It’s Sunday night of Burning Man, and I’m waiting for cthulhia so that we can go to see the burning of the Temple of Honor. I’m juggling some of the glow-in-the-dark balls I had brought, and I catch the eye of this little kid next door. He couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old. I threw him one of the balls, and he caught it and ran inside the tent with it.
I laughed, and looked through the flaps of the tent, and his older brother (8? 10? 12? I’m so bad with guessing ages) comes out and hands the ball back. I take it and start juggling, and then the kids’ eyes light up, “Hey, it’s a Juggler! Come quick!” they yell, and a third kid comes out. All of a sudden, I have a rapt audience of three kids. I don’t consider myself a very good juggler, but these three kids were enthusiastic, interested, and entertained.
That was the best feeling. It was a totally awesome, envigorating, pride-filled feeling. It was one of the best moments of the week.
I owe it in part to dilletante.
I don’t remember when it was I first tried to juggle; I think it was probably at Fandom House, learning from Rich Macchi. Or maybe even an early Baitcon from Phil or Vic. In any event, after feeling like a complete failure, I didn’t try again until a couple of years ago, when I finally “got it”, at least, for fairly small amounts of “got it”.
I kept playing at it off and on, but when I started working at Akamai, I got together once or twice with dilletante, and started to feel like I made some progress. I’d even practice on my own occasionally thereafter. However, I seemed to reach a plateau of ability that didn’t really go any further.
Fast forward to the Saturday of Burning Man, and we meet up in the Cafe during the noonish juggle. I ask him to show me how to pass, and after a bit of a fumbling start, it occasionally works, if just for a jug or two or three. Excellent! And then Sunday day, I’m walking into my camp, and Ashley is juggling the glow-in-the-dark balls, and I ask him if he knows how to pass, exclaiming”I learned yesterday!“. So we get in sync after a few starts, and it works! Wahoo! Excited, Ashley suggests we show our campmates our new trick :)
Two audiences in a day, one captive, and one a surprise. Both left me feeling high on life.
Between that, and watching hundreds of fire performers before the Saturday night burn, I am determined to improve my skills, and be one of those performers in two years. I want to be a part of that energy, and it’s not because of some need for attention, but because I want to be a part of that experience, and to contribute towards it.
Thank you, David. :) If you ever want someone to juggle with, let me know :)