I broke a jar of honey yesterday. One pound of pure raw honey remained crystalized at the bottom of a Madhava jar I’ve had for over a year now, brought with me when I moved from Colorado. For days now I tried to heat the bottle gently by dunking it in hot water, but yesterday, with some internet research, I decided to try heating it in a pan of water.
According to Ayurveda, and possibly the Puranas, if not the Shatras, and most venerable of all, the women who cook, honey is never ever to be heated or boiled. It is not to be used in shampoos, but it can in one tiny, tiny drip of a drop, against all modern Western parenting taboos, be placed on a newborn’s tongue to ensure a sweet life. But heating, boiling, shampooing? Never. All matter of properties, if not properties of matter are disturbed. The universe winces.
Still, I heated it, thinking about this injunction after I succeeded in getting the mass at the bottom of the jar to sluggishly move with a chopstick.
I still thought of it as I adeptly siphoned it to my small ceramic honey pot, purchased long ago in the Conrans in the Michelin House. My marvelous British publisher was once housed there, along with the housewares. I remarked on the store as my publisher and I passed it; “no one actually shops there,” he confided. “The prices are prohibitive.” Naturally, I did not tell him I had parted with however many pounds for a round green cup-sized jar with a perky lid which most likely could be found in an American Crate and Barrel or World Market.
I dug in to get that last remaining honey coasting the bottom, when the jar loudly and neatly broke. So I pondered. Did it signify good luck or bad luck? Does the fact my novel to- be- published- in- three months has the word “honey” in it significant or not? Can I read that I was too greedy, too distracted, too invested for the book to succeed? Had I forever altered its course?
Today, I received a lovely tweet, by the wonderful artist, Chris Silas Neal, who did the cover art for my novel, As Sweet As Honey. He included some great hand-lettered drafts as well on his blog.
Shattered glass? Good luck, I think. Out with the old, etcetera.
- sweet as honey. (pinkandplum.wordpress.com)