“Move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes, or at least eat their food. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move”
Have you seen the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? It’s such a wonderful film, full of beautiful scenery, gorgeous colours, fabulous graphics, and an inspiring message. When we watched it here the first thing I said when it finished was I loved that. Today Mia and I spent some time together at the Otago Museum, and went to the Brian Brake exhibition Lens on The World. His work is so stunning, he had such a unique style of photography, and such a modern and adventurous take on his art, but what I found really interesting was how his life panned out. It was full of chances, leaps of faith, and what was clearly a strong desire to live a life as he wanted to. He travelled extensively, doing amazing photography assignments all over the world, and largely for Life Magazine – the magazine The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based around. One story had Brake asking Life if he could fly to a remote part of England if it happened to snow, to catch a glimpse of what life would be like for a lonely Roman Centurion. He bugged Life so much about it that they eventually sent him a message that read “if it snows then go Brian”. He did – he flew by jet, then caught a helicopter, at the cost to the magazine of $5000, but he got his shot. That was 1965. The more we wandered the exhibition and read the stories, the clearer the parallels between Brake and Walter Mitty character Sean O’Connell – to the point where I wondered if this character was based on Brake. Maybe it was, or maybe this is just what life as a photo journalist is.
Of late I have been working a lot of days, with very long hours (hence the quiet on the blog), and this tends to mean I drive the same circular route day after day, with the same views and same experiences. It can get a little dull, I start to crave for the time to climb a hill. Then I read the quote above from Anthony Bourdain, and as I wandered slowly around the exhibition it occurred to me that today I have managed to move.