Fascinated by People

I have had the pleasure of interviewing people for Siren Empire, (with a few more to come). People are fascinating and complex. Everyone has a story, contained in their book of life. Some are encrusted with the jewels of entitlement and others have had to deal with rust and pages stuck together, before reaching the gold.

I drive and have a little car, but I love catching the local buses and meeting the students, the little old ladies and mums at the bus stop. It is extraordinary what you find out, and how you can gel with a person in five minutes. It just requires being open, and willingness to listen. It has become a rare thing, listening to someone’s heart. I am interested in the person that is sitting before me, and what has gotten them to this point in their lives. Many hands propelled them forward, in good ways and bad. Imagine how many lives a 75 year old has waltzed with, how many loved ones have been lost and how many lives they have seen birthed.

How did you feel, interviewing everyone?

In short, privileged. Some of these people, I had just met. Others I have known for over a decade. They still take my breath away. Their work ethic, that they entice joy and confidence in others and that they will be working on projects without end. They never give up, and have a curiosity about life. I am sure that it keeps them young.

What do you feel you learnt?

I learnt that a healthy diet, getting out in nature, and creative endeavours are crucial to giving yourself energy. That a kind and giving heart will receive more of the same. That if you work hard you will be rewarded. It requires being organized and living a healthy life, but can be done. To live a life uncommon is a wondrous thing!

What was the process like, putting their stories down?

I emailed questions to my subjects, and allowed them time to articulate their answers. I then collated the interview into a question and answer form. I researched their websites and learnt about their lives. It was thrilling and inspiring.

I look forward to interviewing many more amazing people. Some people I meet on the street have retreated into a beige camouflage. When you show an interest in their life, their fears and dreams, you can feel a rainbow of colour bursting forth. Uncontained, wild and glorious. Much like Siren Empire.

Raphaela Angelou