In order to create a
picture of a person in the mind of the reader four things must be used.
1. Appearance 2. Voice 3.
Walk 4. Mannerisms
The following is an exercise to describe some of the people I know.
The tall slender woman came into the room with little pretension or
calling of attention to herself. There was the thought that she was
having to contend with her impeding age. However the management of this
was part of her life showing a resolve to be active up until the very
last. Evidence of this is the quick way she moves. The woman's hair is
groomed with a care going to the discipline of another time. No neglect
is given to this part of her appearance.
Her clothing she selects
is tailored with neat pressed lines. Something about the way the woman
dresses tells that she had lived a life of dignity.
While speaking her voice is
strong, clear and had no mincing or slurring of words. A younger woman
seemed to speak as she mouthed words in a concise way. If the material
before her held strict discipline or soft emotion the learned academic
study was most evident in her carefully covering the material.
There is a strength about the woman sitting across from me. Her features
are chiseled as if some carver of stone had carefully cut and shaped them.
Physically she has a thin structure which could easily have been gaunt.
Age approaching ninety was the reason. This gives us an understanding and
explanation for her tight muscular structure made this way from steady
work while living on a farm. She worked as a school teacher with the
responsibility also of caring for the duties of country life. It has
given her a notable swift walk. Quick steps must have helped her cover
territory and area in order to complete numerous tasks.
Although a hearing
impediment makes it difficult for her to sometimes understand it still has
no effect on the way she speaks. Her voice is soft and controlled. As with
all capable people others sometimes resent this and tend to pick at her.
However, she seems to be accepting of the ones around her and never
becomes angry or short with this sort of treatment.
It is interesting to see
how she dresses. Obviously her calling in life dictates she dress in a
conservative way. On the other hand, on occasion she will break over to
another selection of something colorful and rare with an expensive look.
As with all women no matter how much is demanded of us we still all enjoy
having a feminine appearance at least once in a while and she is no
exception to this rule.
Even though age is present with the woman somehow this isn't what is seen
when she slips quietly into a room. It is true she usually has her arms
wrapped around her books and material as if she were still cradling one of
Her voice is quiet
and melodious with a modulation to tell of her work. The stillness of her
movements makes us know she has been inculcated with heavy discipline of
one or more persuasions.
Personally, it makes
me want to feel an understanding and empathy with the essence of all women
who are infinitely beautiful regardless of their looks. To imagine a
youthful girl with skin like milk, hair of the most desirable color and a
voice like honey gives us an understanding of how a God-fearing father
must have been afraid for her. Men have a knowledge of other men's choices
and desires. People who are terrified themselves often become fearful and
domineering in their manner. To have so imprinted all these negative
things on a child's mind is an ultimate sadness.
We, who are women,
have had a cruel trick played on us in this century. We are made to stare
at the successful feminine entertainer on televison and the movies while
we of the masses are to take up the sometimes basic work available in our
own lives whether it is teaching, secretarial work, doctors, lawyers, and
so many other careers where we must forego, at least at the work place,
our feminine ways. The more feminine, desirable and attractive we are the
more we feel it is necessary to cover this over as a weakness.