The Cookie Jar

Right, so I need space to try and process and flesh out this fever dream. I’m not providing context. Just make something up. I’m also posting it now before I change my mind. Peace. Y’all take care.

It’s like, we look around and see everyone else, each with their own unique cookie jar. Some of them are beautiful ornate vases, while others are simply wooden bowls, but each one is as unique as the person eating from it. Likewise, each jar contains a unique kind of cookie only found within it. Sure, some may be similar, but they’re never the same.

We look at these people happily enjoying their cookies and their jars and we say “That looks great, I want to try that!” So we go looking for a jar of our own. Sometimes we pick and choose, waiting for what seems like the perfect jar, and sometimes we sample one at random. Maybe we like those cookies and stop for a while. Maybe we don’t, and we continue the search.

Over time we begin to draw patterns. “I like this kind of cookie.” “I don’t like that kind of cookie.” “Blue glasses vases have the best cookies.” “Wooden bowls aren’t worth it.” All manner of preconceived notions begin to affect our judgment. Still we look upon the other people in the world eating what appears to be their perfect cookie from their perfect jar and we long to feel the same way they do. We crave the joy they’re experiencing and wonder why we aren’t receiving the same thing. We question if the cookies are even worth it, or what the point of it is, and we sometimes we begin to believe that we’ll never find what they’ve found.

In our desperation, maybe we try harder, thinking that maybe we’re just not giving it enough time. We find that some jars don’t even contain cookies for us, but loaded mouse traps that spring on our fingers causing us great pain. Still, what are the odds, right, so we try again and find another trap, and another.

Maybe we found plenty of cookies in the beginning, but increasingly find traps. We question our jar, wondering what’s wrong with it. Why is it filled with these traps? Why has my jar changed?

Each person seeks their own unique solution to this newfound pain. Some continue hoping and searching, trying different jars, while others abandon their search entirely, and some keep reaching into the same jar over and over. After all, your fingers go numb after a while and it doesn’t hurt as much. There are bound to be cookies there sooner or later. Maybe you even found one or two along the way amidst all the traps, but it’s your jar so you keep reaching in. It becomes your normal and you accept that this is just how it has to be.

Then one day, somebody shares one of their cookies with you. It’s really good, and you appreciate it, and you thank them and stick with your jar because the joy they’ve shared is enough to sustain you. We slowly accumulate these friends, doing our best to share among ourselves to sustain and support each other, however long we find them in our lives.

Sometimes, eventually, we learn that no matter how many times we reach into the jar, it will never contain the cookies we need it to. That continuing to reach into it is going to cause pain, both to ourselves and those are us who must watch us endure it. We tell people how bad that jar is and how much pain it causes, after all, we did the best we could, so it must be the jar’s fault.

So, understanding that our cookies are not to be found here, we leave, and by random chance alone, we find our cookies. In a random jar we would never have chosen, or a type of cookie we didn’t even know we were missing. There, in that one beautiful moment, we begin to understand that it was never the jar. Nor was it our fault. Some jars and some people just don’t work together, and no matter how many times you reach in, it will never contain cookies for you.

That old jar is still a beautiful jar that we wanted to enjoy, though, so we move on to find our new jars and hope that someday we can support the next person who finds our jar and realizes it contains the cookies they were looking for all along.

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