I just saw a video where three people took turns balancing on balls, drinking glasses, and each other.
I have balance. I can walk along the edges of the railroad ties that are used to outline where our lawn stops and the non-grass ground begins. Of course these ties are nearly ground level with just about 4 of their 8 inch width dug into the ground to keep them in their place. Wouldn’t want any of the lawn to escape out into the non-grass space! Let me just add here that I have never understood how grass can grow so easily where it is not wanted, like a flower bed, but it will give you fits when you try to grow it where you want it to be-like on a lawn where the dog has killed a spot here and spot there. Oh such another tale to tell.
Moving on. But if those same railroad ties were up off the ground, even just a foot I’m pretty sure I would want to have to have a net to feel brave enough to walk that same edge. It’s all in the perception. But the three people doing those cool balancing acts were fearless. At least on the video I saw. But, just how long did they work on that; Henry on Herbs’ shoulders and Herb is wiggling on the red bouncy ball and the third guy, Hank doing a backward type of bend while held by Herb, all the while doing a handstand on a drinking glass about as big as Cinderella’s glass slipper, and just as delicate. Breathtaking. But there is this thing, this human thing that whispers in your ear, “Fall. Come on fall just once.” Not a harmful fall. But still I’m not so sure people want to see perfection all the time.
It’s why the stands at an automobile race are packed. Just in case there is a crash. Why the fans at wrestling events go so nuts. Just to see the wham-o of the bad guy wearing the mask with the red flames and the blue tights and a cape of purple, getting slammed into the mat. Why the crowd crowds around the television set when something seemingly impossible is about to happen. Or to see the impossible not happen. Or why the shows with funny videos of people getting hit in impossible regions of their bodies or falling off bikes into snowbanks while riding off rooftops in winter. We have this nature to see—well even I admit it, I watched the balancing act video because for some silly reason I thought I might see a pile up of the three guys, all rolled up with a red ball and a glass.
Not so weird when you stop and think of it. It’s why I once drove in a demolition derby. The only girl in the smash up that year. No win for me but a great time was had by all—uh except my mother. She was in the stands, I found out afterwards, saying to herself, “Stall car, stall car…” In the end my car did give up the ghost but not until I rammed into a big ole black sedan and put that guy outta the race. Unfortunately while intent on smashing the sedan I didn’t see the green monster coming at my ’56 Buick and WHAM I was outta the running—literally. But that is a good example of just what makes us hold our breath while watching what seems to be unsurmountable odds in odd situations. Like the three guys and the ball and glass.
But, yes another but. But there is a very delicate balance I need to find and stay on top of when I am thrown into a situation of watching the seemingly impossible. I mean I can’t hardly stand up and root for the guy doing the two and a half back falling triple twisting overhead dive off the spring board of life to do a belly flop. On the other hand I hardily invite those interested in seeing me belly flop and learn from my grand splashes.
Like that demolition derby. I think I was one of the first girls to participate in what was at that time an all guy event. I heard that I was envisioned as having the proverbial target on my back. But in the end I was taken in as part of the gang because I balanced my need for crash and bang with the camaraderie that the even offered. And it was really relay fun!
Guess when it comes to balancing I will just concentrate on balancing my check book. But I will still watch the Indy 500—and not just for the crashes. Yea I watch the super bowl just for the game too.
Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.