Thursday, August 03, 2006

Given Any Thought to Your Philtrum?

I have encountered at least half a dozen references to the dent in your upper lip in an amazing book called "The World to Come" by 20-something author Dara Horn. Google tells me that the anatomical name for this little dent is "philtrum."

I recalled hearing a charming myth on the origin of the dent – from Google:

A story was told about how children come to earth. Before they come, God tells them they cannot speak of heaven for otherwise people will not stay on earth and do their work. Even
though the babies are not allowed to "tell," God says they will remember heaven always and long for it in their dreams. God puts a finger to the babies' lips to hush their speaking of heaven directly. And this special gentle touch is what in humans makes that tender indentation below the mentum of the nose.

References to the dent in Horn’s book range from a drop of blue paint landing on someone’s philtrum to the protagonist putting his index finger on his lover’s philtrum. The dent serves many purposes, but seems to fascinate the author.

I put my finger in the dent (and it fits just perfectly) and wonder just what I know about heaven. Is it all stored somewhere inside my being, just waiting to kick in at the right moment?

Now be honest, had you ever heard the word philtrum before reading this?

18 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Actually, yes :-) But then it is just esoteric enough to have caught my fancy at some time in the past.

Blame it on the NY Times crossword puzzle!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. But YOU always had a good vocabulary.
FL

2:15 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- You really are just too smart!

FL -- So good to hear from my worldly very best friend. As I happen to recall in HS English, you once offered the word PUN, and your sentence was "A pun is the lowest form of humor." You had the most interesting words (and sentences) of anyone in Ms. Fay's class!

2:52 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I haven't heard of it, but it reminds me of The English Patient and a fascination with the hollow at the base of the neck.

Reading this, I, too, put my finger in the dent and thought of heaven. What a pleasant myth.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Cee said...

No, I hadn't - and I'm also sitting here with my finger in the dent.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I've heard of it -- at college, there was a humor newsletter called "The Philtrum Press".

I've always liked that story about the philtrum's origin.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks to WAPO Express for picking this post up!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

The infamous become famous or is it the other way around?

:-))

6:59 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I have, but I was forced to study anatomy and physiology in order to become a bodyworker. Do you know the name of that little thing that hangs at the back of your mouth, or what its purpose is?

I do!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Of course you would know this! And "the little thing that hangs at the back of your mouth": I just Googled and found out all about the uvula. You could probably get the equivalent of a college degree just using Google!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My comment got eaten up! I did not know that..but my finger does not fit in it! Is there something wrong with me?!!!

8:24 PM  
Blogger John said...

Online Viagra resource containing quality information on Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence, Viagra News, Viagra Usage, Viagra Forum etc to help you understand the most effective treatment available for Erectile Dysfunction(Impotence)http://www.viagracare.com

3:04 AM  
Blogger Hail said...

Viagra has been clinically shown to improve erectile function even in men who had diabetes or prostate surgery. The pill contains this component that helps increase blood flow to the penis and may help men with ED get and keep an erection satisfactory for sexual activity.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Sahara Thompson said...

Propecia the first and only pill to treat Androgenetic Alopecia, was developed to treat Male Pattern Hairloss in the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area. Propecia is proven to maintain or increase hair count in most men.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous edie said...

Babies speak in the tounge of the Holy Spirit

9:16 AM  
Blogger edie said...

babes speak in the tounge of the Holy Spirit and their spiriual eyes are open yet their mouths shut

9:18 AM  
Blogger D'r kepler said...

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous tadalis 20 said...


Nice Post Love Reading Its

Tadalis 20

kamagra100mg

generic viagra 100mg

12:09 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home