Today, jam is on my mind. I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite books from childhood, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Saw There by Lewis Carroll.
I love that book!
Thank you, Lily and 9. It’s always a happy thing when the three of us agree. (If you are new to this blog, opinions sometimes vary between myself, my inner fourteen-year-old, and my inner nine-year-old.)
My copy of Looking-Glass includes an Author’s Preface, addressing an unorthodox chess problem that is the foundation of the plot and pronunciation guidance for “new words” used in the poem “Jabberwocky.” The preface is dated Christmas, 1896. The book was originally published December 27, 1871.
But I digress.
What a surprise.
Thank you, Lily, for the peppy dose of sarcasm.
Jam is today’s topic and I’m determined to stick with it. In particular, I am meditating on the White Queen’s rule of “. . .jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.” These are the terms she offers Alice when attempting to engage her as a lady’s maid.
Jam to-morrow, Wikipedia explains, is an expression for a never-fulfilled promise.* That’s when I realized there was not a single, solitary bite of jam in the house.
Say it isn’t so!
Ah, but it is so, 9.** And while I am not the world’s biggest consumer of jam, I like to have some around for spreading on toast or mixing into plain yogurt. There’s extra resonance to being jam-less right now, as I seem to be swimming in a sea of never-fulfilled promises. Maybe a lot of other people are, too, with so many plans derailed and dreams deferred because of COVID. (Yes, it’s still out there- -a family member of mine tested positive earlier this week).
Today I will make a symbolic gesture toward picking up discarded promises. That’s right, I will buy a jar of jam! Or maybe two. I tend to favor unusual concoctions- -fig, gooseberry, mango.
So we’ll be going to Andy’s?
That’s the plan, Lily. It’s the best local source I’ve found for mildly exotic food stuffs, and this is an emergency! In fact, it’s an existential crisis!!
Or maybe you just have low blood sugar?
Perhaps. But think about it: one simple transaction will reaffirm that some promises will be fulfilled. Not all of them, life would be too boring if that were so, but some of them.
Pass the toast.
* There is also a pun involved about the Latin word jam which means “now”, a classic Lewis Carroll usage that I, personally find irritating. Me, too! Me three!!
** Full disclosure: this worrying situation has been addressed since drafting this blog.
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I am happy to report some splendid synchrony in our lives. Alice has been a reference several times, especially either the caterpillar’s question: “Who are you?” Coming up in Zen flavored philosophical conversations. I suppose the second synchrony may be less jam like and more Winnie the Pooh like. We were out of HONEY. My wife was looking for interesting places to take guests in our new home town of Salem. We went to the Flying Bee Ranch for a honey tasting. Highly recommended for your unique flavor fetish. They had some forty flavors including Vetch, Star Thistle, Scotch Broom and Radish. Krista brought home the Carrot honey, and I, the pumpkin, though the Buckwheat still calls my name. Now if I could as easily fulfill those deferred promises as spread the fragrant gift of bees on my toast. Maybee that’s enough.
I’ve discovered Octopus Garden honey, derived from local flowers and quite delicious! Their operation is in Dayton, about a half-hour drive from home. Honey is definitely my mainstay for a little something sweet; but jam- -ah, the symbolism! Happy eating, Tom!