Up until recent years, I used to walk around the city, alone – all the time.
I used to work in the CBD (Central Business District) and other than walking to and from my office building, I would spend lunchtimes and after business hours walking around the streets of Melbourne.
I was engaged in the city whilst observing it – two polarities joined.
Sometimes I felt like the untethered explorer, whilst other times I felt a foreboding danger and retreated to the safety of a heavy populated cafe or shopping district.
During these times I would sometimes jump on and off trams and trains to see what I could find. Sometimes, I would discover some well known artist’s graffiti on a brick wall or an independent retailer selling exotic homemade wares and even a budding musician busking in a underground train-station.
Now, I make an effort to go into the city and visit certain landmarks with purpose. I am more aware of my surroundings as I take precaution whilst observing as much as I can take in, for inspiration. I never knew how important it was for me to walk, observe and use that to fuel my imagination until I stopped and then went back to it. I didn’t realise that like some of my favourite authors, I am a Flaneuse and my hometown is my muse.
(c) T. Altman 2016