Daily Archives: June 13, 2009

shimmer

Think of the sun flashing off ripples of water. Think of a long row of metal slats and the effect they have as you speed by them. Think of the vibrations the mm in this word can produce in the eyes. This word slides in with a sh that, though a voiceless hushing sound, may, if slid into, drown out the soft voiced reverb that follows. Oh, this word has echoes – or should we say reflections. The shaking of shimmy and shiver, the glow of glimmer, the sun-sparkle of summer (oh, how distant sights shimmer in the summer heat!), the sizzle and steam of simmer… This is a word that shines and vibrates with soft but strong energy. It forgoes the cut and skitter of glitter and shuns the shock and crackle of sparkle, preferring a lambent hum. The play of shadows and vibration weave through this word’s history, a Germanic one all the way back and always with an eye to light. It has transferred to a certain subtle, effortless style of movement, too, epitomized by Wodehouse’s Jeeves. Not for the gaudy, garish, climbing and striving set, this word; if it’s shimmer time, the living is easy.