I’m not a fan of the circus. First, there’s the clown issue. Beyond that, it’s an afternoon filled with acts that I don’t really understand. Take, for example, the one where the dude in a vest spins plates on top of tall poles. He starts one, then another, and another, and by the time he gets to plate number six or so, the first plate begins to wobble and pitch, threatening to come crashing down. He dashes to the pole and gets it spinning again, and lo and behold, the second plate begins to teeter. As he attends to that plate, third falters, and so on.
He continues to add plates while rescuing the others, triaging to determine which ones need urgent attention, balancing that with launching additional plates into orbit. But face it. Have you ever seen a plate fall? I haven’t, and I’ve got to admit, if it did, the act would be more interesting to me. The juggler always stays within the envelope of safety. He makes a good show of pretending that his act is in danger, but I know there’s zero risk of failure. I have to wonder just how many plates he’d get spinning if he kept going until one actually bit the dust. In fact, I’d love to see more than one shatter, maybe even a whole set, in one noisy, calamitous disaster. Now that would be satisfying.
Entertainment value is subjective. As a writer, I count on it. For every individual who hates my work, there may be another who loves it. At least that is what I tell myself. Still, that doubt makes it hard to move forward on a journey that seems unlikely to succeed, even at the outset. Allison Winn Scott, however, said it best in her January blog entry, “if you want to write a book, write it.” The corollary is, if you want someone to read your book, publish it.
When it comes to writing, I’ve been spinning a lot of plates. I tweet haiku, I have a nearly finished novel, I’ve got poems and essays and I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “I really need to launch a blog.” I’ve been so intimidated by the process, however, that although I’ve put on a good show of being a writer, once I stop reviewing my work, my readership plummets.
So, here we go. This blog will be the first plate I launch. If it crashes, I hope it makes a really big noise.
Photograph – Spinning Plates by Jameson 42