This morning I took my customary walk up to Roma's Cafe in Maida Vale and asked a lady if I may share her table. She was very warm, and gracious and welcomed me to join her at her table outside. So began a delightful conversation with a lady called Louisa.
It would be fair to say that I've become sort of addicted to striking up conversations with people I don't know. This has become quite an adventurous part of my personality in the last few months and speaking with Louisa today has conditioned my nervous system to take the first step in saying “hello, good morning how are you today?”
My conversation with Louisa was simply delightful and the high point was a simple question I asked her; "what makes you happy"? Her reply was simply beautiful, "my friends"; her face lit up like a Christmas tree.
This conversation got me present to the simple fact that my neighborhood is a friendly neighborhood and the spirit of the Maida Vale community is in direct proportion to the willingness of its people to engage in conversation and authentic sharing. I for one have taken on the possibility of “being the one” to go first – to light the fuse on a conversation that can generate warmth, humanity and dare I say the possibility of friendship.
I believe sitting around and waiting for someone to go first is at polar opposites with my personality. However, being the one means having the courage to go first. This opens up the possibility of rejection; nevertheless, I would rather the experience of rejection rather than the experience of disappointment within myself for not taking the opportunity to say ”hello”.
Louise was very open and the warmth of her being I found very inspiring. So much so, I shared with her the details about my new project in photography – “Community life in Maida Vale”. She was very open and generous in allowing me the privilege to shoot her portrait to complement this blog post.
My photography has become a lot more than just taking photographs of people; it's about capturing the humanity of people and revealing their natural, authentic inner beauty.
Every photograph I take is also a reflection of my inner psyche – being slightly reserved in nature, photography has exposed me to the possibility of expanding my relatedness with people and thanks to Louisa our conversation today made me aware of how much I love and value the people in my life and also every stranger I meet representing the possibility of friendship, that to me is truly magical. So a BIG THANK YOU to Louisa for a wonderful start to the day.x
Magician, Lecturer, Speaker.