spinning plates

When I was a child, TV programs were often “variety” shows. Ed Sullivan or whom ever would showcase a variety of talented people or acts from around the US and the world. Always, without fail, there would be a a single person whose talent was spinning plates on sticks. My fuzzy memory recalls him or her wearing a colorful peasant costume and welding huge white dinner plates. “The Saber Dance” was the music of choice. It was maddening, the ultimate nightmare. Here was this poor peasant frantically rushing from stick to stick giving it just a jiggle to continue the precariously balanced stunt. If he was a fraction of a second too late, all was lost. The plate tumbled and shattered on the floor. It was nerve wracking. No one wanted the plates to crash and shatter. Just watching him created tension and anxiety. The music only intensified the anxiety.

As an adult, I have my own personal plates to spin…my son, my home, job and career, other family and friends, etc… always giving the stick a little jiggle to keep my plates in motion. Unfortunately, sometimes they fall, crash and shatter in a million pieces. It happens. That’s life. But you can’t stop. The other plates must spin.

Or do they? This is a choice. What if you let everything stop, all plates to crash, all sticks to fall. What is left? Obviously, a mess on the floor but besides that, after it’s swept away … peace. No more spinning. No tension, no anxiety. Is that bad? It doesn’t seem bad to me. But just because YOU stop spinning doesn’t mean EVERYTHING stops spinning. The choice is in deciding which plate to spin and which plate gets to stay on the floor (or in the cupboard). If it is important enough to you to spin, then spin. Otherwise, why create the anxiety? Don’t spin it. There’s more than enough tension in our lives without adding unnecessary spinning to drive us nuts.

To spin, or not to spin… that is the question!

spinning plates


Bremerton, United States

  • Artist
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