Essays

Why I am walking, an introduction

First presented in the form of a video, this essay captures my state of mind at the start of 2022 and explains the motivations behind my decision to ditch freelance photography and start going on long photo-walks instead.

Mitchel Lensink
Feb 7, 2022
3 min read
Mitchel Lensink why I am walking, an introduction

I have been walking. I know that's nothing special and not exciting at all. I have just have been walking.

What that means is, I pick place to start and a place to end. Either of those can be anywhere. Sometimes I start at home and sometimes I take the train somewhere to explore other areas. It doesn’t really matter, as long as there’s something to see along to way. Something to shoot photos of.

Mitchel Lensink why I am walking, an introduction

After I have decided on where I want to walk, it’s just a matter of setting one foot in front of the other, until I reach the end of the route I’ve chosen. And once that happens, I just pick a new route. Because a walk may be done, the act of walking never is.

But it’s not so much about the walking itself, as it is about what it does for your mind, body and soul.

Mitchel Lensink why I am walking, an introduction

I know that sounds cliche and kinda cringe but it's true: a walk can really provide perspective. Which, sometimes, is all you really need.

You see, the past few years have stressed me out to a point where I can hardly function at times. I just shut down and I start to experience these physical symptoms that tell me that this can be a real disease. I don’t want to live like that.

So I find myself looking for more peace and quiet moments to reflect. I even go as far as actively withdrawing myself from anything resembling competition or confrontation because I don’t need that type of energy in my life.

Mitchel Lensink why I am walking, an introduction

Walking allows me to do the things I truly enjoy, while at the same time keeping me away from the rat races that we have built into our society.

So I walk and I try to be as present as I can be, by looking real closely at my surroundings and paying attention to small details and how they add up to a bigger picture. And that pun is intended, because the most important result of a walk, the thing I take home with me, next to that before mentioned inner peace, is the photographs I take along the way.

Mitchel Lensink why I am walking, an introduction

And that’s why I’ve been walking. To truly experience the world around me. To be really present during my time here. It’s not as deep as it might sound, I promise. It’s actually pretty straightforward. I’m not trying to sound like some life coach here. There's no hidden agenda. 

Nevertheless, I invite you. Not necessarily to walk as well, though of course you can if you want to. But mostly, I invite you to start looking. To start feeling. To start being present.

ℹ️
This essay was first presented in the video below, which was produced for Dialogue 006.

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