I got my brown rice vinegar in the mail
I note it’s black label has sparse and vertical Japanese writing, elegantly proportioned, framing with a natural imperfect beauty, a collection of white patterns on a square of black.
It resembles hand pressed biology-inspired wax resist on fabric. Or fishing-net impressed plum shapes or flat flounder fishes floating, intricate baskets of white on black.
But when I plucked it from the box, from hundreds of pieces of sundry silverware for crucifying canvas to wood,
I discover it is wrapped in sticky bubble wrap, (the kind with great big bubbles, the biggest I think you can find)
And I removed it slowly and carefully, trying not to rip the label
(it’s incredibly sticky stuff).
This wasn’t the cheapest vinegar, as vinegar goes,
it should at least look nice if I will have it for a while,
Or maybe I’ll use it in everything
I just dont know yet.
It smells great. Like sunken ships in burned out barley fields
Sunflowers or leather saddles
I vaguely imagine Christ on a cross
His next to last dying words a request for vinegar.
I wonder would it meet the standard.
As I am bowled over by the perfect art on the label I notice something kind of, well, almost unbelievable, even now.
Focusing my vision at close range, I have a flash of intuition or suspicion that the sticky wrap has pulled away or damaged bits of the black ink. The art on this label has only in this moment appeared. The marks were not present at birth, but developed here in this arrival, in it’s last journey.
The writing and the rest of the label is unaffected,
The white print only appearing on the black background, in the main and mostly empty square of the label
and only in shapes corresponding directly with the backside of the big bubbles in the wrap.
The result are these beautiful white thumbprints,
Smushed circles of snail trails on the moon’s surface, fish scales, primitive abstraction, porthole-shaped mono-tinted drawings or old fuzzy xeroxed photos of the ocean, some alien language, some naturally growing form. Loch Ness Monster news clippings.
They look like they absolutely had to have been purposely printed there, so much I don’t believe the staunch vigour of my vision until I confirm the marks still on the bubble wrap…a perfect black replica of the white drawing on the label
I am simply stunned at the sheer level of this art. Impossibly created. A level which the vinegar must frankly, deserve
I secretly hope
And I wonder how the rest of the bottles that have ever been made at this plant could possibly be missing out on all the earthy and spontaneous opulence.