Imagination in One Breath

Like the fingerprint seen on a 1,000 year old jar; the imprints on the rooftop of this German bunker on the Messines Ridge offers the observer the opportunity to wonder.

As I wander about, at the start of my day, I inevitably look upon the cracked concrete slab of the parkade and allow myself to drift. I follow the lines in their contortions and soon find myself turning to a great adventure. I am reminded of Burton and Speke, the Mountains of the Moon and the explorers’ quest for the source of the Nile. As I watch the lengths that these lines of imagination take I can move along to the Yser, the River Somme, the Fosso Munio or some other watery landscape and see the patrol, the convoy, the opposing side or slip away to another interest.

Imagination can take us too many new places if you allow it to cast its glow. Not that I walk around in a dream-like state all day – far from it. These paths of imagination encourage creativity and constantly lead me on a path of lifelong learning and knowledge. They can be segues into understanding, rekindle images that I have seen, places I have been and remind me of quests once forgotten and then rediscovered. It could be a person, place or thing. Imagination makes every day unique. It separates the routine from the extraordinary and that in itself is magical. Imagination is deep concentration.

Today I may look for answers about bridges, rivers, place-names, shoulder titles, helmets, or star-shells. Inevitably in that quest I am reminded of other ideas and thoughts that faded with time. Not forgotten just treading water until that one question comes along, that one watery path – the line in the concrete that rekindles the imagination and like a lit match in “Lawrence”, in one breath, takes me to a new place instantly.

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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