If it bulges out and protrudes without separating, it is a lobe. When these lobes stick out a bit, they are called ears.

Sheep: lobes, ears and all, on a summer day in Seyðisfjördur, Iceland.

This word is old and has had many children. Here it is in what is called a lap:

Leaves, overlapping.

From a fold of cloth at the front of a skirt, the sense of layering was transferred to a lap, or the joined legs of a person while sitting. However, look what happens when an overlap…

Canim Bay, Okanagan Lake


… its lap becomes two lips, two edges, across which one can …

Þjófafoss, Iceland

… leap. Well, if one is big enough. At any rate, a cliff, the edge of a breakage or a cleft, the other side of which is often only air, is also called a leap…

A Leap in the Thompson River Canyon

In this case, the one-sided cleft (or cliff) is viewed more personally, as one side of a gap (a lip) and a leap into the unknown, or fate. One is spoken. The space one leaps into is a mouth.

Foss í Sidu A Troll and Its Lips in Iceland

A farmyard water source.

Typically, such a spoken mouth is filled with a tongue, that licks out. It even licks out to lap up water. This is not to say that a lip is a tongue, but it is the child of one. The tongue is a lobe, and the lips are a twisted flicker of its energy across the face, the ghost of a tongue in the way in which a cliff is a ghost of a cleft. The lick is not water, but a glistening and a shimmer.

Light, Licking Over Ice on Okanagan Lake

These words all originate in the mouth as an “L”, a folded and compressed tongue that suddenly transfers its energy to the cheeks, which then make a rounded blow in a “p”, which pops.

Quince Flowers Popping

An etymological dictionary will tell you that this is a sound imitated by the mouth, which it is, but it is also an action. It is a mouth in the world. It is a rounded space. It pops out.

A bilberry, in Seyðisfjördur, Iceland

There it is, popping out, and what do you do in response? You pop it into yours. It is after all the same shape. The recognition of this shape calls it a berry, which is the mouth opening to make the shape to receive it. It is not a pop at this point but an ep, or apple, which is not the fruit we know but all fruits. Here it is as a quince.


It’s not the fruit per se, but the specific opening of the mouth, the lips closing over the fruit as it is bitten off (with the b or p of a lip) and eaten. It is a word of desire and of opening. And opening, the O of the mouth that blows to part the lips (making a “p”) and then bites off with the closed front teeth of an “en”. This is the extension of a pop.

Quince blossoms popping open.

Each is a lobe.

They overlap.

Do not forget, however. They might be lips and mouths, but they are also lobes and ears. They speak and listen. Without the two together, they are silence, and so are our words.

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