Thursday, June 19, 2008

Across a crowded room

In the Mt Hagen airport recently I saw this elderly lady from across the check-in area. I gave her a big smile and she immediately rushed over, grabbed my hands, and gave me the biggest smile and put her head on my chest. She kept stroking me and smiling and talking as if she knew me. It was an amazing experience.

I have no idea who she was, but we certainly connected that day. I asked if she I could take her photo and she said yes. Her grandson came over and straightened her hat and encouraged her to smile. When I had taken the photos I showed her the screen at the back of the camera.

She looked up at me with wide eyes and asked to me to give her the photo. Have you ever tried to explain to an 80 plus year old woman who has never seen a digital camera how it works.....in broken Pidgin!!!

It was one of those moments in life I will always remember with affection and a smile.

30 comments:

USelaine said...

Oh, it makes you wish there was such a thing as a micro-mini printer you could attach to produce a wallet sized copy for her! Bless you both!

dive said...

What a sweet lady, Jules.
You'll have to carry an old Polaroid with you on trips now.

Jules said...

uselaine - if only!!! But good thinking Dive !!!

Dan said...

What a wonderful experience for you and for her. It certainly looks as if you brought joy into this woman's life, which is a great goal for everyone. That is, to try to bring one person joy every day.

Steve Buser said...

Remarkable story and shot -- one of those moments in life that really stand out.

Katie said...

Wow what a great story! You've captured her so well in her photo; here exuberance really shines through. Makes me want to smile more!

d. chedwick said...

I have to say, I love it when this happens! I'm the person on the street in NYC (and a few times in Paris) all the lost women approach for directions. Good thing I kind of sort of know my way around. I never thought of taking pics--or carrying a polaroid--but hey that would be the way to go! I especially love the elderly or the people who ask odd questions. I'll never forget the old woman who asked me if there was a bee by her head (it had flown away, but she was worried it had landed on her)

Is there a Bee by my head?

d. chedwick said...

She certainly felt strongly about you.
She may have known you from some other life?

M.Benaut said...

I had better get me a hat like that !!

And you were tempted to give her the whole camera ?
One of those rare and wonderful moments.

Marcel said...

Great story! Great photo!

quinttarantino said...

Very nice photo of a nice lady.

Abraham Lincoln said...

They got these little printers you put in your purse if you are a woman. Next time, pull it out and plug it in and bingo you got a print to pass out.

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Blognote said...

This kind of experience brings joy into one's life.

GMG said...

Hi Jules! Sorry for having taken so long to get back here again. Another hectic week…
What an amazing experience; now you see the advantages of the old Polaroid... ;))
Goroka looks quite nice (you're looking great... ;)), but it's hard to figure which aircrafts would be landing there...
Blogtrotter is still in Santiago de Compostela, now inside the Cathedral… Hope you enjoy, and have a nice weekend!

Donna said...

What a Wonderful experience for you!! We are Each linked to one another in ways we could Never imagine....Happiness to you sweetie!!hughugs

Bergson said...

all your portraits are fantastic;

it is because of the photographer or of the characters

:-)))

photowannabe said...

What a touching experience. It must have been frustrating to not be able to give her the picture. I love her gental spirit which shows through.

alicesg said...

She has a very friendly face and so have you. Your smile must have make her day too. Have a nice weekend.

Ann said...

She has so much character in her face. Those are the moments that you remember.

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful story. That would be hard to explain.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I'm sure you made her day as much as she made yours.. I have commented many times about your smile.. now you know the effect it can have,, ;O)

The Liberator said...

people are so connected-- but you have the spirit that attracts.

Kelly said...

I loved this story! Thank you for sharing it! Your photograph is perfect!

Jilly said...

Fabulous portrait. Funnily enough I have an old lady on Menton today too. So snap. Yours is fantastic and I love the story that goes with it, Jules.

Apologies for lack of comments recently. I'm in America. But slowly, from today, hope to start commenting a little more regularly

Marie said...

Very nice story. Now she is famous all over the world thanks to you.

Julie said...

She is such a vision in blue. The text that accompanies brings her to life in a very magical way. Her face is very expressive - half way between joy and agony.

Jules said...

Hi All
Well you never know your luck in the big city - someone may see this post and know her and show it to her .... But I guess he or she will then have to explain again why they can't give her the photo.

Hopefully they will have a printer!!!!

Rose said...

This will be a day you will never forget and someone you will always wonder about.

We had an old neighbor lady and the man that lived with her were from Russia area...one year his granddaughter, her husband and one of their kids came over to visit. We took them all over showing them things and it was Christmas and it was night when we came home...

Neither of us spoke a word of each other's language but Elaina had translation books and we had a blast. To this day we wonder about her and how she and Alex are doing. And that was probably 15-20 years ago.

MmeBenaut said...

Very touching story and photo Jules.

Jules said...

mmb - Hi - thanks!!!

Rose - I so agree . Someone asked did we communicate in English or Pidgin and I really don't remember - I think there are times when you are able to communicate with people without language!!!