"Do you think juggling's a mere trick?" the little man asked, sounding wounded. "An amusement for the gapers? A means of picking up a crown or two at a provincial carnival? It is all those things, yes, but first it is a way of life, friend, a creed, a species of worship."
"And a kind of poetry," said Carabella.
Sleet nodded. "Yes, that too. And a mathematics. It teaches calmness, control, balance, a sense of the placement of things and the underlying structure of motion. There is a silent music to it. Above all there is discipline. Do I sound pretentious?"
Robert Silverberg, Lord Valentine's Castle.
Juggling is very important to me. I met my wife at a juggling festival (the 2nd Continental Congress of Jugglers in Washington, DC). I had been juggling for about 8 months when I decided that I wanted to learn how to contact juggle (if you don't know what contact juggling is, watch the movie Labyrinth and look for the cool crystal ball manipulation). So, I went down to the Juggling Capitol (a juggling store that used to be located in the Old Post Office Pavilion in D.C.) to buy a clear acrylic ball. They were out of stock but they said they would be getting some more in that evening at the local juggling festival. Being rather new to juggling and not really knowing anyone else who juggled, I asked, "Juggling Festival?!? What's that?" Well, they gave me directions and told me what time it started so that evening I made my way there. As I walked into the front entrance, my wife Janell, who was working the front desk right then, had just found her name in the program and was showing it to anyone who walked by. Lucky me. :-)
I didn't actually see her again for another three months but when I did run into her again (at the Juggling Capitol, no less), I was able to ask her, "Haven't we met somewhere before?" to which she replied, "I think so. Probably at some juggling festival." Since I had only been to one, it was very easy to figure out where. About a year later, we were married. We've now been married for over 12 years!
So, here are some pointers to various juggling resources that are available on the Internet. Some of them are current, others are not but still have valuable information.
- The International Jugglers Association While the "International" part of the name is hotly debated, they still manage to put on a fairly decent festival every year. My wife Janell is a life member.
- The Internet Juggling Database "A resource centre for the online juggling community and anyone interested in juggling and its related circus arts."
- IJDB List of Juggling Clubs A database of over 250 juggling clubs worldwide.
- The Juggling Information Service Very out of date with things like club meetings and juggler's information but still has lots of useful information on how to learn juggling and other aspects of juggling.
If you're interested, you can check out a project I did for a class in Physically Based Modeling. This project tries to model the physics of juggling and catching in a virtual environment.