Making Jam – a work in progress …..

This week’s contribution is reflection rather than fiction but once I saw the photo prompt I had to get this out of my system. I hope you don’t mind.

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This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of ©Randy Mazie


Friday Fictioneers prompt for November 28, 2014 ©Randy Mazie

Making Jam – a work in progress …..

I read once that when an old woman dies, a library burns. It wasn’t until my mother’s death that I was hit with the absolute truth of that statement.
Where are all those members of our far-flung family that left Ireland during waves of emigration? What stories were never told because they seemed irrelevant or were too painful? Did I imagine it, or did you tell me that my Grandmother wrote a book on botany?
And by the way, how much water do you add to blackcurrant jam?
When an old woman dies a library burns. We are each a library in the making. Collect and share well.

©Siobhán McNamara

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41 Responses to Making Jam – a work in progress …..

  1. What a fantastic expression and a wonderful piece of writing.


  2. marshalhopalop says:

    I really enjoyed this one. I had a feeling you were up to something when you mentioned your family’s past. It was a clever and insightful connection; people and their wealth of knowledge are hardly separable.


  3. I love this. It’s absolutely true, so many family traditions and recipes get lost along the way.


  4. Sandra says:

    An excellent piece. Very thoughtful. Well done Siobhan. Only the other evening, whilst talking about my father, I realised I didn’t know something that only he could tell me.


  5. draliman says:

    I’ve never thought of it that way. A whole lifetime of knowledge gone in an instant.


  6. Ok, this is very clever. As I read through to the end, I could not help but agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Well done


  7. Fantastic! And just goes to show that when you have to write something out of your system, it works. 😉
    There’s so much I wish I could ask my grandparents now that I’m an adult. So much I took for granted….


  8. Dear Siobhán,

    You took my breath away with this one. I’d never heard the expression before and now I will never forget it. Stunning. Simply stunning.




  9. Oh I totally agree.. all those memories.. some might be recalled by others – gone.. BTW my great grandfather did write a book on botany.. but I think it’s on wikipedia 🙂


  10. I might have not understood this as well if I didn’t sped Thanksgiving with my friend and her sister.Their other sister had died recently and so they had come across old writings and pictures from her and their mother. They shared them with me as they have no children of their own.


  11. Margaret says:

    Oh yes. What knowledge we have in our memories, and how sad that so much is lost. I loved your story.


  12. Siobhan, I LOVE this idea! The metaphor is beautiful; the writing is fantastic!


  13. plaridel says:

    and so true when an old man dies, too, if i may add.


    • I’m glad you drew attention to that, plaridel. I did think about how I could work it into the story without breaking the flow but it was enough of a challenge to rein it in to 100 words. Thanks for reading 🙂


  14. When a person dies, all his stories, memories, thoughts and ideas cease to exist. And that is something phenomenal and so melancholic at the same time.
    And you express it so well in this tale, with the wonderful metaphor. Great job. 🙂


  15. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Siobhan,

    This was stellar work and so very true. Same for anyone who dies. We take with us all of our experience and memories and those who are left must relearn everything. My library is burring as we speak. it is one of the reasons that I write….and I wish I’d written your story. Very well done.




  16. I am very moved by your comments Doug and glad that you found such a connection with the story. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your response 🙂


  17. Jan Brown says:

    I really enjoyed this essay and its message. Well done!


  18. hafong says:

    Wow! I love it. I didn’t know what you mean about a library burns till the end. Thank you for the story.



  19. Siobhan, That’s so true. Sometimes I’m wondering about some fact I’d like to know and without thinking I absentmindedly have it in my head to ask one of my parents. Then I realize how impossible that is. When they’re gone it’s gone. Well written. — Susan


  20. That’s a really astute observation. Something to mull over.


  21. Reblogged this on patrickprinsloo and commented:
    I rather like this. Definitely worth a read.


  22. Bastet says:

    Love this … and I think there’s a lot of truth in that phrase! 🙂


  23. Honie Briggs says:

    Oh, I liked this a lot.


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