Tiefstapeln is currently my favorite German word, besides maybe Zniachtl, which is a dialect expression meaning shrimpy person. A literal translation would be, to pile lowly. Hochstapeln, which might seem like an opposite, translating literally as to pile highly, means to con someone. A Hochstapler is a con man, or one sort of con man. Tiefstapeln means, I gather, to portray something or oneself modestly, except that there is an element of dishonesty or disingenuity involved, so I guess it’s another kind of con.

I was recently accused of Tiefstapeln and have been wondering about that. I have been wondering about several things lately, in fact, including what will come of all this wondering. Write a blog called metamorphosism for ten years, or more, and then act all surprised when something actually changes.

It’s partly the cello. This morning at breakfast, I told my wife I played cello with abandon last night, for the first time.

She said, well, you’re getting a lot better. I said my new teacher, A, was making a big difference. She said my visit to Ruth had made a big difference as well.

We were speaking German. Unterschied means difference. Der Unterschied.