Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vignette - scene from a doctor's office

About the vignette thing: As I sat in the waiting room of the clinic with my wife this morning, it occurred to me that I need to do a better job remembering little moments like this. Sure, I take pictures whenever I can, but sometimes, you just can't whip the SLR out and start shooting. The secretaries here, I'm sure, wouldn't be pleased. Nor would the patients marking time in the uncomfortable chairs.

As invasive as a lens can be, thumb-typing on a BlackBerry is the exact opposite. No one notices. You can be madly painting a scene with words, and people think you're texting your mother-in-law. Either way, I think it's time I started remembering moments like this with words. I'll call them vignettes, and I hope you enjoy them. Here goes...
Doctor's office, Saturday morning

A 14-month-old girl in pink puffy shoes and a light green onesie with pink flowers on it wanders over to an elderly lady in a wheelchair and reaches out to the armrest with her pudgy little hand. The woman, who up until now had been sitting in an almost-catatonic state, cracks a little smile at the sight of this tottering interloper touching her arm.

The wheelchair-bound woman's adult daughter reacts instinctively turning toward the wheelchair to ensure the munchkin doesn't do more harm than good. The baby's mom quickly scoops her up and carries her back to the other side of the room. The old woman's smile fades as she returns to her original, shadowed state. You get the sense that she would have liked to play with her new friend a little longer.

Your turn: Is this something you'd like to see more of? Let me know...and thanks for your input!

One more thing: Thanks to those of you who sent kind wishes to my wife. From that same vantage point in the waiting room, I posted an update to my Twitter and Facebook accounts that, within minutes, started registering responses from near and far. We were touched by your kindness, and continue to marvel at how a mere sliver of technology can make the world seem just a little bit smaller. She's got the flu now, and is taking more drugs than an East Vancouver alley resident. But at least we know we're surrounded by folks who care. That's a pretty remarkable thing, no?

18 comments:

Cloudia said...

And we do care.
Wonderful medium!
You are my friend, Carmi.
Feel better, Mrs. Carmi.
Aloha-

kenju said...

Carmi, you do that so well and I would definitely like to read more of it. I am sure that the toddler brought a moment of clarity and joy to the old woman and it is too bad that she was whisked away so quickly. Those joyful moments are few and far between for some of us.

Hilary said...

Absolutely.. I felt like I was right there in the waiting room alongside you. In fact, my throat's feeling scratchy. ;)

I hope your wife feels much better soon.

Mike Althouse said...

A pretty remarkable thing, yes!

I think that your ability to paint pictures, be with the lens of your camera or with your pen (I know it's not really a pen, but work with me here), is a gift. Either medium you choose to share it with the world is, as far as I'm concerned, time well spent. It would have been a compelling shot - I know because the words were.

Via Tanya,

Mike

jinksy said...

Vignettes always do it for me...

NJ said...

Although I do love pictures, I find the written word can point out and portray emotions and moods sometimes not as easily accessible in film. Guess that's why I still like the book better than the movie.

lucy said...

I call these, "stop and smell the roses" moments. Those times when we need to look around us and really 'see' what is going on.

I love the idea and was just this morning trying to brainstorm my way through a writing...you have inspired me. Thank you

More please.....

NicoleB said...

So true. I tend to forget a lot of things so easy. Writing them down helps to remember them.
I started using a black calendar to write down those little things to remember.

I don't know about your wife (just came here via Mojo's blog), but I wish you both the Best!

Daryl said...

Sending strong vibes for her healing .. and those words painted a bright a photo as you take with your camera ..

David said...

I dare say that NO ONE who knows me would EVER think I was texting my mother in law.... she's just not that into me.

Mama C said...

I can totally relate to that scene. My daughter is at the toddling age and we are often in waiting rooms. She is so outgoing, and I never know how people are going to react to her wanting to get up close and personal. I tend to let her make her rounds, as most people welcome a little one's curiosity. But if I get the vibe that someone is uncomfortable I will go and steer her in another direction. I also draw the line if she tries to cuddle up with the guy that has a hacking cough.

I love the vignette medium. You certainly drew me in!

Nikki-ann said...

I enjoyed the vignette, what a great idea! :)

Strangely enough, I myself was sat in a waiting room on Friday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Hello Carmi!
Hope Debbie feels better soon. Give her plenty of soup, tea (green tea is very healthy) and other fluids to drink. She will need to rest as much as possible. A nice long hot bath may be in order as well.

Have a great day and stay healthy!
Terri

NWlambear said...

Thanks Carmi.....that indeed was beautiful...special..."moment in time" you witnessed....and and described so well. I agree....the elderly lady probably would have loved a few more precious moments with that little one. Who knows what special thoughts went through each of their minds? The daughter of the older woman and the mother of the toddler were caught up in the living day to day...and actually missed the "special moments" that that elderly woman and little toddler experienced. Yes...I love your pictures, but agree your written words are wonderful too! Thank you! ~Tricia (one of the aging...lol....aka "the elderly"

NWlambear said...

OH...an you and the wifey take care..hope she feels better real soon!

nancy (aka money coach) said...

hi from Netchick's blog (she sent me) and yes, more vignette's - that was delightful. For a brief moment, I didn't "see" anything else but that picture.

kcinnova said...

*Love* the vignette!
Texting your MIL? Really?? :)
I do hope your lovely wife feels better soon.

Star said...

More of these please. It sounded like the springboard to a great story. Sorry I am a bit behind on my blog reading. Catching up now though.