lessons learned: balancing act

When I was younger, someone gave me a toy that sat on my shelf for many years.  It was a colorful 3 dimensional drum with clear plastic on the front.  Inside, stood a clown with balls in both hands and some floating in the hair above his head.  When you twisted the switch on the back, it would start playing music and the clown would dance by moving its arms and legs as if it were juggling the balls.

The clown also bent at the waist as if he couldn’t catch his balance–rarely did he stand straight up and down and look grounded on the stage.  I used to try to turn the knob on the back very slowly to try to get him to stand straight up when the music stopped, but never could I master this task.

Several months ago in a spiritual direction session, I recalled that clown and noted for my director that I was feeling like that clown–always trying to achieve a balancing act but never quite getting there.  What I wanted to feel was rooted like a tree that could blow in the wind and yet still maintain steadiness at my trunk.

This poem found me the other day, and it continues to sit within my soul.  There is something about reading it that offers me comfort.  It’s so simple and yet so wise.

Poem for someone who is juggling her life

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over
because someone juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook, from Notes From a Bright Field (Cultured Llama, 2013)

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