Monday, June 21, 2010

Clipped wings

Just a few cuts, but in the right places,
and the sky can fall from your grasp.
The breeze is still there, and the blue still beckons
but flight without lift is futile

so on the ground you’ll stay.

I didn’t want to lose the sky,
for it is where I belong.
and those with wings were meant to soar
the wind still calls my name

not to say that the ground is bad
for the basics of life are there
but the sky calls my name while I’m here on the dirt,
and I yearn to answer her call

sweet blue, oh sweet blue, I hear your song
I see you there, waiting.
And then I look down, to these mangled, cut wings,
and I cannot meet you yet in your depths.

but on the ground time will pass

And feathers will grow, and primaries heal,
down can be restored.
Time is not the great healer, but the sun is,
so on the ground I shall stay in the light.

Until the day, some day soon
the cuts will fade to mere scars.
And glossy feathers will be strong again
and my wings will once again be mine

And until that day,
until that day,
until that day
the sky will call…

those with wings were meant to soar

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grab a ball and celebrate!

So apparently today, (June 14, 2010) is World Juggling Day! Who knew? A whole day, just for juggling! I have been teaching myself to juggle for about a month now, and even though I’m still dropping balls occasionally, I have improved. It’s actually pretty fun, once you get good enough to get a rhythm going, and there’s a lot more to it than just throwing balls around. I had always thought that juggling was just one or two different ways of throwing balls and catching them, but it turns out that there is a lot more depth to it than that. Cascades, showers, fountains, flash…all these mean different ways to toss and catch the balls, and combining them form different ways to trick juggle. There are different styles, and different ways of passing on a pattern to another fellow juggler. Who would’ve thought that complex math would be involved in juggling? Since I find stuff like this interesting, and in honor of World Juggling Day, here is some information about juggling…

There are two different ways to learn juggling; one is by seeing a pattern, and then practicing it, and the other is by calculating a pattern and then recording it. This last one is called a notation system. Notation systems are used when a juggling pattern is really complex that the tricks have to be recorded on paper. There are two ways to do this. First one is called siteswap, which uses numbers to represent different patterns, and the other is called a diagram-based notation, which uses drawn images. There is also a newer system called beatmap, which uses a little computer drawn stick person juggling balls, and is used for people who learn tricks visually.
Siteswap began in the 1980’s, and is simply a mathematical way to write a juggling pattern. A number is used for each throw. If the pattern is indicated by a single number, then that is the simple way of juggling that number of balls. So a 3 would mean a 3-ball cascade. The number also represents the height and speed of the throw; so a 3 also signifies a simple crossing throw. A 5 represents a higher crossing cascade throw. Numbers also tell the type of throw…odd numbers mean a cascade that is a cross throw from one hand to the other, and evens mean a fountain throw that stays in the same hand. A 1 stands for a horizontal throw or pass from one hand to the other. 0 means an empty hand, such as in the 40 pattern, where two balls juggle in one hand while the other is empty. A 2 represents a hold or gap, where the ball is not being thrown or caught. So a 42 would mean two balls are in one hand, while the hold is in the other.

The Numbers

0: empty hand
1: pass between hands
2: hold or gap
3: balls crossing or cascading
4: two balls juggled in one hand
5: high throw

Crazy, huh? It gets better…

Patterns have rhythms, just like music. So instead of writing it over and over again, (Example, 5151515151) you would just write 51. Notations will only work if the sum of all the numbers can be reduced to the amount of balls that are being thrown. So 51 would have to be a 3 ball pattern, because 5+1=6/2=3 (balls) 52 would not be a valid siteswap because 5+2=7/2=3.5 (balls) Obviously you can’t juggle half a ball….

I figure that’s probably enough info… I think it’s so interesting that something as simple as throwing balls around has that much science and math involved… That’s cool.


p.s. Info above came from the book Master Juggling, by Cassandra Beckerman.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Entry

Sometimes it is a struggle to start writing. The longing is there, and so are plenty of ideas, but what stops me so often is the actual process. I want it to come out perfect. Which isn’t possible, and I know that, at least in my head. But apparently somewhere in my heart still needs to be convinced. After hearing about some of my friend’s blogs, I got excited, and wanted to try one of my own. Several days ago one of those friends helped me set this up, and since then lots of different ideas of what to write have been swirling through my brain. And yet, when I sit down at my computer to write my first entry, poof! I over complicate things; syntax, sentence structure, which entry do I want to start with, and how to arrange it…ect ect. And the end result is nothing but lots and lots of blank white space on my screen. So. I am not going to do this ‘perfectly’, but dang it, I am going to do it. All right, ‘nuff said about that.
Welcome to my blog! I have decided there will be certain things that will be considered Not To Be Blogged About, such as my father and other painful topics, but I am ok with that. Besides, there are plenty of topics and other sides of me to write about. Out of respect for other people, I will not be putting names here, so everyone gets a nickname. =) I’m pretty sure people will be able to figure them out, but if it takes awhile, that’s cool too. Guessing just adds to the fun of things. Well, I think that’s good for a first blog entry… Until next time, toodles.