Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mull (j)

Day 105.  Merry Christmas!  Today's word is...


To mull is to cogitate over something deeply and at length.  To mull wine one warms it and adds 2 tablespoons mulling spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc.) and sugar.  Judging from Oxford Dictionaries, the second usage of mull seems to be a century older.  So... somehow the term for spicing Christmas wine became the term we use when deep in thought.  Mulling involves a twenty-minute simmer, letting the spices mix with the fruity elements of the wine, producing a warm, delicious aroma.  This simmer - not a hard, obvious boil - is a great metaphor for serious under-the-surface thought: it can't be (nor mustn't be) rushed; is quiet, not shouted; and the results are worth waiting for.  As writers, we're mulling over a thousand things at once, envisioning worlds at a continuous simmer.  The longer these worlds soak in the spices of inspiration, the sweeter they'll be. 

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