Inspirational Vocabulary (Abrash)
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 12:38pm


The lexicon of Oriental carpets gives us many sumptuous words on which to feast: words like abrash, amulet, weft and lanolin; words like Soumac and spandrel, kilim and Qashqai. At Kristen’s suggestion, I plucked three words from her glossary and used them as inspiration for three pieces of flash fiction. Today's word, the second of the bunch, is "abrash." 


Abrash- (n) used to denote variation in hue and saturation within a single color; caused by a change in wool or dye batches during the weaving process.


To the left are three photographs of an antique Arabian saddle cover that beautifully illustrates abrash. Notice the variation within the purple sections of the piece. The word got me thinking about variation more abstractly and I used it to tell a story about a man discovering his new girlfriend’s chameleonic personality. We’ll post the third and final "word story" soon. (The first installment is posted just below this one.) Happy reading!


There were seven of her. Something like that. Seven Silvias. Made it kinda strange at the wedding. She let the teenagers drink her champagne without saying a thing, when I’d figured her for a strict sort, like a schoolteacher with a bun. She danced real close with the drunk uncle, but then she wouldn’t laugh at the best man’s speech because she had some kind of grudge against him. At dinner we sat next to the family dentist, who made a rude joke about women, so she gave him the wrong directions to the bathroom, but then she helped his son tie his undid shoelace. Made me wonder how much of my own shape was drawn by other people. “You were so quiet tonight,” she said in the car on the way home, picking bobby pins out of her hair. “You’re kind of shy, aren’t you?” I wanted to say no, but I stopped myself. We were only just getting to know each other.


Saddle cover measures 4’3’’x 6’7” and retails at $2,265. 


-Andrea O. Bullard



Posted By Kristen