My dad was a people watcher. He could sit in a public place all day long and watch the world as it passed by him. I grew up in New Jersey—the outer suburbs of New York. An area ruled by autos, it was rare for us to take public transportation anywhere. But, when we did take the bus, the train, or the ferry, my dad would invent stories about the people on them. I suspect that we all play this game whether consciously or not. We label people and assume certain aspects about their lives. The mental stories become more elaborate when we’re forced into the idle observation associated with public transit.
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The moments that really count are often obscured by the noise of the world. The fleeting vignettes of life are subtle. They are like delicate humming birds that hover for a moment and then vanish in a blink. One must be still and present to see life.