Observational Skills

I spent my lunch break with my 11-month old nephew. He spent the time staring out of the window, out onto the street below. He’s fascinated by world outside, a world that is, at the moment, just out of reach. As he pressed his little forehead against the glass, perhaps to get a better view, I decided to join him. It was fun to point out the various creatures we saw within a few feet of the house; a cat scavenging for scraps, a bird in a neighbouring tree. We even saw a frighteningly large dog, and I think we were both glad we were on the inside; instead of facing the animal down on the street!

In honour of the experience, here’s a little poem to sum it up:

Look at these creatures
Underneath my window
Near and yet so far away
Cats and dogs
Here and then gone

Birds sharing their song
Roaming the sky
Enjoying the view –
Aunty, why don’t you
Kneel and come see too

Many of us enjoy ‘people watching’. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it until I sat with my father in a hospital waiting room, and he told me about his joy of observing people.  He often wondered about their lives, their contentment, fears and disappointments. It was a surprise to me. Not that he was interested in people, he was a very considerate man. But because, for a man of few words, he came alive when he talked about the hobby. I enjoyed listening to him; allowing his imagination to roam free, and realising that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I’m a people watcher too, but I don’t really look and wonder about their lives, I observe in a more subtle way. I do it without realising; observing how people behave in certain situations, how they react to stress, what they say to one another. Not only the words; I look at their body language and facial expression. Perhaps that’s part of being a good communicator, but it could be the fact that my second language is a visual one (British Sign Language).

Those observations form part of the characters I create. You could say writing things down is my way of imagining what goes on in other people’s lives!

Thanks, as always for reading.

Until next time



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