Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running Away to Join the Circus

I think I'll join the circus , or is it too late -probably so. That train has already left - literally. When I was younger - much younger, like every other imaginative child, I dreamed of joining the circus. And every time I got sent to my room for some misunderstanding between me and my parental units, that desire only increased. "By God, I'll show them." I even spent time mentally crafting  what the note I would leave on my bed would say. (I always had the flare for the dramatic.)

Those were the minor details. More importantly, I had to decide which profession I would study. Naturally I pined for the "Flying Trapeze" - they always had the best costumes and were the stars of the show. One problem there, I was deathly afraid of heights. That also knocked the high wire act off the list. I wasn't into large animals (or small dogs). The idea of cramming myself into a small car with 13 other people didn't thrill me. And, I never understood the idea of spinning plates and juggling balls. 

I came to rest on the idea of working with the horses. Riding around the center ring with a colorful outfit complete with rhinestones and a fancy hat with feathers. Heck, I could practice that on my trusty steed, Rusty. He, however, was not enthused with the idea. At the age of eleven, how did I know the idea of being a circus horse offended his career as hunter. But I digress.

That decision made, I just needed to find a circus to join. And, dag nabit, every time I was so mad at my parents and my plan to join the circus was the ultimate way out, there was never a circus around. Where is a good circus when you need one? So I grew up, forgot about the big top, and life moved on.  

Then last week I found myself watching PBS's series Circus. They follow the Big Apple Circus for a year as it tours around the country. And just like that, I am ready to pack my bags again. I don't need to fly through the air, make folks laugh, tame wild animals, or ride fast horses. Just give me the open road, the smell of hay, and the sound of the calliope and the barkers. Where do I sign up?

It is the ultimate escape. One can hide in broad day light. And, yes I am not blinded by the romantic notions, I know it is hard, dirty, dangerous work that goes on for long hours day after day. But at fifty, one's goals and ideals change. You are never too old to enjoy the thrill of the big top. And, you are never too old to dream of running way. And, if you think so, I really feel sorry for you. Now, I just need to find circus. And, not the one I live in.

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