The phrase "wheels within wheels" is of ancient origin and has generally come to mean something that is not easily understood; that there is more to the situation than may appear on the surface. The quotation above, from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, is part of a mystifying biblical passage that has led many to believe he saw a UFO
The phrase denotes complexity, that one must look past the superficial to see deeper into a problem or situation. I know that you know, that I know that you know, that I..... Like the Russian matryoshka dolls we open one only to find another, and inside that yet another, etc., etc. The phrase can also have a more sinister connotation, that there are ulterior motives behind seemingly innocuous actions - all part of a larger and less obvious plan.
This photograph appears in the current New Zealand Listener Magazine. It took my fancy because if you have been reading my Blog over the last few months you will know that I have just returned from 6 weeks cycling in The Netherlands.
When writing Blog postings about The Netherlands I mentioned a couple of ways for a solitary cyclists to elicit conversations with the locals / other tourists - One was to pretend that I was lost and ask directions, the second was to offer to take a photograph of a couple if I saw them taking pics of each other. Afterwards I thought another cunning idea would be to wear cycling gear with New Zealand emblazoned all over it - I know this would elicit contact because foreigners really do like to hear the Kiwi accent and many Dutch people have connections with New Zealand (there was a lot of immigration from Holland to NZ in the 1950s and 60s.
So when I saw this photograph I thought .......Hmmmmmm.... here is yet another way... this would be the conversation eliciter par excellence - a paragon of conversational prompting of epic proportions - In fact I could busk with this bike. All I would have to do is parade it in the local village square, stand next to it with a hat for the money at my feet and nod slowly over and over again, thus answering the questions before they passed the lips of the viewers (yes I do ride it, yes it is a bicycle, no I am not a nutter, no you can't have a ride on it today, no not all Kiwis are crazy bastards only some of us are, yes paper money will do just fine if you don't have any coins) .............
Hmmmmm...., sometimes we just can't think of innovative ways to solve a problem or find a fresh way of engaging with the ordinary. But look! there is always a way, if you keep your options open and your mind thinking outside the square and contemplate a circle in a different way, well, you might find wheels within wheels .................. in fact I am building one of these at the moment in my blokes shed - I wonder if Air New Zealand will fly it to The Netherlands for me? I have some unfinished business there.