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Flâneur

Observe your city, town, street, or patch of earth and report back — in your favorite medium.

Photo by John Meehan

Recently, we selected ADJUNCTIVE as a Discover site pick for its gorgeous images and incisive posts on photography and portraiture.

The dictionary defines flâneur as an “idler or a lounger.” I prefer Charles Baudelaire’s interpretation of a flâneur as a detached observer of city streets.

On his About page, John Meehan — a “flâneur with camera” — says:

All that matters to me is developing my ‘seeing’…

I love John Meehan’s focus on process — on returning to the streets to practice observation — to discover and document the nuances he shares in his exceptional photography.

Searching the word flâneur in the Reader allows you to travel the world from your armchair.

The good news is that coupling observation and process fits every medium of expression: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, drawing, painting — even musical composition.

This week, I challenge you to become a flâneur — a detached observer of your city, town, street, or home — and report back in the medium you choose. What do you observe? Think of color, sound, texture, and smells. What feelings arise as you observe? Use your observations to fuel your creative fire.

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  1. Thank you, I learned a new French word today: flaneur! I love your ‘intriguing’ photo! My place is reflective of all the major cities of my country! There is so much beauty, noble & pure, appealing & endearing about my place. However, there’s also something contemptible, unpleasant even repugnant,! But the wonders lie when I explore, discover, observe, appreciate and be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, I can be indignant even, but I love to take it all in! This is my place, I embrace it with my whole heart!

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