My heart leapt when I clicked through to Eric's piece and discovered it had already been read more than 2,400 times. When I finished reading the final entry, I excitedly scrolled down hoping to find 15-30 lengthy reflections, but there were just two beautiful, but brief, comments. My heart sank. I refreshed the page to find the view counter had increased by another 200. My heart danced anew. Ha! The vicissitudes of a bean-counting mind.
At its current pace, "17 Things" is likely to exceed 5,000 reads by 2 PM PST. Is there vitality in virality and, conversely, a death in dearth? As Lao Tzu might say: such nonsense!
Unbidden, I am going to boldly add to a No. 18 in the hope that it will serve as a seed for others to offer entries 19 through 190.
18. I would keep a stick of sidewalk chalk in my pocket when walking and write haikus to the improbably blue sky, trees, discarded styrofoam cups, ants and those minuscule red mites while squatting like a sumo wrestler over an overlooked section of delicately-detailed concrete canvas. And if anyone should happen upon me and inquire as to what I was up to, I would look him or her in the eye and say the poem was ours, then hand them the chalk with the invitation to title the pithy piece. And if this newfound collaborator were to ask more about how I got started doing this, I would tell them about my friend Eric, his "17 Things", and how my life is so much richer having been able to listen to the music emanating from his "trillions of insides and outsides."