What is This Thing? This ODE?

What is this thing, this ODE?

It is the culmination of everything I do and everything I love.

It’s about seeing people, and knowing people, and using words and photographs to help show them, and the world, who they truly are.

First, I was a designer and I made interactive games like Iron Helix, Bad Mojo and Space Bunnies Must Die! in an attempt to tell immersive stories that you could discover by entering a virtual world.

Then I was a writer. I wrote so many stories, and the novel Serpent Box, so that I might share with others my own discoveries about what it means to be a human being in such a confounding world, a world of beauty and sadness, where both love and fear somehow coexist.

Next I was a photographer. Rather than speak, or judge, or assume that I knew anything, I let my eyes see the stories of faces, of places, of people’s passions and joys. With the camera I saw the world through the eyes of others. I saw that everyone is beautiful. Everyone is shining, and brilliant and has a valuable story to tell.

With ODE Michele and I get to use our gifts as writers, seers, and ambassadors of love to tell the stories of the people, causes and brands that inspire us. Yes, I just said ambassadors of love. Because that’s the root of it. Listening, and seeing, and being willing to learn is love. Love means that you truly care about what you do. Love is the passion for the job well done. Love is putting people before profit. Love is seeing yourself through the lens of the other. Love is a mirror that reverses nothing, it is a true reflection that isn’t flipped around.

ODE has begun, but ODE is also evolving. An ODE is an invitation to look a person in the eye. Only then can you begin to understand who they are. An ODE is an opportunity to peel back a brand, to see the church, to see the steeple, to open the door and see the people, within.

I give you today’s ODE, Brandon Purcell, who’s so much more than a data analyst. Zoom in, explore, discover more about who he is. I promise you he’s worth knowing.