Magic at the Circus…

It always feels the same way.  The same kind of disconnect in everyday life.  No one understands.  No one can ever understand.  And what do I have but my words to help explain everything to them?  What other possibilities are there for me?  So I try to explain.

It’s like this.  There are certain people in this world who live above, I’ll call them upper dwellers.  And others who live below:  Lower dwellers.  I know it’s not always so black and white, but for now, that’s how it feels.  So imagine these upper dwellers and lower dwellers, and they’re watching a circus.  The upper dwellers, they can sit through it, they can enjoy it, they applaud at the end, but they never really understand all the work that goes on behind the scenes to put such a spectacle together.  They think it’s beautiful and amazing and stare in awe at the power of it all, but they never really question how it all works.  They can see all the magic, all the wonder, but they never stop to think about how it came to be.  They never even consider that there might be a deeper meaning to everything that’s happening in front of them.

Then there are the lower dwellers.  They can see the circus, but not from quite as clear an angle.  It’s all a little fragmented to them, never quite as enjoyable maybe because they can see through the act.  They can see the greater spectacle.  They can see the cranes, the wires, the pulleys; they see all the contraptions used to make the magic happen.  It’s beautiful and amazing, but they can never quite appreciate it the way those upper dwellers can.  The magic is a little bit ruined for them, and for the most part, that’s okay.  Even though their seats are way worse and their view detracts from the spectacle, even though they know they are looked down upon for their wacky notions about harnesses and cranes and the truth of what is really going on, that’s okay.  It’s okay because for some reason they feel privileged for seeing this different side of things, a side that feels like the truth.  A side that feels as though they have all the knowledge of what’s really going and those upper dwellers, sure they get to experience more magic, but maybe they’ll never appreciate it in the same way.

So it’s kind of like that.  It’s kind of like the circus, but with life.  Those people who get to see the magic for the magic, they have it a little better sometimes.  They don’t have silly notions of fear and the inevitability of death.  They don’t think about things with a film of doom and gloom and sadness and pain covering their eyes.  But that’s okay.  We lower dwellers don’t mind.  We don’t mind knowing that while they get to enjoy the experience of life a little bit more, we get to see the truth.  And we don’t want to become like those other people.  Most of the time, we like it here.  Most of the time we like seeing all the ins and outs, all the secrets of the world.

But if I’m being honest, and I will be honest, there are times, every once in a while, when it gets bad.  Like bad in a way that feels like the end is coming and nothing makes sense and nothing matters and everything is pointless.  Bad in a way that makes you unable to breathe, to see straight, to hold out your hand without it trembling maniacally.  There are times like that.  And in those really bad moments, we wish to be sitting way up high on the bleachers with those upper dwellers, unable to see any of the secrets the circus has in store.  We wish to see only the circus for the front it is putting on, for the magic it is trying to sell us.  We wish to see the circus the way they do.  No wires, no cranes, no fear, no pain.  Just life without the behind the scenes view.  Without the notion that we really are the truth and everything that we fear, that is the reality.


About laurengowing

I read prose. I write prose. I don't really read poetry, but sometimes I write it.
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