One day I was procrastinating (as usual) on a writing assignment and feeling pissed at myself for failing to persist with a regular writing practice. If I didn’t put pen to paper, what peerless prose would be left to posterity? And what was my purpose on the planet anyway if not to pontificate?
And then it struck me that my problems all began with the letter P.
I know a continuously curious gal named Goody Cable (owner of the literary Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon and the Rimsky-Korskoffee Coffee House in Portland) who recently spent 52 weeks – an entire year – exploring the alphabet, each letter for two weeks. She pored over the unabridged dictionary and immersed herself sequentially in each letter. She pondered the personality of each letter as discerned from the words it initiated. She didn’t just read and think about the words; she ate foods that began with the letter, wore colors that began with the letter, read books and listened to music by people whose name began with the letter, called old friends whose name began with that letter, and on and on. Every two weeks her perspective on reality shifted.
Her project totally tickled my imagination. But 26 letters is 25 too many for me. Since I was finding P words so problematic, why couldn’t I just explore the letter P? The good news is that many P words are not ponderous at all. Think pipsqueak, poodle, pumpernickel, pablum, penguin and pusillanimous.
This could be fun.