Wednesday, November 16, 2005

girl talk

As I do not have an internet connection at home, in order to get on-line I often end up at the local Bridgehead café. For $1.75 I get a medium cup of fair trade coffee and a wireless connection. This isn't the most economic way to use the Internet, but it has the added benefit of getting me out of my small basement apartment and providing some excellent people watching opportunities.

Today, watching the conversations around me, I am reminded of how much I enjoy watching women communicate. I'm not saying men don't talk - but women make up the majority of those who are visiting over a cup of coffee or tea here. Strains of their conversations float around the room, but without concentrating I cannot follow a single strand. Instead, I watch the language of their bodies.

... two women who look to be in their mid-thirties are chatting animatedly over tea in the far corner. Their bodies mimic each other - in the way they lean in, rest their arms on the table or sit back to laugh. Beside them, an older woman with a purple sweater and smooth grey hair seems to be counseling a young woman, perhaps in her 20s. She is leaning in, her elbow on the table and her face resting in her hand. Her whole body communicates earnestness, respect. The older woman's hands flutter and gesture - as if drawing the contours of her phrases....

It's hard to find the right word - but I almost want to say it is comforting to watch these conversations. Seeing expressions of concern, empathy, joy... Even if I am not actually part of these conversations, they reach me and in a sense communicate some goodness to me as well.

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