I was on a train a couple of weeks ago. A short trip, ninety minutes or so. As we approached a small town the train stopped for an unknown reason and as we waited I, as usual, was looking out of the window.
About 50 yards away there was a footpath along the edge of a field. A woman was walking her little white dog. Well, she must have been as she was there and I could see no houses in view. As I looked she crouched down in front of the dog with her hands on either side of its head, looking into its eyes and obviously having a moment. I knew that the moment was encouragement or love as the little, white dog’s tail was wagging furiously. They continued as the train lurched and went on its way leaving her and her dog behind us.
That simple moment put a big smile on my face as I imagined what she may have been saying. I guess that within seconds she would have stood and they would have continued their walk. Had the train not stopped as it did, I would have been oblivious to the moment.
I looked up and realized that I was probably the only person who may have witnessed the woman with her little, white dog, for of the 20 or so people in the carriage with me I was the only one not looking down at some type of electronic device. Some people probably reading or, if their finger motions were any indication, scrolling through social media or music, who knows?
Is the outside world so boring that it is no longer worth observing or are we in danger of losing our sense of wonder with life such as the mundane, little vignette I had witnessed?
The coffee house scene in ‘Dreams of a Broken Man’ came directly from a moment I witnessed in a similar shop. More about the people than the event but a couple came in and sat down. He was athletic, good looking and carried himself with an air of confidence. She was beautiful, but painfully thin and gave off an aura of indecision, nervousness to an extreme. They sat and drank coffee, happy together, but the difference was startling, to me anyway.
Two moments, both unexpected. One put a smile on my face and gave me a warm feeling, the other started me analysing relationships to build the characters from what I guessed might be how these two people were as they were.
I said in a previous blog that inspiration strikes, you cannot control it, but you need to be out there, experiencing something, observing life to give it a chance. It isn’t always the big picture things but sometimes the small stuff.
Life in the moment. You may be surprised what you learn, I know that I always am.