Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Honey Month, day 3 (2/3/2011)

eta: Link to the original is up now.

"Day 3 - Sag Harbor, NY, Early Spring Honey

Colour: Pale and clear as snowmelt, just about as much coulor as a Riesling.

Smell: The colour must be affecting me - but, crystals, cool sugar crystals. If honey were water. As I pull it out of the imp*, I think of a stingless jellyfish I once held in the palm of my hand, in Oman. Very faint hint of citrus, too, but more grapefruit than lemon.

Taste: This honey tastes like winter. No - it tastes like the end of winter, but not quite spring. It tastes like those days where you can still see clumps of snow on the ground and the air is heavy with damp but it all smells so good because snowmelt is like that, the trees are black and fragrant though they've barely begun to bud. Refreshing; the sweetness isn't cloying, it's faint and gentle and almost an afterthought. My favorite so far."

Actually, I prefer the description of the honey today to the scrap of fiction; a short-short about a harbor with a bee hive. The description summons memories of exactly that time of year, which is my favorite. The short fiction really doesn't do anything for me today - it's nice, and evocative, but it doesn't evoke anything spectacular for me. This is bound to happen sometimes in a collection like this, I suppose - some of the pieces will speak more directly to one reader than another. This piece, for instance, is one of the favorites of Danielle Sucher, who wrote the introduction to the book, because it speaks to her in a way that it does not to me.

*for those unfamiliar with the custom perfume thing, an imp is a small glass tube with a secure plastic stopper. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab sells perfume samples in them, and clearly Amal's honey was shipped in them. They look like this, and are, for many, the preferred size for collecting and trading perfumes.