”I encountered another street musician. He was singing folks-songs. I’m too shy to ask people whether I’m allowed to take their photograph. My solution is to just take them, with a safe distance, hoping I’m not going to piss anybody off.
I threw some coins in his guitar-box, a sort of unspoken purchase: ‘a little money for your picture.’
He didn’t thank me. Maybe he wanted me to listen to his music instead…”
Picture taken in Veendam, Groningen.
”Sometimes I wonder why I even take pictures. I take a bunch of them for weeks, months. When look back at them, I realize none of them are any good. ‘Listen you don’t have what it takes,’ I tell myself, ‘you need to stop fooling yourself. There’s a life you need to lead. There’s nothing wrong with this life. It’s just not the life of an artist, about finding or expressing yourself. Most of them are miserable anyway. You are miserable and you are not even a real one. They say there’s nobility in the man chasing the impossible dream. But there’s nothing sadder than the man chasing a dream that doesn’t even belong to him. This doesn’t to you. This is not you. Go home.’
It’s then that I encounter this street musician. I’ve seen him before. He moves from place to place. You live in the city you can’t miss him. And it’s not the music that fascinates me about him, it’s how he plays it. Every time, he’s standing there, for hours with a big smile on his face. For a long he has realized he never play an arena, the crowd will always be small. Most people even ignore him. But so what? There he is, singing his heart out for a few pennies people have to spare! You realize that that this is a man that has found himself a long time ago. And that’s all I want to be. I want to be authentic. I just want to know who I am, to be good at something. In the infinite book of human expression, I will be in one of those pages. Like so many, there was something I wanted to say. Before it all ends, there was something I needed to leave behind- even if nobody will pay attention to it. Like the street musician, I will be ignored, yet I smile and play my heart out anyway. Maybe I’m asking too much, but I can’t let this go. I don’t care if this dream doesn’t belong to me, I’m chasing it anyway.”
Photograph taken in Groningen, Holland.