What does a chinchilla have to do with limberness, if limberness is even a word? (limberness, limbericity, limberous, limberical?) Something, no doubt, but something that is beyond my ken at the moment, fixated as I am today on words that keep coming to me, beautiful words rarely used, words that seem from another time.






In the middle of the night I woke with limber scrolling its way across the subtitle section of my brain. Around and around it scrolled, much like a duffel bag abandoned on baggage claim carousel #3. Thoughts of limber, and all things limber-related, limned on a mental movie screen.

The man at the Y:  “Are you the woman who was twisting herself into a pretzel up there on that mat?”

Yes, that was me.

Limberlost: part of  a book title I wish I’d come up with myself. That it refers to a swampy area of Indiana does not lessen the enchantment.

Limbs. I have four of them, for which I am forever grateful.

Limb: to go out on one, which can be a good and intense, if exhausting, way to live.

Long-limbed Girl: my favorite Nick Lowe song.

Limbic: A group of interconnected deep brain structures, common to all mammals, and involved in olfaction, emotion, motivation, behavior, and various autonomic functions.

Limn: To describe, or to depict by painting or drawing.

Limb: in astronomy, the circumferential edge of the apparent disc of the sun or moon or a planet, which is something that I – star-ignorant that I am – never knew until this morning.

Limb: any of the main branches arising from the trunk or bough of a tree, like the ones that Fred Anken and I built my treehouse in, lo those many years ago.

Limb: a very rare surname, so rare that in the U.S., it ranks #26355. Another fact I never knew until just now.

What if my name were Alison Limb? All my life I would be spelling it out for people, just the way I spell out McGhee for people now – “It’s M, C, G, H, E, E. Yes, I know, that H is weird, isn’t it.”

If my name were Alison Limb, would I have a chinchilla for my pet?

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