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The Apricot Marmelade was Homemade

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Jayne Dullahan

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And it was high summer in the south of France. Work and the car, oven cleaner and scraping the oil off the grill were the escape and now life was real, like the marmelade that would have been roundly condemned under the auspices of science. It was contained in a giant mason jar as a gentle wind carried hints of the afternoon heat to come through the muslin barrier at the window; my bare arm in the shade of hundreds of years absorbed the heat and held on to the cool...I watched it run across the skin of my arm, extended with a tentative spoon toward the mouth of the mason jar. I will remember this moment. I remembered that moment, every second as it passed and recorded each present; I've no idea what we were talking about. Maybe we weren't talking.

The little man who brought the jar, it seemed he was bigger than the jar, but not much. He smiled more than I expect to see anyone smile. Well it wasn't that he was smiling so much. The smile of a restaurant server is rarely so sincere, and I'd been trained to appreciate that fools smile, and Europeans are too clever to smile. And so like Nietzsche or Kierkegaard or perhaps Hermann Bahr, I sat in a little restaurant in centuries of shade with the decades of serious thought carefully etched into my eyes and pouty lips, and too aware of the relationship of air with my skin. I existed, it was like an essay. I underlined my salient points, poised in mid-air.

The little man gestured for my approval. He smiled, he was hunched over, his skin was a cauliflower white and his teeth, too, he had bumps and hair the little cauliflower man with the mason jar in his arms. He was the nicest person I'd ever seen.

I had a cafe au lait. I hate lait. I like my cafe noir. It never matters what I order in French restaurants, they always think I'm German and bring me Coke with lemon. I hate lemon. I hate warm Coke. Cafe au lait I can say properly, so I had cafe au lait. The air on my arm and the lait in my stomach. I felt.

I had a little spoon poised for the apricot marmelade. It was the realest thing I'd ever seen. I took a spoonful and dripped it on my pain. I sipped my cafe au lait. I admired the squish of bread beneath my apricot spoon and thought this will be sticky.

Eventually I assumed he smiled so much the cauliflower man with the mason jar because he made the marmelade and it was the best marmelade anyone ever ate, including me. For years to come we raved about the fantastic marmelade and the little man, and it was all real before we went back to work in the car, in the airconditioning, where life and lait are a long way away.

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Hello jayne

I like this very much I liked the centuries old shade

it made me think of those days, and I wrote in blog, that become so real so vivid that I wonder if it was a dream did that moment really show itself so true. A puzzle, sometimes as I try to extend the sensation when I know its happening like when I was in france two years ago I came upon a village square and the sensation came the light the shaded corners the chipped paint work of the door the dust on the floor the heat and the sound of the heat this whole experience lasts for maybe a few seconds its almost gone as I try to understand it. What makes this happen, is it the environment or my mind I cannot not conjure it tho I can conjure some states of mind. I have tried to look for it in the days when the light is thundery like primary colours with black added, its almost the same sensation I think the light and possibly the heat has something to do with it. When I was younger im sure these experiences used to happen more often.

do you get sensations from stones? i say this to you because i know i do and I am wondering about the sensation i get from seeing touching smelling tasting stone, carvings, pebbles, cliffs, caves, buildings and the way the space around them is touched.

have you written books may I ask as you are a very good writer? It 'pains' me to read but I would persevere to read something you had written. not your writing is painful! the actual reading process is.

sarah

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When I was younger im sure these experiences used to happen more often.

strange how that happens, isn't it. I don't know exactly why. Is it because we have ever more things to keep track of?

do you get sensations from stones? i say this to you because i know i do and I am wondering about the sensation i get from seeing touching smelling tasting stone, carvings, pebbles, cliffs, caves, buildings and the way the space around them is touched.

As a matter of fact, I do. But I've never been able to understand them. I like it best when I visit castles. The stones are so...noisy? Do you know what I mean?

have you written books may I ask as you are a very good writer? It 'pains' me to read but I would persevere to read something you had written. not your writing is painful! the actual reading process is.

As it happens, I am hoping to turn a lot of what I have written in my blog into a book, but probably not for a few years. I am trying to get some poems published, too, but I haven't heard yet if that is going to pan out...

Have you considered publishing some of your poems? I think you should consider it!

You are a remarkable poet, Sarah.

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When I was younger im sure these experiences used to happen more often.

strange how that happens, isn't it. I don't know exactly why. Is it because we have ever more things to keep track of?

Yes I think you are right. I hold down two jobs and am a mother and wife. The time I have to myself is mainly driving in the car between 'work' visits and in the late evening. But I think I still see things but I do not alllow it as Im working!!

As a matter of fact, I do. But I've never been able to understand them. I like it best when I visit castles. The stones are so...noisy? Do you know what I mean?

Oh yes, you are so reasuring to me, your like a piece of puzzle Ive been looking for when you write. Castles old houses caves rocks they all speak. the activity around them is mesmerising and draws you in and in that moment there is no time, its that place, where everything is there that has ever been.

As it happens, I am hoping to turn a lot of what I have written in my blog into a book, but probably not for a few years. I am trying to get some poems published, too, but I haven't heard yet if that is going to pan out...

please can I know when it comes about, love to read your writing

Have you considered publishing some of your poems? I think you should consider it!

You are a remarkable poet, Sarah.

Im bonkers dont you know :D

I have never shown any one the writing

My husband is from writers but i do not interact with them or anyone for that matter! My social skills are not my best part! I find it difficult to talk. I can go to work and talk for 2 hrs flat about certain subjects but conversation not good. I also go serious, even though people say Im really funny? I think they mean my mannerisms and honesty. But I very often see beyond peoples conversations and when they get to this intersting stage they go away as Ive stopped the conversation dead! And honesty is not always the best policy! I also am not clear what a poem is a part from some words need to rhyme at some point. I would really need a 1 - 1 teacher on this. I wish I could write a story but I do not can not write a proper sentence it is either round the wrong way, the tenses are wrong, and I do not have words for everything. This thing about 1st person 2nd person and 3rd person I tried that in the blog on Its coming but you dont know it yet. I wrote that in the evening when I got home after seeing a crash on the way home.

any way I am happy that you like my writing it pleases me to please you.

sarah

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Jayne, I would love to see your writing and/or poetry in a book! I would certainly buy it :rolleyes:

Sarah, I agree with Jayne that it would be great if you tried to get some of your poems published (I was going to say 'poems' or writings but I decided to just call then poems, because they are poems even if you don't know it!) Perhaps you could show your writing to someone who could pick out the best poems to try to get publsihed (I would happily do this, but I'm sure Jayne would be the better person for the job, as I know very little about poetry, at least I have never officially studied it.)

Bernie x

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