This little jar once contained onion jam. My mother bought it for me on our last day in Berlin. There was once a glass lid. But it broke the first day I opened the jam, smashing on my kitchen floor in the Midwest.
The jam was sweet, maple-y, and dark. I ate it off the end of a teaspoon and later with my fingers. Jam gone—I kept the jar to use as a painting cup and to remind me of the heavy buckets of tulips and the first fat birds of Berlin’s spring.
I recently moved. I donated: many books, a vacuum cleaner, a table, my bed, spoons, and sundresses. I threw away: shoes with broken heels and ends of ribbon. The jar was in the pile to go. At the last minute, I wrapped it in a pair of socks and took it with me.
Is this a sign of the hoarding that runs in my family? Perhaps. Will it break soon? Perhaps. But, I am glad to have carried it so far.