NIco in Lisbon SMIt’s hard for a day to go by without someone trying to get my attention — messages, ads, commercials, surveys, news, etc. all looking to get a few seconds or minutes of my time.  It can get overwhelming.  Then something will catch my eye.  More often than not, it’s not big or dramatic — perhaps just an object, a quiet situation or person.  It causes me to pause and perhaps changes the way I think for a moment.  A lighthearted scene with a simple, non-obvious allure to it.  Like a kid, I smile, laugh or just wonder in amazement.

How did a sarcastic New Yorker become so reflective?  Some sarcasm is still there, but I realized that my life has simply been a culmination of moments.  Some I noticed, others I missed.  I took for granted and overlooked so many *ordinary* situations.  Be it the sights and sounds at a farmer’s market, an old mailbox along the side of road, discovering some urban art or just stumbling upon some humorous situations.

Back in 1997 I saw a funny and touching movie with the Holocaust as the backdrop.  I never could have imagined such a concept was possible.  Roberto Benini proved me wrong.  The movie “Life is Beautiful” showed me that even horrific events can have moments of beauty and humor.

As I get older, I’ve learned to look for and appreciate moments that have more to them than a quick glance might reveal.  Simple pleasures from unexpected and obscure moments.  Quite frankly, I can’t think of a better way to see and enjoy the world.

Boys at Work

One of my favorite pictures.  The author (on the right) and his brother working together when they were younger.  No doubt the orange shag carpeting must have needed some tending to that day.  Likely a late night house call judging from the pajamas attire.

Seems like just yesterday when this picture was taken, yet it was some forty years ago.

Rob Mike Stairs


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