People Watching


My friend Kelly sent me a link to an article on creativity. Eighteen things creative people do differently and one of the habits was people watching. I think people are fascinating and I love watching them. I just don't know, and maybe the experts don't either, how this people watching trait contributes to making creative art, but I just have to tell this story.


While I was in Cozumel, I was drawn to observing a woman that was in our building unit. She frequently came to sit and visit with her family and friends on the porch of the club house. She was an older lady, quite heavy set. She walked slowly with a cane but she dressed in cool looking athletic clothing, usually all black but accented with bright, colorful sport sandles. I envied her attractive buzz cut hairstyle with artful streaks of gray and wished I could pull off that look.


Clearly she was enjoying a young granddaughter, sitting with the little girl on her lap. I know that some of the people in her group spoke English but I'm not sure if she did. There are many Canadians vacationing in Mexico and some speak French and English, some only French. I spoke to her several times, and didn't get a response. Once, she moved directly in front of me when I was taking a photo of the sunset. Gary even asked her to move a few steps over and she completely ignored him! I was developing a bit of an attitude towards her.


Cozumel is a fantastic diving destination. Several times I saw this lady walking slowly with her cane, in a wet suit, coming back from the dive boat. Her husband, I think, was hauling all her gear, mask, fins, breathing stuff and gages. I thought, how cool. She has such mobility issues walking, she must feel so good and free when she's gliding effortlessly under the water. I said a silent prayer that when my world narrows with the inevitable physical limitations, that I might move and revel in such a challenging and awe inspiring natural inviroment. How I'm going to make that happen, I'm not sure yet…


The porch is a gathering spot in the evenings and one night they had a terrific 3 piece band. Usually the music is Mexican meriachi, of course, in Cozumel. This band was straight from my time, Rock! They played the music Gary and I grew up with. The Beatles! Led Zeppelin! Van Morrison! Queen! They were great. We were all singing along, requesting songs, feeling the beat. The drummer started the lead-in to a Pink Floyd song. The lady in black got up and broke into the most amazing performance of air guitar, played on her cane! that I have ever seen! Oh my gosh. Without moving a step, she rocked that song and brought down the house. It blew me away!


I have no clue how watching this woman for a week will make me more creative. I do know that I still wonder about her and her life and every time I think about her, I smile.



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  1. Cheryl lynch says

    Go for that cool hair now!

  2. Terry..I’ve been in a super-reflective mode these past few weeks (lots of plane rides and observing so many different people in airports and these cities..Pasadena, New Orleans, Cincinnati). Always wondering about the life behind the outward appearance and style! Interesting! Love your blog girlfriend! Wish I could join you on those bike rides..only a few feet of snow to melt yet but it appears the slow(hopefully, or we’ll have a mess) thaw has begun.

    • People are endlessly entertaining. Hey, load that bike on the car and come on out! Umm, we’re waiting for snow melt too…

  3. What a great story. One of the things I enjoy is people watching on my long runs on the Chester Valley Trail.

  4. LOVE that story! You will be cool when you are that age, I just know it…

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