I love the sound of it, yes. But also what it infers. Gesture. My impression of this word itself, a movement in my mind.
If you look up the meaning, you might turn a page; a thin paper between your fingers and thumb. A whisper as the page rustles from your movement. A small intake of air as you recall the smell of this book that has been on a shelf close to you  for as long as you can remember. You might find that you have stretched this word; made it bigger, filled it with as much meaning as you could get into it. Or, maybe this small word really is that big.

The fleeting gentle moments are the ones that stick in my mind. There is a purity in these moments. The smallest of movements.  Communication. A demonstration of respect.  Intention. Or without intention even.


A time-worn beauty in the curved, slouched back of the man waiting to cross the street. A slight shifting in anticipation. One shoulder leaning into a movement that hasn’t quite begun.

The weight in the feet of the crows as they lift off from the side of the road. Draping feet. Briefly left behind. Suspended.

Voices. Blended voices in harmony. Entering the body and filling you for a moment. From one body into another. Pitch perfect. Grace.

An arm held out. Outstretched, the palm open. Fingers slightly bent. Just barely touching a pane of glass.  Hovering. Just barely.

The wind sweeping across the fields. Flattening the grasses. Raising them up. The wind not making up its mind. Shifting the sands. Always shifting.

Fleeting poses. Your arm moving in its own quick gesture to find the lines. To find the light, the dark. A gesture to capture a gesture. Making marks.

These small things, I find they are not small. The people, the landscape they are in, these things are not small.

A single gesture can ripple through them.

© Karen McRae, 2012

55 thoughts on “Gesture

  1. Great word!! The sound of words is really important isn’t it? I love the way I will be saying’ Gesture’ to myself throughout the rest of the day!! I was thinking of the sounds of words earlier this week. mmm brain cogs are starting to turn!!

  2. ‘A slight shifting in anticipation. One shoulder leaning into a movement that hasn’t quite begun.’ I look forward to your novel. Are you planning one? 🙂

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