1. Until today, I'd never seen a Presidential Inauguration. As a boy, I was always in school. As an adult, I was either at work or, if not working, lived in a household without a television. So, this morning, I tuned in, shortly before the swearings in of Vice-President Harris and President Biden. I didn't expect to be choked up so often. Lady Gaga moved me. So did Jennifer Lopez. So did Garth Brooks. Tears rolled down my face when Andrea Hall signed and spoke the Pledge of Allegiance. Amanda Gordon astonished and moved me. Our son-in-law Hiram, who played in the last two inaugurations with the President's Own Marine Band, had this one off, so I didn't need to strain my eyes trying to find him, but I sure enjoyed the band's performances.
I'll always miss living near Washington, D.C. Most of all, I miss the great variety of people who live where I lived for three years. Washington, D.C., and the surrounding suburbs, enriched me as I heard so many different ways of speaking, heard so many languages, saw so many different ways to dress and wear one's hair, lived where I could shop at food markets from around the world, eat the cuisine of many cultures, and have conversations with people whose backgrounds and ways of experiencing the world differed widely from mine. As I watched today's Inauguration, I know that what moved me, in part, was that the variety I cherish so much in the USA was on stage. I know that neither an inaugural program nor President Biden's inaugural speech will unify our country. I don't expect that. But, this inauguration and President Biden's speech set a conciliatory tone and established a yearning for unity in our country. That moved me.
2. For maybe twenty minutes, I listened to some analysis of the Inauguration, but decided that I didn't really want to hear people talk about it. I wanted what I'd experienced to settle inside me, uncommented on. The small chunk of today's proceedings was all I wanted to watch. I wanted to preserve it within me. I didn't tune in for the music, speeches, and fireworks that I understand came later in the day.
Instead, I cooked for a while. I took out the small pork roast I marinated in green curry, let it warm to room temperature, and then I braised it for several hours on the stovetop in the the green curry that I didn't use in the marinate.
Overall, cooking the roast this way was a success. I removed the pork roast from the braise, cut it up, put some rice and pork in a bowl and poured braise over it. I enjoyed this dinner and am beginning to think that a kind of curry pork soup might be coming up next.
3. Having finished The Yellow House, today I read most of Aimee Nezhukumatathil's book, World of Wonders. The book is a series of short lyrical meditations. Each meditation focuses on a single flower or tree or insect or animal or another subject (e. g. monsoons, being a mother for the first time) and Nezhukaumatathil connects what she sees in the natural world with her personal experience, giving much attention, inevitably, to her experience as a brown-skinned girl and woman in the different parts of the United States where she's lived. It's an intriguing and beautiful way of exploring the wonders of the natural world and of writing a memoir. It's unlike any book I've ever read.