A few weeks ago I wrote about the letter O, and what that had stood for in my schoolgirl 1960s, and again in 2020.

Recently I was lettering again. During a Zoom (online) dance class with Ruth Hirst, we were paired into breakout rooms & asked to establish who was A and who was B (this was to determine who would dance first and be witnessed, before swapping roles).

Since my microphone wasn’t working, I drew a big letter B on my drawing pad and showed it to my allocated partner, Aurora, over the tiny screen on my phone. It was fitting that she was A, anyway, wasn’t it?

You can see my B, upon which I elaborated later during the delicious Body Prayer session that Sunday, as this week’s “featured image”, and above.

And below is the inside, the beery bar, of another Letter B, this time a public house (inn, hostelry, hotel) in East Anglia.

Beers celebrating the local Straw Bear ceremony at The Letter B pub, Whittlesey, England

Benevolently (wishing you well) I invite you to join my bestiary of what has emerged from this foray into the Be-list.

Brain dump

Starting with the letters “Be“…., let us Begin:

In our usual free-flow style, let’s inscribe Listwise

  1. A place name beginning with Be
  2. A personal name beginning with Be
  3. An activity beginning with… (you get the idea)
  4. A passivity or property, beginning
  5. A flower (Be specific, just like Natalie Goldberg teaches us)
  6. A scary experience
  7. Something you aspire (to doing, to being)
  8. An article of clothing
  9. A weapon (remember, it has to start with Be. Be creative!)
  10. Tasty food or drink
  11. Nasty food or drink (in your opinion. You get to choose)
  12. A quality (good or bad or indifferent)
  13. A landscape feature (still with the Be‘s)
  14. An insect (be as original as you can. Fly beyond the hive. Search the dictionary, the web)
  15. A textile or type of yarn
  16. A team sport
  17. A chemical element
  18. An individual sport or pastime
  19. A hermit’s pastime
  20. Your worst nightmare (converted into a personal code so nobody need know)
  21. Your favourite way of procrastinating
  22. A title to a book or film you’ve read, or seen, or want to write
  23. A musical instrument, a type of machinery, or an art form
  24. Any further Be… words you want to add (up to a hundred, a thousand, or beyond)

Well done! Very well done. Are you exhausted yet? Be-nighted?

Be-stirred? Bewitched?

Beguiled by words and memories and associations?

Beset by tension or over-alertness or anxiety?

Behold! It’s time for

A body-based meditation

Today at the second session of a Movement Medicine course with Rosie Perks, I was moved by her suggestion that we drop down into the support of Earth’s gravity, feeling Earth under our feet, and drop our attention from the head to the heart, and to our very physicality, into the “physical, animal body” of us.

I invite you, right now, to put down your pen – loosening the prehensile grasp that qualifies we humans as members of the zoological family of great apes (Hominidae) – and let your hands rest down, let your shoulders rest down, let your jaw rest down.

Just like this, downing tools and alertness for a few restorative moments.

Just sitting.

Watching your breath going in and out like the tidal breath.

Just breathing.

Watching the thoughts flitting like September butterflies, flickering like goldfish in an ornamental pond, and letting them be, letting them settle.

Just settling,

After a few minutes, take a deeper breath in, and then sigh it out.

And another, making a noise as you exhale.

And a third deep breath in …. holding it … and whoosh, letting it go.

And give yourself a wriggle and a shake, a move about if that feels good, a stretch, a yawn …

And pick up your pen again when you are ready.

Thanks to my friend Louise Lakofski for sending me this image on Facebook, by the artist Sandra Poynton, who holds the copyright to this work

Golden ThreadWork

Now I suggest that we re-read our Be… lists. Maybe out loud.

(If we were in a face-to-face group (perhaps you are? tell us about your group?) we would have the choice of reading out some of our Best examples to the others, at this stage.)

Maybe mark up any responses that really tickle your tastebuds, and notice additionally any towards which you feel some reactive distaste.

Why might that be? And which words are “neutral” in their effect on you?

While you are going through this response-processing, you might choose to become aware of any trains of thought, reverie, dream, on which you notice being carried off, even if only for a moment.

These daydreams, random narratives, phantasies, can then become the source of today’s golden thread.

And if they are not clear, or not forthcoming, or not what you want to dwell on, then here are a few more that emerged from my own list today.

So, be my guest, and take a line for a walk.

One of these lines? One of your own? As ever, you get to choose.

When I grow up, I want to be ...

The berries were of a type that he had never ...

... the best of times, the worst of times ...

Beyond the blue line of hills, there was a beach ...

Berkeley Square was undergoing a make-over ...

... in the bee-loud glade ...

"That beggars belief!" she retorted, 

Bearded beige behemoths bestride beasts ...

Beckoning me to the Beyond, ... (or to Beyonce)

"My Beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my Love, my dear One, and come away"

Bend it, mend it, send it. Befriend it.

"Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver ..."

Besmirched* with  ... (* see blog of January 2020)

Nanna Beattie began her life in 18--

Oh may I not belittle the efforts you have made/ ...

I’ve been thinking about the distinction between a Human Being and a Human Doing. Which would you rather be, or do? When, how, and why?

When I grow up, I want to be.

How about you?

For today’s “gratefuls”, see whether you can stretch your sense of appreciation, and your wide-ranging vocabulary, to include words that begin with Be. And thank you for bestowing your companionship upon writingpresence.com and upon all our followers. Be well.


Today I am grateful for:




Further Resources

You could go back to the beginning, and consider the exercises again, this time beavering and badgering yourself for words that END with —be.

That’s a trickier project, so allow yourself plenty of leeway for improvising, cheating creatively, and interpretating this challenge as spaciously, and as broadly, as you like. Have any of you worked, freelanced, for the Beeb? Or beautifully betrayed your allegiance to Classic fM, and listened to the BBC World Service beckoning far, far into the night, Eb.Scrooge?

You can also be creative in providing yourself, and us, with further categories to explore in this Further Brain Dump.

Further Drain Bump

Finding words ending with the letters —be.…, let us subscribe:

In our usual free-flow style, let’s scribble down Listwise

  1. A place name ending with —be.
  2. A personal name ending with —be
  3. An activity ending with —be (you get the idea)
  4. A passivity
  5. A flower (Be specific, just like Natalie Goldberg teaches us)
  6. A scary experience
  7. Something you aspire (to doing, to being)
  8. Article of clothing
  9. Cake, anyone?
  10. Many other —be words thatyou want to probe (up to a hundred, a thousand, or beyond)

Name of a poet? A fanciful colour of emulsion paint? A word in a language other than English?

When you share your findings to Comments (please), on this website, I invite (and beg) you to provide translations for monoglots.

As ever: you get to choose.

Have fun!


Finding words ending with the letters —eb, with Caleb and his pals:

scratching our heads and other parts of our anatomy, resist this exercise:

  1. A place name ending with —eb.
  2. A personal name ending with —eb.
  3. An activity ending with —eb (you get the idea)
  4. A time to stay indoors
  5. A plant or beast
  6. A home for a witchy watcher
  7. Something you aspire (to doing, to being)
  8. Article of clothing
  9. Any other —eb words you want to probe (up to a hundred, a thousand, or beyond)
  10. O this is silly. Time for you to go home. Or to go out. Stay well.