This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spot the frippet: something liminal.

This is in some ways a difficult spot, and at the same time as easy as pie.

Something liminal exists at the point where it can only just be sensed.

In a life where a hundred different things are constantly shouting for our attention it's easy to ignore the liminal. But what are we missing?

The song of the furthest bird. The pearliest edge of a opaline sky. The hint of aniseed in a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine (you don't suppose the people who write the words for food labels make all that stuff up, do you?).

Explore the liminal. Run your fingers along your computer screen and feel the faint prickle of the electrically-charged dust (if you're using a touch screen then run your fingers down the back of your device or you may suddenly find yourself reading instructions on how to clean carpets, cook cassava, or make friends).

Smell the rain, or the sea, or the hay.

Feel the warmth left in a new loaf. Feel the waxy sheen of a lipstick. Notice the buzz of a shy bee.

Most of all, marvel at how much you missed yesterday, and resolve never to miss it again.

Indian leaf butterfly.

Spot the frippet: something liminal. This word comes from the Latin līmen, which means threshold.


  1. A little word with a big meaning!
    I just took out a loaf of bread from the oven, and was enjoying the smell, as always. I also enjoy the warmth that's still just there when I go to cut a slice. It's a nice comfy feeling.
    This morning I opened a window to let a little air in, and I just caught the sound of a woodpecker pecking away at the large suet cake at the bird feeding area. Without that slight noise, I wouldn't have looked far enough, and would've missed that beautiful winged fellow.
    I think as I've got older, I've enjoyed these little things a lot more.

    1. Thanks, Jingles, those are all truely lovely and valuable things. The sky here is palest blue wisped with faint skeins of pearl...

  2. Beautiful! I do try very hard to enjoy the liminal in's even better than mindfulness though maybe they are linked...

    1. Every silver lining is attached to a fluffy squirrel-tail cloud.

  3. I was exploring the liminal zone the other day in a battery of medical tests. A physiotherapist was testing my sensitivity to vibrations (apparently its commonly dulled in people with MS), and he put this funny little thing on my big toe that slowly increased in the vibration it transmitted - I had to tell him at what point I first felt anything.

    It was jolly difficult, and I didn't even think of the word 'liminal' to help me through the boredom of it all.

    1. Really sorry you're having to be experimented upon in this way, Eddie. There are probably people who would pay good money for an experience like that - but, I admit, only strange rather people.