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Balance and Blessing by Paul Webb

If what they say is true, I’m as good as dead. It is claimed that the time you can stand on one leg with your eyes shut is indicative of your longevity. So here I am at the gym, wavering on one leg. No way am I going to risk closing my eyes. Around me, those with decades to travel before they catch up with me do press-ups, curls, cartwheels, punch bags, lift weight-balls the size of kegs. Full kegs probably. And they barely break a sweat. Me? I’ve just walked from the locker room and the sweat is pouring off me like Niagara Falls while I stand doing a damned flamingo act.  In my mind I have the grace of a ballerina. But bird-brain knows my grace would make a Weeble doll look good. ‘Cept Weebles wobble but don’t fall down. But onward. One foot just behind the calf. Arms a-kimbo. Start. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. A wobble grows. The spare leg shoots one way. Arms fly out in the other, flapping madly like a demented hummingbird in a hurricane. Without feathers too. Totally useless. The floating foot touches ground. Damn. Back to flamingo position. Darned if I’m starting from scratch. Four Mississippi, Five Mississippi. Heck, it’s bad enough at home when doing nothing more challenging than walking about. Sofa leaps out to trip you. Kitchen wall elbows you in the back. And all this without even touching a drop of the hard stuff. If I were pulled over and asked to walk the line, I’d be a natural for a DUI. Cold sober. Bugger. The torso wavers sharp left, while the bum tries to move sharp right. Should not let the mind wander. Feet to ground, feet to ground. OK, back to the flamingo position. Six Mississippi. Seven Mississippi. Oh my calf is starting to ache. No, to burn. A gyration starting around the middle amplifies to the extremities to wildly take down some kid walking by too close. On her hands no less. Eight Mississippi. Nine Mississippi… Sigh Mississippi… There is a Native American prayer:

Balance and Blessings
Blessings and Balance
For from Balance
Comes all Blessings

Blessings Mississippi…?  Too late Mississippi!


Paul Webb, October 2016