Mixsonian Larry

Balance in Life

   My interest in balances begin when I was a teen in junior high school chemistry where you used a balance to weigh different chemicals to get the correct proportions for some reaction.  A balance is different from a scale.  A scale, like what you stand on in the bathroom is an imprecise tool based on a spring or other mechanism which allows variation.  A balance on the other hand is like a seesaw, you place what your weighing on one side and on the other, weights of known value.  A balance compares two things, one on the left and one on the right, the balance tipping in one direction or another tells you that the sides are not equal, only when the balance is level are the two sides equal.   The balance is personified in the statue of justice, blindfolded, holding a level balance in her hand.  Well I diverge….back to my story.

First Blance With an interest in chemistry, my grandmother gave me on old chemistry set my uncle had when he was a child, but it did not come with a balance.  My Dad came solved the problem by bringing a balance from his work at the chemistry department at the University.  It was a simple balance, used and somewhat beat up by years of used by students in their labs.  It has served the students well but was to be thrown out.  To me it was a treasure, I carefully cleaned it, adjusted it and I had a working balance.  It served me for many years for some interesting chemistry experiments.     

Second Balance My second balance I got in my twenties on a buying trip with my Dad and my Grandfather.  My Grandfather (on my mothers’ side) was a man of many different occupations in the course of his life, none more important than being a Baptist Minister, but at this time he had a used furniture store for which he would go on buying trips.  On this particular trip he asked my Dad to go along and Dad asked me. Wow, a trip with my Grandfather and Dad to look at old stuff, how could I say no.   We traveled to a small rundown town in Georgia where we entered an old closed-up store on the main street.  We proceed upstairs to a room above the store full of old dusty furniture.   Grandpa looked over the old desks, chairs and other items, haggling over the quantity and prices with the seller while I wondered around looking at all the stuff.  Coming to the front window with dirty panes, I looked down over the main street.  I turned around there it was, an old balance, sitting in some corner, all covered in dust.  “WOW! How cool is that!” I thought as I looked it over.  As Grandpa and the seller approached to where I was looking at the balance and Grandpa must have seen some gleam of excitement in my eye for he asks about the scale and asks the seller of the furniture to throw it in as part of the deal.  The seller agreed and I brought the balance home with me.

Third Balance

My third balance… well I will save that story for another time.

The fourth balance one I am still looking for, it is more than just a physical balance.  We heard the phrases “the balance of nature”, “the balance of power”, “the balance of trade”, and so on.  In this day of political extremes, we sometimes question the balance, going from the balance tipping too far to one side then the other.  Some might place a thumb on one side to create a false balance, but they will be discovered, and a new balance found.

Balances have a deep connection to me, connections to the past, to my father and my grandfather but there is a greater Balance in each of us and the world around us, a balance deeply rooted.

Larry Mixson, 05-29-2019