the violence, the cruelty, the cultural erasure, and everything...but it's something good, at least.
Obviously, I'm sorry settlers came here, but we can't change that. I'm just glad there are some good parts...not just food, but the other things strangers bring. Perhaps it's not the best part of my character, but I really like strangers. Visitors. People from afar. People I don't understand who don't understand me. I don't think we'll ever lack for them. I want to be a welcoming country, and I hope we are to most people, at least. At least I can leave my door open.
In other news, my students wore me out today. I'd written three paragraphs detailing how they did so, but I've thought better of it. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. I love my job, and I love all the people whose academic writing is in my care. It is an honor to be in charge of them. Still, teaching writing to the unwilling can be exhausting.
Tonight I made another Rachael Ray recipe for dinner, but I was missing a key ingredient, which I couldn't find at my grocery store: saffron. It was a zucchini pasta recipe. I just used garlic instead of saffron to flavor my broth. It wasn't the same, but it sure was good. While I was making it, Joe was fixing the dishwasher. He's so full of surprises.
Oh! One more thing! This morning I went to the village office to get the forms for our backyard fence, and the women there recognized me from television! Apparently, I was on the local news last night in a story about yesterday's poetry reading. So I will now start saying, "My poetry was featured on international television." (For, as my officemate who was also on television informs me, our news is also shown in Canada.) The village office women were so nice. They told me to bring Tula in to meet them some time. Never, ever in Oklahoma has my dog been invited into a public building.
Joe was not impressed. He said, "Never in Oklahoma would someone ask you to fill out a form, have it approved, and pay $35 to fence your own yard!"
He has a point.
But I love Sackets Harbor more, not less.