On Jamatology

One often finds, when sitting at the breakfast table, that he knows not what to say. The toast, adorned with nothing but butter, has exhausted itself on any subject and has thus led to one’s nervous panning of the room and a sudden interest in the intricacies of the plate. It is at these times that one must turn to the only thing that can offer salvation from this wordless morning stupor, preserves.

Although fruits are adequate in this situation, they can only offer a rather separate digression. Despite providing a refreshing change in conversation, it is a rather sharp one that can only go so far. One needs to digress more fluidly into a topic through a constant in the language inherent in this particular morning task. This is why jam, with its combination of fluidity and viscosity, is the perfect conduit to move between topics and ideas.

Let us go back to the start, where the original fruits sit in the pot as robust purveyors of language. As mentioned before, they can only go so far to carry out the task on this particular occasion. This is even more so when they are in the pot, only giving off the scent of the ideas they hold. It is very much a pot of potentiality, and one wonders exactly when they will fulfil this potential. The heat is on, yet nothing happens. They remain there in a state of complacency, holding onto the ideas they represent. You turn up the heat, but think against it for you don’t want to snub the conversation through burning zeal.

Perhaps a little water is needed, it lubricates the dialogue and acts as a chair, or a self-actualising ‘ice breaker,’ (there’s a pun in there somewhere). Sure enough, the fruits warm to each other through promoted conversation, but it is one that moves too freely and without regard for the topics at hand. The thoughts that once met you with nothing but a cold silence and frosty reception now flow towards you with a rambunctious and tart intensity.

In this state, they are too much to handle, and one can’t seem to get a grasp on anything. It is fortunate then that there follows a gold dusting that will change the course of this convoluted conversation. The thoughts, whizzing around with the same vigour, show no signs of abating, but unbeknownst to them the pectin molecules are slowly forming a network that will trap the fruits and water within the shape that is so familiar to our mornings. These thoughts are starting to travel at a reasonable speed, but they are still far too intense for one to handle. Let us introduce a mediator, a large amount of granules to make the almost unpalatable sharpness of pure ideas more palatable.

Our conversation is now at boiling point, and despite spitting and gurgling vociferously, it is beginning to carry an air of coherence. You remember the lemon juice that you contributed earlier, it seemed so inconsequential then. It was in fact integral in the gelling of these thoughts into this coherent form, for while the pectin was working to slow down the chaos, the lemon juice was mediating the event by creating an acidic environment that stopped the molecules from repelling one another and thus being able to build their network. After an intense period everything seems to settle down, it is now safe to approach the pot and take in the rich scent of these concentrated thoughts. But one must make haste, for the longer it is left, the more it will lose its poignancy. Without further ado, it is poured into sterilized jars. Nothing extraneous must reside within the jar for it will only serve to disrupt the dialogue and fester there until it creates an unpleasant atmosphere that is disagreeable to everyone.

With the jars now filled and sealed, it only begs to label them with the appropriate words so one can access whatever thoughts he desires. On this particular morning, it is one of blackberry and pear. But why go through the whole process? Because what we get as a result are concentrated ideas, the very essence of what the original fruit held. Furthermore, jam allows us to simultaneously take in several ideas at once. It is easy enough for one to place a single blackberry and a slice of pear upon the tongue, but the mastication of which produces a dialogue that seems altogether contrived. With the preserve however, one attains a marriage of flavours that ultimately becomes an entirely new idea.

Through preservation, the concentrated thoughts attain poignancy over time. The flavours, through living with each other for however long, have intensified further and given rise to new thoughts as a result. The granary slate is now dressed with its maroon garment. With a mouthful of tart blackberries and the pale sweetness of pear, offset by the subtle coolness of mint, one finds himself in good spirits and conversation amongst this particular preserve party.


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