I love to walk. And as I write this blog I realize I probably got it from my Dad. He walked.
Anyone that has the habit of going for long walks knows it’s more than just moving your feet. It’s time to think, and for me, the space to contemplate almost anything.
My greatest walk was my trek the length of Scotland. That’s where I found out who I was. It cemented my love of walking.
I like to wear reflective sunglasses while I walk so I can watch people. This makes it much easier to spy on them. I’m ridiculously curious about what others are thinking. This is heightened when I see people out on the same paths I tread. What secrets are you mulling over? What mundane facts fill your head while you stride along? Everyone is thinking about something. Is it a lie? Is it an untold truth? Or maybe it’s just a boring fact.
I always wonder.
Then I took the first picture of someone I didn’t know while they were looking at a horizon. It was my window into their mind. If I could see what they were seeing maybe I could get a glimpse of what they were thinking.
The method never worked. I am still left to wonder what fills people’s soul.
But the picture idea survived.
So I started taking photos of people watching things. Then I started giving them away. At first I was a little nervous with the approach. Then it became my norm.
“Excuse me, I just took this picture of you… can I email it to you?”
Very few say no and last year 67 people said yes.
When asked why I do it I’ve said it’s just a little gift of happiness that’s easy to give.
And it gives me joy.
I have a pile of email replies about how much my images are loved. I get to hear how they have been turned into Christmas cards, used on Facebook headers and shared with friends.
I’ve discovered these pictures serve as reminders of a time and place.
So I may not know what these people are thinking when they crossed my path, but I see what they are looking at and that is close enough.