Wednesday, 1 August 2007

How Nuns Walk

I was watching a pair of nuns walking the other day. (It was a slow day for spiders' webs.)
I watched them for ages and was struck by how out of step they were with each other: they never once fell into step, and their walking patterns showed complete and capricious disregard for each other.
This is curious, for most people when walking together fall into step. Often this pattern is mirrored across the walkers, but the patterns invariably reveal an awareness and bonding with each other. You might remember Mr. Keating making such a comment in Dead Poets Society.
I wonder if it's a holy thing; I wonder if their minds are so at peace and so independent and free of psychological shackles that their subconsciouses take no nourishment from such conformities.
This is of interest to me because I believe that characters are predominantly defined by their movement, by the way they carry themselves. Movement, if you will, is a crucial part of that all important essence. A little way behind the nuns, I noticed a thirty-something woman wearing a cardigan (on a hot day) and walking with her shoulders hunched and her eyes down. Dowdy and stiff and defensive were the words that immediately sprang to mind.
I wonder if attire and appearance typically tally with movement when forming an impression, or whether they might work against each other? I was certainly struck, too, by the grimy greyness of the nuns' clothing.
Anyhoo, more food for thought.

The mirrored step pattern demonstrates the connection between the walkers, with strides compensating to alleviate differences such as leg lengths.

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