Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Juggling a Couple of Goals

I have adopted June’s line from Knight and Day as my own: “She has skills.” I don’t have June’s skills for punching, shooting, and recklessly driving, although I’m not sure I actually want those skills. I am working on acquiring skills that might actually be more useful, you know, like juggling and playing the harmonica. Excuse me, was that a snicker in the back row?

Whilst in college I would earn extra summer money as a camp counselor. Great gigs, by the way–room and board paid for, new friends, all sorts of fun activities, and it’s a bonus that it’s working with kids. One year I signed up for counseling at the Marrowstone Music Festival, which is the music camp for very talented young musicians who hope to audition for a spot in the Seattle Youth Symphony, or are working on improving their virtuoso. At this camp were twin brothers and could they juggle. I think playing music was their second talent. In between music classes they gave demonstrations and workshops. I wholeheartedly jumped in line to learn how to juggle. After several attempts, they came to this conclusion: there are a few people in this world who are juggle-challenged and I am one of them. Disheartened, I did not give up and continued my desire to learn how to juggle.

We all know that wishes remain wishes unless action is attached.

About six years ago I purchased a beginner’s juggling set at Target (love their dollar section).

Mine are red, blue, and yellow

morguefile image: pennywise

On December 31st, yes of 2015, I finally got around to trying them out. It’s not easy getting over the label of being juggling challenged.

The book from the library was no real help, as pictures don’t really express the proper cadence and motion of keeping it all up in the air and forming patterns. It did, however,  have a fascinating section on the history of juggling:

  •  Juggling dates back 4,000 years
  • Greek art and Egyptian paintings show “juggers”
  • Beginning of the 19th century saw juggling being part of the entertainment circuit
  • One popular juggler, Enrico Rastelli, died in 1931 from a infected cut caused by his mouth stick, and thousands of people attended his funeral
  • W.C. Fields juggled early in his career, being known as the “Eccentric Tramp Juggler”
  • The Flying Karamzov Brothers, known as talented jugglers, sometimes toured with The Grateful Dead
  • Juggling now incorporates dance and a variety of props and techniques that has it elevated as a respectable art form

I’m still figuring out balls–rings?

morguefile image: sideshowmom

As of this post, I have yet to perfect my three ball cascade, but I do have my two ball catch fairly smooth. TIP of the Day: practice over a bed–less chasing of props…

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8 thoughts on “Juggling a Couple of Goals

  1. I love that you’re learning to juggle. My magician son can do it, but I’m nothing but thumbs with it. Have fun!

  2. I too am one of the unfortunately juggle-challenged. My favorite thing to do as a child was “juggle” with plastic grocery bags. They move so slowly through the air that voila–you really can juggle! Good luck, and may your future be brighter than that of Enrico Rastelli.

  3. good for you! it’s great to keep trying out new things.

    i actually CAN juggle two balls – though toss in that third one and it is death to the juggling rhythm every time. all the balls thud to the ground. I’ve never considered the two-ball version actual juggling. hmm, maybe i’m a very mediocre juggler?

    i do like that idea of trying it with plastic bags. even i couldn’t drop them. probably.

  4. I took a juggling class when I was a young’un. I’m glad I bothered. Once you nail the cascade, you will be able to dazzle every little kid on earth. It’s a great feeling.

    • Sounds like a blog post in the making: Mike, Master Juggler–a story of a young man who learned to keep it all together while juggling life as a famous blogger/cartoonist/writer

  5. How fun! I completely agree about summer camps–great time. I was at a camp in the mountains one summer and got lots of hiking and swimming in.

    I have awful hand eye coordination (especially with balls), so juggling is not one of my talents. Kudos to you on trying!

    I look forward to some videos as you develop 😀

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