Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Inspiration from Ornamentation

A short train ride, an hour-long stop, a long train ride, some metro, RER trains, a bus...it was going to be a long day. But what could I find as inspiration on this trip? What would my little eye spy?

Across from me was a lovely Frenchwoman in her sixties. Well-dressed in a camel pantsuit, heeled pumps...and a beautiful tattoo on the top of her foot. I wondered when did she get it and why. (I did this sketch on the corner of the manuscript I was editing.)

Another woman, a plump grandma, wore small post earrings in a triangle of piercings on her lobe: a four-petaled flower, a gold owl and a leaf with a pearl hanging from it. Was the owl was a favorite animal or did it symbolize something to her?

The woman in her late fifties beside me had no ornaments, just a watch in navy plastic. She wore beige, her graying hair was severely short, her fingers were undecorated - no rings or feminine nails. But her scarf was silk watercolors. And her smile was warm.

I thought about what I could deduce about these women from their appearance. What things might show the real her, what things were incidental, or even choices that were put upon them? Were these women mature enough, confident enough to be true to themselves, even in their ornaments? Would my mother of pearl and wood bead necklace from the Philippines and my African swirl earrings tell something true about me? As a writer, what jewelry might my characters wear and what would it say about them?  

   

8 comments:

  1. I love people watching. I travel a lot, so lots of time in airports and this is so much fun.

    I love speculating what things mean to people, why they wear or do what they do :)

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    1. Sometimes the voyage is just as interesting as the destination, right?!

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  2. Hey

    While I can't offer any tips on the tattoo, I have not thought about "RER Trains" for nearly twenty years.... indeed I'm getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of EuroDismal :)

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    1. EuroDismal? You didn't have fun on the RER? Have to say, I prefer my own two feet and the open air but it takes to long to walk all over ;)

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  3. I know what some of my characters might wear for jewelry, but it's not pretty. Darn that post-apocalyptic nightmare.

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    1. Being vague makes that idea even more creepy, ya know!

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  4. Hey! I love your blog :) You write in such a lovely way, I really enjoyed this post! I'm following you from now on :)

    I love people watching but never wondered enough about them before, I will from now on :)

    Nikki – inspire nordic

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    1. Thanks for compliment! I just checked out your blog too - very nice to meet you!

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