LIFE AS A BALLOON is one of those topic of the moment post. I think the inspiration is one of my dear friends is celebrating her birthday so a big shout out to Betty Burkhalter. She is at Emory Hospital with her sister while Jock her BIL is having open heart surgery. While looking for a photo to send to her to commemorate her special day, I thought about how balloons are associated with celebration especially with children but we adults love them too.
I thought about a balloon and how it may sit on a shelf unnoticed by others deflated and limp. It has the capacity to create laughter, excitement, energetic response, and a lot of admiration for the brilliant colors it reflects when “brought” to life. I would like to point out some thoughts on the life of a balloon for a little comparison to some of us living the life as a balloon.
Animal Bladders, and Intestines
You can find mention in fairly old books of toys made out of water-filled animal bladders. Bladders apparently expand quite a bit (I haven’t tried.) Unfortunately I can’t give you names of these books since that’s about all I’ve been told by the various librarians I talked to. As far as more modern books, there is a reference to a ball of this type in one of the Little House on the Prairie books. I think it was “Little House in the Big Woods” near the beginning of the book. If you really want to do the research I suggest you look through literature written during the Renaissance in Europe. Merlin has found references indicating that balloon sculpting dates back at least as far as the Aztecs.Prior to skinnies being made out of rubber they may have been constructed out of intestine; presumably different animals would provide different diameters. The following is offered as supporting evidence;
Swiss Family Robinson (1813) “Papa,” said Jack, “can’t you make me a balloon with this piece of whale entrail?”Moby Dick (1851) [re sperm whales] “Gasses are generated in him; he swells to a prodigious magnitude; becomes a sort of animal balloon.”
In the “olden days”, especially in the European regions, jesters and troubadours were said to sometimes inflate the entrails of recently butchered animals and “entertain” with them. The bladders, intestines, and sometimes the stomach, were strong enough that, despite their thinness, they could be manipulated into amusing shapes.
A balloon is a flexible bag that can be inflated with a fluid, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, air or water. Modern day balloons are made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylonfabric, and can come in many colors. Some early balloons were made of dried animal bladders, such as the pig bladder. Some balloons are used for decorative purposes or entertaining purposes, while others are used for practical purposes such as meteorology, medical treatment, military defense, or transportation. A balloon’s properties, including its low density and low cost, have led to a wide range of applications.
- Balloons are used for:
- Birthday balloons for parties and/or gifts
- Baby showers
- Wedding events
- Sympathy or empathy recognition
- Comical events
- Air Balloons are the envy of the onlooker and the thrill for the flight participant.
I learned a few facts about balloons while researching the history and I hope you enjoyed that insert. Now, for the thought behind the post in which I will write in the “balloon presence” or as if I am a balloon telling my story:
“I lay here unnoticed by everyone who passes by the meager box which is my home. I am worthless in my present state. I have so much potential but still no one notices me. I am brilliant red and when inflated I can be the envy of the world. I will have to have a string after being tied in a knot to keep all of the gas or air inside me. That is a necessary action the same as humans have to do certain things to maintain their life; I have to have the air to give me life. Once inflated, it is show time. I can create a smile, cause hugs for those who give me away, and take a grand position tied to a child’s hand. It feels good to be loved and looked upon as a fun being. I bobble, bounce, and glide along the wind. I enjoy every second I am alive and flying. Wow, this is so much fun to fly and feel the freedom of the sky and even though I am anchored to prevent me from flying away forever, I am content at the moment but occasionally I look up to the Heavens and wonder if I could make it the entire trip. Would I be scared to fly that high? Would I hold together through the clouds and what if there were a storm? I have doubts but I also have faith as I am a strong, beautiful balloon brilliant in my red clothes. I decide to break loose and to the amazement of others I fly away and feel the altitude. I feel a little dizzy, discombobulated, but still I climb to the clouds. I feel the exhilaration on my rubbery skin and it creates a friction of excitement. I look down and see the child’s face which had smiled only to be crying. I will be missed and that stings a little but I must climb higher for this new adventure. I fly on!”
As a writer I have to fly out of the normal day-to-day world and fly into my imagination. It is exhilarating for me and I suggest, whether it is writing, drawing, speaking, singing, sports, or any extracurricular activity, to give it a try. As a balloon sometimes burst, and artists and athletes fail to become recognized, it is most certainly worth the flight.
Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by break the hold and Go For It!
(c) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party is sourced to original location if known. Photos may or may not be property of Sipping Cups and sourced if known.