Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Letter at a Time

Changing the world, one letter at a time.

I get the idea while sitting in the garden at the medical clinic across the road, considering dappled tree bark and lanky winter rosemary.  I’m in a sad and gripey frame of mind, and trying very hard to escape it.

Thinking of one who sidles in, unpleasantly, but changing him to one who made saddles, my gentle grandfather, working the leather.

Thinking “I cannot bear . . .” but then, instead, “Oh yes I can, bear”—responding to the little black bear, oso negro, scented with juniper, that hung in my early childhood on the gin bottle from Juarez in the dictionary room, the treasury of words.

Brash becomes the softer brush; hiss becomes hush, or wish, or even listen.

Thrash becomes a thrush—a wood thrush or a hermit thrush, plump and with tawny legs, or even a blue whistling thrush, found in the Himalayas with the snow leopards and dance of prayer flags.

Grind becomes a jaunty grin, or rind—of melons or of oranges, tangerines.

And even gruel, the flavorless and nearly empty bowl of poor Oliver Twist, becomes the Grail, holy and sought after by whole armies of knights.

And so it goes, changing.

image:  Christie B. Cochrell, Treviso Letters


  1. good lord!
    such beauty in a sad and gripey frame of mind.

  2. Sometimes, on the other hand, it's satisfying to wallow thoroughly in the gripiness!