I love a jumble. An unarranged (or semi-arranged, or randomly arranged) group of things that may or may not be related. I like the unexpectedness of it, the fortuitous groupings of objects in disorder, the chance connections that link one thing to another. There’s something pleasing in the way a colander echoes the shape of a ladle, which echoes the shape of a bowl, which echoes the shape of a mortar, which echoes the shape of….

Here’s a curious thing: ‘jumble‘ was a verb before it was a noun. In the 16th century, it was something you did — you jumbled things together. It took about a century before it was also recognized as a thing that had been done — a jumble. That progression from verb to noun also pleases me.

The secret joy of a jumble, though, is this: it’s a sort of pocket-sized adventure. You never quite know what you’re going to encounter, and for a short while you get to be Indiana Jones exploring and searching for treasure, knowing the odds are against you, knowing the grail cup will almost certain NOT be there, knowing that others searching for it have been there before you, knowing it might already have been seized by some other unworthy adventurer. You search and explore without any real expectation of finding the prize — but always in hope that you will.

The cheese grater of the gods is out there, waiting for an intrepid explorer to find it.

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