My favorite place is real, but seems like an intangible memory. My favorite place was with my Grams, on the boat, fishing under the midnight sun. Although I can technically go back home and go on a boat, her presence is something I can no longer experience in the physical world. Growing up in Alaska, learning how to put up fish with my Grams, harvesting medicines with my Mom, and running along the banks of the rivers with my cousins, feels almost fake from my semester abroad in Italy. Although I am enjoying my couple weeks here, I yearn for familiarity.
I brought a single jar of smoked salmon, the love language of our mothers, to share a little bit of my culture with my group. Being able to turn this into a creamy dip and share it with my peers was an exciting experience. I felt I could share a deeper part of myself, as I explained the women in my family pass on the practice smoking the fish. That it was caught, processed, and filled with the love of my mom, sister, and son. They loved it, and quickly cleaned the bowl while overflowing my heart with a sense of acceptance, love, understanding.
I am excited to see how this seminar will explore ideas in new ways. Simpson’s poetic way of delivering a message of open mindedness and a deeper level of experience was a great opening. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.