How to Write Descriptively

From Time magazine, May 25, 1981:

An instant before it happened, one camera's eye caught a tableau that might serve as the late 20th century's most succinct text on the metaphysics of terrorism. There, on a mellow May afternoon at St. Peter's Square, beneath the encircling Bernini columns, the most vigorously gregarious of Popes rides slowly through a sea of tourists and pilgrims. It is a rite of sweet human communion. The Pope reaches out for babies in the crowd. He gently blesses the faces that give back a radiant daze of whatever it is that they see in the man—celebrity, charisma, holiness or, at least, a huge friendliness. But just there, floating from the left of the frame into the proceedings of history, like a shark's fin at the edge of a crowd splashing at the beach, moves a disembodies hand and its tense instrument, a blue-black pistol. It is poised there forever. And then it explodes at the Pope's white robe.

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