January 21, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Watching the Wheels

I watched a lovely little movie last night, Amelie, the French film which garnered much acclaim last year. It dealt with a theme that has always been close to my heart: stopping to smell the roses. "Watching the wheels go round and round," as John Lennon put it. Taking notice of—no, appreciating—the little things in life: the way that tree waves in the wind, the smell of your lover's hair, the sound of a faraway airplane on a summer day. God, as they say, is in the details.

Sometimes, when I find myself in a public place deeply submerged in thought, I rouse myself and look at all the people around me. Instead of seeing them as a bunch of people just going about their business, I try to picture them as separate individuals, each with a unique life. What are they thinking about? Where are they going? What are their goals? I imagine the great interconnected web of relationships at whose center I sit: family and close friends near the center, acquaintances further out, and those whom I've lost touch with out at the edges. Then I look at all the people around me, visualizing a vast web around each one, many of them overlapping with one another. I think of all that I've accomplished and all I have yet to do, and I see these myriad people, each one striving to be, to do, to have something of meaning. I can't help but feel a sense of wonder when I have such moments.

Most of you know me as a quiet person. While it's true I'm shy, perhaps somewhat lacking in social skills, much of my diffidence stems from this fascination with watching, observing, drinking in what goes on around me. I suppose it's the writer's instinct within me, to observe rather than to participate. That's where my love of traveling comes from too: seeing new places is an endless smorgasbord of new sensations, new observations, new experiences.

So next time you see me lost in thought, seemingly preoccupied, don't be concerned: I'm doing fine, watching shadows on the wall.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

Borrow money from a pessimist, he won't expect it back.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
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1/20: Bring on the Mayhem
1/19: Pigskin Ponderings
1/18: More Stupid Lawsuits
1/17: Finding My Passion
1/16: Gulf War Memories
1/15: Meet the New Boss
1/14: Man's Other Best Friend
1/13: Sea of Fire
1/12: Back to the Books
1/11: America's Finest Climate
1/10: Sunshine in a Bottle
1/9: What Would Jesus Drive?
1/8: Southwestern Sojourn
Wheel of Fortune
Class Warfare
1/5: Very Large Dream
The New Nuclear Age
Going Solo
New Year, Old Cave
1/1: All Things End

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