As anyone who might happen upon these digitized thought balloons will quickly discover, they have either nothing, or maybe everything, to do with grilled cheese sandwiches; and most likely never touch on anything relating to cooking or the kitchen... except perhaps, the very first posting. And so, with your indulgence, may I present, the ramblings of a reforming philosopher...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

As Simple As 1... 2... 3...

8 Reasons Normal People Should Juggle
A very dear friend of mine, in her budding days of recent retirement, has taken up the challenge of learning how to juggle. Her weekly letters, detailing both progress and pause, make me admire her tenacity, and her special idiosyncrasy in selecting this peculiar activity.
I clearly remember the day I woke up from a very sound sleep and knew without doubt, that I too, must learn to juggle. I have no idea what my motivation was at the time, other than I just knew I had to learn how to do it.
Being of sound body, but also of narrow focused viewpoint and short attention span, I immediately drove down to the local sporting goods store and bought three orange, lacrosse balls. Some cosmic other-worldly knowledge told me that their heft and size would be perfect for my novice efforts. And, in the short time it would probably take to get me to the intermediate level, would also be suitable for more advanced tricks. These projectiles, I pre-calculated, would also provide me with the appropriate bounce and rebound energy I would require a few days later, once I had established mastery over the art.
And so it was that I raced home, eager to begin my newly imagined career as a street performer, circus clown, or wild animal trainer. Whatever I had imagined at the time, all I could think of was that the solid rubber trio now jockeying for their appropriate positions in my hands were the keys to future fame and fortune.
One can therefore imagine my distain, shock, and heartfelt disappointment when upon launch, the law of gravity did not redirect itself at my will, and the first two of the orange spheres sheared off in opposite directions after colliding mid-toss. Almost immediately, the rebounding property of solidified rubber came into play and both balls ricocheted from whatever surface to which they had connected. One of the orange bullets glanced off my right shoulder, the resulting whack causing me to turn in that direction. Thus distracted, the opposite side of my pumpkin-like head was now open to attack from the other missile and was greeted with an unhealthy thud to the temple.
I may have been dazed but I was not discouraged.
Once the two balls had settled from their paths of destruction, I retrieved them and gingerly repositioned them in my hands. This was simply a matter of physics I kept telling myself as I once more hefted their weight and gauged their potential trajectories; completely forgetting of course that I had only passed that high school class with a questionable C+ grading.
A few more seconds of calculation and once more the balls were airborne…
This time however, I needed to shield myself from all three, as I quickly hunched over in reactive panic, my arms flailing madly in defense of their Newtonian blows.
Regretfully, I’m not the swiftest runner in a shoestore full of sneakers… so it took a couple of more body blows for me to figure out that either I had to obtain softer items to juggle, or I had to prevent the lacrosse balls from hitting the floor. Seeing as how I was too lazy to obtain alternate implements of destruction, I chose instead to toss the balls while standing alongside, and facing, my bed. This proved to be one of those moments of epiphany, as not only were the spheres prevented from escape and further damage to the house, I also didn’t need to constantly stoop down or bend over to pick them up.
From this dramatic moment in my timeline, I also discovered the peculiar human attribute of  knowledge sharing; and the fact that others, before me, had learned this amazing form of art and had documented their revelations for anyone who might care to follow. From those experiences, and the books the explorers wrote about them, I learned that you really begin to juggle with just one ball, just as you begin any journey with a single footstep.
Now, where did I put those oranges?
Article Copyright J. Michael Lyffe - 2014

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