The Trapeze Artist

I live in a world of trapeze artists
I watch them in disbelief and wonder
How do they do it? How do they fly
back and forth, grabbing the rings
like ballerinas, soft and gentle
I wonder because when I walk
out out on stage I stumble, always
making a mistake, misstep or misspeak

How do they do it? I’ve wondered for years
I never do it right. I never catch the ring
Oh sometimes I do with luck and sheer
durability. But never in a consistent way
like these trapeze artists do. It’s amazing
to watch their success when they effortlessly
grab the ring or ladder and fly with the ease of
a bird in flight, free, easy, clear sailing – they fly

How do they do it? I’ve watched the training.
Yes, I think closely. Watched and even participated
in the daily routine set forth to allow those who
seem to catch the wind with their sails as they
fly across the arena with such ease. I know it
sounds redundant but I am spellbound by the
way it works for those who do it so well. Yes, working
hard but they get it. They get it. They work and fly.

How do they do it? I stumble forward like a
blind man with tattered pants and a shirt torn
from the bark of the street. It is not pretty and
has left some in the dust crying because I
couldn’t do it. I have tried to explain: “I am not put
together like that.” I say with head bowed, I just
don’t know. These trapeze artists are incredible.
I am in awe. Silently, I pray for the ability to get through

How do they do it? These trapeze artists. The wonder
of their success, watching from afar, sometimes up
close. Sometimes right next to them. It’s obvious
I don’t get it. Boy, I try. But I keep missing that ring.
Thank God for the net below that catches me
every time. The safety net that protects me from sure
calamity. I wouldn’t even try without the net. It’s the net
that makes the attempts possible. Forget it otherwise.

How do they do it? I don’t know. I’m not going to
give up trying to figure it out. But I am going to
accept the fact, I don’t get it. Yet. Here’s the deal,
the trapeze artist is gifted after the hard work,
disappointment and failure. Yes, failure. I’ve spoken
with them. They shrug, sometimes even are dismayed.
Their is sadness, yes, but joy in the catching of the
ring. Laughter, peace, and the ultimate prize: Love.

I live in a world of trapeze artists. And it is good.


About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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One Response to The Trapeze Artist

  1. Leslie says:

    This is wonderful. I think we can all relate!

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