Photo: Tete a tete
Photo- Robert Altman - © 2007

"Tete a tete"


      August 23, 2007, London

"A matter of a change of course"


Can gazing at a 35 year old photograph be the stimulus to change a man's life on a dime? Read on...

Dear Robert

“We spoke on the phone a few minutes ago, and I expressed an interest in purchasing 'Tete a Tete' On the phone, I mentioned how the photo had inspired me to quit my job, and pursue a few other dreams. The photo at the time to me represented a certain purity of intention and freedom, and a feeling that there are bigger things going on around me, that at the time I wasn't really feeling part of. I can remember the moment exactly - I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, visiting my father, and it was about 3am - I was on my laptop, trying to finish off some work, despite the fact that I was on holiday.

I'm planning to spend the next year mostly traveling, and really embracing what's been my 'side' job for a while. I've done the sums and it'll support me indefinitely, working one weekend a month. And if it doesn't work out, I can't imagine that I'll regret a second of the time in which I tried it :-)

Logically, I've known I should do this for a while, but the photo gave me some real emotional leverage - a feeling that at the time, I couldn't identify, couldn't feel I had much to share with, the people I envisaged in the photo. That I couldn't look inward and be happy with what I found. That my ego and some lack of confidence was holding me back from being comfortable being in a field semi-naked, with everything I needed for the near future in a backpack. The phrase that keeps coming back to me is 'purity' - I'm really not sure why :-)

Today for the first time, the reality that I'm free in every sense that's important to me really hit home, and I laughed out loud for a little while. Later, I cried with relief for a few moments as I realised the depth of relief I feel no longer having to go in to a 9-5 job that my heart wasn't in. I've had a hectic couple of weeks tying up loose ends and making sure I had a bunch of money in the bank since I quit, but tomorrow, truly, is the next day of the rest of my life, and as much of an adventure as I've had so far, hopefully the rest will eclipse that.

So thank you again for the photo - it's provided the push that was needed."

-Peter JLS


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