To Live a Thousand Lives

I was never great at English at school. I was never expected (by the school) to go far because of my lack of English skills. The one thing that did help improve my English was Reading. My mum would buy me books on all sorts of subjects that I was interested it, in the hopes that I would read. The first book I remember reading for myself was “the secret seven” the hijinks of a group of kids trying to find a thief was great fun, I read a few different books after that, and my parents even convinced my school that I could read these books as part of my reading list.

I suppose it wasn’t until secondary school that reading really kicked in, first I read the hobbit and then was given “Lord of the Rings” (at age 12) to read. Oh it took me a long time, I think about 6 months to clear all three books. From there I read the Discworld novels and continued reading to the present day.

I feel now that reading is not seen as much as social misstep as it was when I was at school. To read then was seen as geeky and nerdy and by Joe I was.

Bill Hicks though summed up quite well how I felt at the time, when I was caught with my nose in a book at age 14, sat in my class at break time.

You know I’ve noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I’m sitting there and I’m eating and reading a book. I don’t know anybody, I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) ‘what you readin’ for?’., I’ve never been asked that; not ‘What am I reading’, ‘What am I reading for?’ Well, goddamnit, you stumped me…I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don’t end up being a fuckin’ waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list. Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] ‘Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah’.
..aahh, what the fuck’s goin’ on? It’s like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.

With reading which, I find trumps film and television, you get to live a thousand lives in the pages and relive them if you so wish.


The inspiration for the above composite came from the idea that a book takes us on a journey and our imagination fills it with colour and movement.
It could be said that I am a secret writer, I want to write, I want to tell stories, but I am not confident in my ability. It is then with a camera that I write my stories, I present my narrative in a series, sine an image is worth a thousand words. As with literature people can then interpret my work.

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7 thoughts on “To Live a Thousand Lives

  1. I have read as long as I remember. Yes, I read The Secret Seven too. And The Famous Five. Never finished LOTR though. Did read The Hobbit. Couldn’t live without books. I love to write too but I don’t think I’ll ever match your photographic and processing skills. You wrap your images with instructive or interpretative text. I always set out to write with a few photos thrown in. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. I love the composite. More people should go on a journey.

    • I always say the image is everything but in life it is the journey. I was talking to a student today that said that kids never out and experience life anymore, they are happy to sit and let life come to them via the internet and games. I feel that this lose of journey and discovery may be the short comings of younger generations.
      Maybe that is why I am a teacher to help people go on their journey.

      My processing skills can all be learnt, though time is what is needed and a little outside of the box thinking. I admire your bird shots, I would never have the time and patience to capture some of those images.

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