Juggling In the Dark

Today was not a terribly easy day, even though Thursday is my lightest teaching day of the week. I’m shaking off this nasty cold (still!), and yesterday’s trip to the orthodontist resulted in my mouth becoming a new torture chamber, with six elastics now instead of four. My friend Al, however, reminded me that we do not have any real problems, when he brought up this:

Duchess Defends Undercover Turkey Trip

Do you really think you have a problem? Time for a reality check.

So, after my daily Skype chat with Al, and a bit of dinner, I set out for a walk in Schiller Park. As I approached the “puppy social hour,” a young black lab ran up to me, treating me like a long lost friend. His owner asked how I was doing. “Well, it’s been a long day. How about you?” was my reply. He agreed, and commented on how nice the weather was in the evening, which made me recall the upcoming forecast. “It is November, after all,” was his closing remark before we parted ways, happy to have encountered each other.

That thought stuck to me.

As I walked by Umbrella Girl, I really wanted to give her one last farewell for the season, but someone else was walking towards her, and I certainly didn’t want to scare anyone in the dark. Oh, well, Umbrella Girl. Maybe the next time I see you, you’ll have snow on your umbrella.

With each step, I felt a tear coming to my eyes, not quite wanting to face impermanence tonight. So what did I do? I did what I came to do. Walk. And walk. Until I saw this:

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The jugglers.

Of course, I kept walking towards them, hoping that they didn’t think I was about to take every penny they had. At about ten paces, I said, “I sure wish I had brought my camera.” We talked for a bit, and then I asked them how much longer they would be juggling tonight. We agreed that they would wait for me to run home (I did, too, literally!) to get my camera, and drive back. Once back, I took the pictures, and we talked a bit. Meet Adam and Wes!

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I know nothing about them except that they love to juggle. Sometimes in the dark. And they seem like a lot of fun!

They know nothing about me except that I am one strange bird! After all, it’s not everyone who takes pictures of people who juggle glow-in-the-dark juggling pins in the park!

I’m ready to write my book now…EVERYTHING IN LIFE THAT I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A JUGGLER

1) Have fun! If it’s not done with joy, what are you doing?

2) Juggling by yourself is OK, but much more fun with others. Experience the WE.

3) If you juggle at night, make sure that the batteries in your pins are fresh! (you can wonder about that one)

4) If you drop a pin, don’t sweat it. It’s all part of the process. Keep going, and when you need to, stop for a minute and start over, preferably with a smile on your face.

5) Stay focused on what you are doing. Don’t let the other “stuff” distract you. Just keep being aware of the flow of the pins (or balls, or rings, or…).

6) Know that there is a time and a place for everything, and eventually we all pick up our pins and go home.

Now, that last one was the lesson for me tonight. I guess I was ready to face impermanence after all.

Be well and at peace,

Phil

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