I am doing Meredith Lewis (@dangerousmere) daily creative prompts as part of her Advent Calendar for Creativity.
Today’s creative prompt is to imagine a story when presented with a picture as part of the Lazy Assumption Game. The first story is to make up something of the first impressions you got with this photo; and the second to completely invert/change the character.
After doing this exercise, what was blatantly obvious to me was that I need to let my imagination wonder a bit AWAY from ME as being the central character and thinking of others. The story telling component was a welcome change because I realised I simply don’t tell stories to anyone. All I seem to talk about is work-related stuff, what’s on Netflix or what books I’m reading. Any stories I tell are ones that happened many years ago when I was a lot younger and full of adventures. I’m a bit saddened by this realisation that I have lost this ability…
Bonjour mes amis,
It’s not often that a major exposition comes to our delightful city of gay Paris. The Exposition Universalle was a long awaited for event in our town and one in which my friends and I talked about in the days leading up to it.
The morning of the Exposition Universalle, I opened the shutters to my bedroom window and was taken aback by the gust of wind that threw me back inside my room. As I locked the shutters into place, I looked over the roof terraces of beautiful Montmarte and wondered what wonders I would see at the exhibition. The world is moving at such a quick pace nowadays and it seems that the future is here but I am prepared to face all that it brings to the world.
I looked down at the street and there was Monsieur Bertrand the green grocer. He looked up, as he does every day and gave me a wink and a wave. I was in a good mood that day and returned the smile before turning my back to face my room and think about what I was going to wear.
As the weather was cool and breezy, I decided to wear my mink coat, a lovely gift from Monsieur Renaud, the mayor and my soft black leather gloves, a gift from another admirer, long since forgotten. I left my little apartment and walked to the Exposition. My enthusiasm was so great that neither the wind or the crowds exasperated me. I was there to see the Pavilion which exhibited “Les Transports du Futur”.
Imagine my awe when I entered this grand pavilion decked out with exotic plants and flowers. I followed the crowd towards a stage which displayed an automobile. The host explained that these automobiles will soon replace the horse and cart and change the way we travel forever. It was sleek and beautiful and I had to get up close for a look.
The host asked the audience if there was anyone who would care to get on stage and sit in the seat of the automobile.
“Mademoiselle?” he asked me.
I froze but at the same time, I thought I would never get a chance like this again.
“If you would care to sit in the automobile Mademoiselle, after all, it’s unlikely a fair young lady like yourself will ever get another opportunity like this.”
He took my hand and escorted me up the stage. I sat down in its leather seats and tentatively held the steering wheel. That’s when my imagination overcame me and I smiled and turned to the audience.
I remember this photo. Look at me. Look at my hair! Oh how I wish I had hair like this now.
Yes, that photo was taken so many years ago now. I was 21? Maybe 22? I remember going to get my photograph taken. Nowadays young people have cameras to take their photos but back then, we had to go to a photographer’s studio, pose and sit still.
As a young woman I was fascinated with automobiles and I wanted to learn how to drive. To me, they represented freedom to go anywhere at any time and not have to rely on others to take you to places.
However, it was impossible to drive because my husband forbid it. I remember the arguments we used to have about it. To him, women were women; and men well, women had to obey them. See that mink coat? It was his way of appeasing me. He didn’t like my fancy thoughts of equal women’s rights and privileges so he’d buy me gifts to persuade me to change my mind. Mink coat one day; soft black kid leather gloves the next.
So I decided to pose with the steering wheel, turn my head and smile to the camera.
“Take that you silly old goat. Women CAN drive. They can do anything.”