This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Left On The Side Of The Road...

I'm a writer. I notice things.
I'm a traveler. I discover things.
I'm a nomad. I wander.

I'm also a location scout so I spend a lot of time on-the-road and I'm a nature lover so I spend a lot of time on my own two feet exploring. They say that you can tell a lot about a people, a culture, a country by what is thrown away, what's discarded and what's left abandoned there on the side of the road. In my travels, I've been amazed (and sometimes disgusted) by what I've found: Cardboard Mcnugget containers, minus the nuggets--yet still bearing the telltale oil stains. Used condoms. Gum wrappers. A ratty newspaper. The most astonishingly gigantic and magnificent pine-cone I've ever seen (and I'm a sucker for pine-cones.) A perfectly good weight bench. A sofa better than my own--enough so that in the dark of night, I admit it, I swapped--just before trash day. Someone's death certificate. A perfectly-shaped leaf. A bank statement. A decomposing squirrel. Someone's homework left unfinished. A homeless person still very much alive, but nevertheless abandoned by us, by society, there on the side of the road.

I could construct a story from this charm bracelet of discarded items. Today I found someone's plastic U.S. Open ID badge...from 2005. His photo appears on the front. His name is Vijay Amritraj. He is Indian. He is Hindi. He has dark hair and a very pleasant smile. I look him up online to find that he was one of India's all-time great tennis players. Along with his brother, he was once a semi-finalist at Wimbleton.

When he retired from tennis, he served as a "United Nations Messenger of Peace" and later founded "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation" whose mission is to bring hope, help and healing to the defenseless and innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India. Driven by a firm belief that "in giving we receive," the foundation pledges to make a real difference for those who are most in need of the helping hand of humanity.

Perhaps there are lessons here--"in giving we receive," to never lose our child-like sense of wonder, to pay attention-- even in the craze of modern life, and to take notice of those who are most in need of the helping hand of humanity... and to be willing to search for the treasures that are out there, just beyond our gaze...

P.S. Mr. Amritraj? I have your ID.

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Photo credit: Justpedalhard/flickr

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