Passer by

Today I post my entry from Patreon here as well. The picture you can find on the link of course. But given the topic I felt it is befitting to post it here too.

When I was trialling out my new lens, I wanted to flex my speed photography and what better way to do it then by trying to photograph someone on a motorcycle. Well, I do not live in a town with many Harley’s so a moped had to make do.

As I was looking at this picture I was contemplating how many human beings just watch as life passes them by. Sometimes when I see someone who is either with a bottle in their hands at 8am or a person who may have been using some hard drugs all their life; I just wonder what pain they are trying to hide. I am also contemplating how lonely that life choice can be, when perhaps as individuals are passed by on the streets by so many. I also wonder how the guy selling “the big issue” is like the guy on the moped still in their own life frame, but the world appears to wizz passed them as if on hyper speed. Those moments I wonder when will they get a chance to be able to take a rest from their inner turmoil and be able to breath easy, instead of watching how nights turn into days turning into nights. And of course their cycle may never stop until someone gives them that helping hand to find themselves again.

Last winter when everyone was huddling in their home due to the government mandate to “protect”, the guy selling the “big issue” ( a newspaper sold by homeless individuals in the UK to raise funds for their over night accommodations) was in his normal spot by the shops trying to sell his paper. He was the only seller on the street, when all the shops closed their doors and told their workers to stay home. This guy was out there still trying to make money to afford to live. In that period we were told as “normal folk” to stay indoors and go out only for essential stuff or for sports, and yet he was out there in the hopes that the passers bye would give him the price for his paper. As I approached him with my mask on and warm coat, he smiled and entered into conversation with me. He explained how in the times when nobody carried any change in order to buy the paper he was struggling to make ends meet. He did say that he had no choice but to come out and try and sell papers; but of course even the printing of the paper stopped as it was coming in from London; and they too were told to stay home. For this guy life was passing by at million miles an hour; whilst he was trying his best to survive. Before Christmas I saw his still in the same spot, still smiling kindly to everyone hurrying past him doing the Christmas shopping; I dropped off a small gift with him. He smiled and thank me. Of course today he is still making his sales; but in a more open world where once again his fellow humans were allowed out of their gilded cages, with the only care in the world for freedom and being allowed to socialise again. For this homeless guy it meant he had a steady income again; and he did not need to pretend he has a paper but be able to sell a new edition of big issue. For him life stood still for almost a year on and off; when he was not sure if he would make the next meal, for the rest of humanity on a steady income the year was just an inconvenience because they could not holiday.

I wonder whose life is passing by without purpose, following this story? I wonder how many individuals on this planet were frustrated just because they could not go for a pint, whilst other human beings were trying to live their best life? I wonder how many human beings created meaning in their lives during the shut down? I wonder if they were just passengers on the train, or they have stood up to make a difference for their own world?

When I sat down to write my entry today, I was not sure what I wanted to say. I had a title, and a picture, I did not know how the story will unfold. I wonder if you will sit down at the typewriter of your life and start writing a new entry, starting with a picture and a title….

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