I had a dream that I was in a conversation with a very wise man.

He was a circus clown, an acrobat with giant shoes. He had just finished his act: falling short of the trapeze several times before finally spinning four times and grabbing the bar then executing a double flip with a twist as he returned to the first trapeze. His final display had the whole audience standing applauding and laughing.

The rest of the troop was less pleased with his act than the audience. I was on the side of the audience.

The well-sequined straight acting acrobats had done a series of daring if slightly conservative and predictable moves. One had fallen. One had nearly slipped. None fell like the clown who had flailed like a plucked chicken and hooted at each of his falls and at his success as well.

The clown, an Emmett Kelly clone, looked at me sadly and said, “My colleagues don’t get it. They try really hard, but they never see that falling is the most important part of the act.”