Every Wednesday, Philippe Graton goes back over one of his images, bringing together his love of photography and his love of writing. A unique opportunity to admire the combined talents of a photographer with a long career.
Every month, Loenke Magazine features the last four Wednesday Shot.
Some loves are like the ocean. Enduring. Eternal. We contemplate them without ever knowing their breadth or their depth. They buoy you, no matter your changes of course, your navigational errors, your roaming – they buoy you.
Their strength is supernatural, their patience infinite, their generosity divine. They make you feel strong and magnificent although we are selfish and insignificant.
One of these days, I ought to tell you the story of this artist from Bruges, Nico Lannoo, who felt the need to get rid of all of his own works of art in order to continue to progress. The path travelled had led him to where he was now, so why hoard dozens of canvasses from the past in his bag?
Lighten the load to better go forward. So from his canvasses, he built a truly lovely hut on the ZAD of Notre-Dame des Landes. And one night, at dusk, he set fire to it. Thirty years of work gone up in flames of a thousand different colors. To me, an absolute artistic act.
To all those who didn’t see it coming, you could have at least listened to Souchon and Voulzy’s Oiseau malin (wise little bird), who whistled away in 2015, telling us to beware of the have nots.
He spoke of monarchs and their secrets, of their laws and decrees, who paid no heed to the singing bird or the mounting anger. Wanting ever more, and then to be free from want, we endanger ourselves and lose it all. Tomorrow’s world, trills the wise little bird, is in the hands of those who have naught.
The Graham Trail
It was just after a break up. Alone on the road. Like a standing K.O., facing the unknown. Lost, 2 steps away from letting it all go to pot. I needed to track down who I was, and figure out which path to go on down. I stopped for gas, stopped to think.
First, I saw the bike, on its own, on its kickstand. A lightweight trail bike, 250 cc, with minimal baggage. I don’t know why I took a photo of it. Its rider came out from the station. Graham. He had come from the “Elephants”, a biker’s meeting held every January on the ice and snow in Bavaria. He was on his way home, to Birmingham.
At 77 years old. He spoke to me with his fingers curled round his hot coffee. Then, he got back on his Yamaha and went on his way. And I understood. Graham had stopped there to reveal a path. One of adventure, independence, audacity, and of the refusal of the comfortable way. One of life.