"When I was very young I once saw a variety act on TV. A man put a bunch of plates on the end of a series of supple rods, and kept them up in the air by whipping the rods around to spin the plates. And if he slowed down or turned his back, even for a moment, one of the plates would wobble and then crash to the ground, followed by all the others in series.
That’s a terrific metaphor for life, isn’t it? We’re all trying to keep our plates spinning in the air, and once you get them up there you can’t take your eyes off them and you have to keep chugging along without rest. Except that in life, somebody keeps adding more plates, hiding the rods, and changing the law of gravity when you’re not looking. And so every time you think you have all your plates spinning nicely, suddenly you hear a hideous clattering crash behind you and a whole row of plates you didn’t even know you had begins to hit the ground."