Roll up, roll up

Source: wishwishwish.net via Naomi on Pinterest

Lately I’ve been thinking about circuses, inspired partly by this post from the rather charming Sophie over at Her Library Adventures. I’m thinking back to a time of elusive magic, when I couldn’t see the tarnish, and believed each and every animal in a circus must be the happiest animal alive.

The circus, in my childhood memory, is a place where a carousel may actually spin you into other worlds, if you close your eyes. White horses, plumed pink and yellow, dance with such grace that they seem to float above the sawdust. And aerial acrobats – soaring through hoops and shimmying up ribbons – are the most beautiful men and women the world has ever seen.

Where else does the circus take me?

* To Mr Galliano’s Circus, by Enid Blyton. I must have read this book 20 times as a child, wishing I had special, soothing talent with animals and that my family, too, would run away and join the circus. I’m going to hunt Mr Galliano down in a second hand store and revisit the magic.
* To memories of a rare me-and-Dad date at the Lennon Bros Circus when I’m still quite small, sitting on the edge of my hard wooden bench, knuckles white with tension, as a man sways above me on a tightrope. Dad saying “My bum is numb” and me thinking that was the best thing in the world, because “Daddy said a bad word.”
* To gypsy caravans. Once upon a time, my friend Deborah and I dreamed of renting a horse-drawn caravan and rambling across Ireland. Many years ago, we said words that hurt each other, and lost touch. Today I found an email from Deborah in my inbox. Precious gift! I am remembered, and forgiven! And I am reminiscing about our gypsy caravan dream.
* To a sweet tune and whimsical video by my friend Nadia Ackerman, the title track to her CD The Circus is Back in Town. I know, I’ve blogged about this before. But watch this clip and tell me if you can stop singing the little doodle-doodle-doodle-dee ditty at the end. I bet you can’t.
Where do circus memories take you today?

Naomi Bulger

Naomi Bulger is an Australian journalist who moved to New York for adventure and found love instead. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her new family.

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