Guest Post by Bill Wise… The Plate Spinner

Posted on Updated on

The Plate Spinner

If you have ever been to the circus or seen one on TV then you will be familiar with the guy I will call the Plate Spinner.  He is the guy who has all these plates balanced precariously on the tips of slightly flexible vertical rods.  He has to keep them all spinning, or else they will fall to the ground with a crash.   We watch with anxiousness to see if he can keep them all spinning while continuously adding more plates to the mix.  Well in life we are like the plate spinner. 

As we grow the Ring Master gives us just a few plates to handle, we learn to spin the School plate and the Friendship plate while figuring out our place amongst our peers.  How do we balance being cool and accepted and still enjoy some of the nerdy things we like, and if the secret was out of the bag it might outcast us from the Group.  We learn to spin our personalities and interest to please others, our parents, and ourselves.  We quickly learn we can’t please everyone and though spinning the plates as best we can, inevitably a plate will fall to the ground with a crash.  Maybe we get dumped by our so-called friends or disappoint our parents with our unruly behavior, or don’t make the grades they think we should make.   The Ring Master of course is there to assist us and encourage us; plates will fall and break, but we are young and learning and we just grab a new plate from Ring Masters store box he calls Grace and keep on going.

Well eventually we break through into the teenage years and other plates are added to those we are already spinning.  Oh the joys and heartbreak of the Romance plate, how long can we keep that one spinning before it eventually falls, or maybe we decide to quit spinning it and let that particular plate fall to the ground.  Some of us will try to see how many Romance plates we can collect and spin at once, Watch Out!.  Don’t let the other Romance plates know you’re spinning more than one, lest they all decide to jump ship and fall at once and your left looking like a fool.  We will eventually learn that one Romance plate is all we can really handle, hey that’s the way the Ring Master planned it from the beginning.

In our teens we start to learn to handle the Work plate, it’s a tough one and some of us will relish it, keeping it spinning straight and true, and others will apply only enough force to barely keep it spinning, and it is wobbling most the time.   We have started to set the pattern for our adult lives, but it is never too late to learn to be a more diligent spinner, and being diligent in the Work plate, helps keep other plates later in life spinning more easily, like the Food, and Housing plates.

We enter into the adult world and have settled our plates to a nice even balanced spin, we have even settled on a single Romance plate which eventually partners with us to keep the other plates spinning.  We have become One with that plate.  Those can be great years with another Plate Spinner by your side to share the load with.  Ahh but then we add more plates to the mix, the Child plate.  Each plate is precious and beautifully crafted by the Ring Master as he gives you the responsibility of keeping it spinning.  You stand back at times just watching the plates spin in all their glory, just the way they were designed to; some with an artistic flair, or maybe a steady articulate resolve, and others with a competitive streak trying to spin faster than the other plates.  Sometimes the plates will be contrary and no matter how good your spinning technique, there will be times when the plates, having a mind of their own, will just fly off the rod. You leave the other plates behind to reach out and grab and save it before it crashes to the ground.  The Child plate has not yet learned the value of succumbing to you, the Plate Spinner, and thinks it can spin itself and wants so bad to be independent of the rod.  The Child plates are your favorite of all the plates, watching them play and spin, and join with other plates in conversation and games warms your heart like no others.  The Home and Car plates require lots of attention mind you but they are just plates which are necessities, and really pale in comparison to the Child plates. 

As the Plate Spinner you so badly want to present to the Ring Master at the end of your show, Child plates which have matured and performed per their design, and still have the beautiful sheen they had in the beginning.  You would forgo all other plates to make sure these plates spin true.  They are your prized possession, though they hold even more value to the Ring Master, who loves with a greater love than you can imagine. 

It is a tremendous challenge being a Plate Spinner.  You learn a refined technique through those times when all the plates seem to start wobbling at the same time, and maybe even losing a couple of them to the crash and shattering of the hard cruel ground.  As the Plate Spinner you will learn to lean on the Ring Master when you can’t always keep the plates spinning on your own.  He will be there to steady your hand, and applaud you along with the rest of the circus audience when you’re doing a great job!

Alas your time of performing in the circus will eventually come to an end, your time to bid a fond farewell to all the plates you have come to spin and love over the years, as well as the other Plate Spinners you have come to know and cherish over the years.  Their have been so many memories, triumphs and victories, along with mistakes and pitfalls.  You love your plates.  But then up walks the Ring Master and welcomes you into the audience of other circus performers whom have gone before you.  It is time to let other Plate Spinners have their chance, as he tells you “well done my good and faithful Spinner, join me in my Tent of Gold, with mast of pearl and ivory, and seats of ruby and emerald”.  You bow and walk joyfully away with Him treasuring all the time you have had performing in His Circus, the Greatest Show on Earth!

Happy Spinning !