Tuesday, January 26, 2010

another opening; another show




Todo tiene su momento oportuno;
hay un tiempo para todo lo que se hace bajo el cielo.


Or as most of may know it better:

For everything there is a season,
a right time for every intention under heaven —

I should have kept the words of The Teacher closer at hand on Monday -- or, at least, kept my camera closer at hand.


The first rule of blogging is never leave the house without your camera.  The second is not unlike the first: Keep your camera in your hand.


If I had, I would have captured an amazing photograph.


Around noon, I was walking into the village to buy some vegetables for a Mexican red rice dish I was preparing.  My mind must have been on matters culinary because I completely missed the full minute I had to capture my photograph.


Just as I was nearing the elementary school, I noticed a red truck driving toward me.  Nothing unusual about the truck.  It was just a pickup with a sound system.


Blaring announcements are the norm for a community with no newspapers.  We rely on either helpful neighbors or sound trucks to let us know what is happening in town.


What was happening here was a circus.  Tuesday.  In Barra.


I started calculating how I could attend the circus.  And then I noticed something unusual.  Boys and girls in school uniforms started streaming out of the playground and onto the street.  Following the truck.


I thought I was witness to a modern Hamlin piper.


Then I saw it as the truck drove by.  A trailer.  And a zebra.


As far as the children were concerned, it may as well have been a unicorn.


Lonely in his barred heaven.  But the very essence of magic from the plains of Africa.


Of course, by the time I saw what was happening, I had to fumble with the zippers on my back pack.  Dig deep.  Pull off the lens cap.  Switch on the camera.  Adjust the focus.  Change the setting.


And it was gone as quickly as mist on a spring morning.


Not to be deterred, I backtracked several blocks and caught the truck just as it turned at the Villa Obregon jardin.


A somewhat sad sight of a magical childless creature.


But it is the circus.  And I will try to attend on Tuesday.


That brief moment conjured up one of those memories I discussed last week.


There was a day when I wanted to be a veterinarian -- so, I could earn enough money to buy a circus.


My grandfather would take us to the circus whenever both he and Barnum-Bailey were in town.  Everything fascinated me.  The clowns.  The trapeze artists.  The animals.  The tight rope walker.  And the ring master in charge of the organized chaos.


My brother and I actually organized some of the neighborhood kids into an ersatz circus.  We had a parade with band instruments and our questionably-trained pets.  There was magic.  And acrobatics.  And clowns of questionable provenance.


I never bought the circus.  Instead, I joined the circus that is politics.  Looking back, the road that led to the center ring would have been wiser.  But not even the circus gives us the opportunity to retrace those steps.


So, Tuesday, I will relive an almost-forgotten memory of being the fellow in the slouch fedora wondering if another pay day can be met from gate receipts.

8 comments:

Irene said...

Here is a good book to read, "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. The main character ran away and joined the circus.

Mic said...

Am so happy you took up writing as you definitely excel at scene/situation description. I didn't know I wanted to see a circus...but after reading your post, I now want to go find some circus magic :-) ....but will enjoy reading of it as seen thru your eyes and camera.

Darrel said...

I don’t know how but you’ve managed to do it again. You have excavated memories from the ruble of my mind that I didn’t realize still existed. We all know who the Ring Master/Control Freak was. You directed and controlled with the compassion of a supervisor in a Taiwanese sweat shop. That was probably what was needed since we adolescent performers had no talent and the crowd was all neighborhood kids. We amazed and entertained a crowd that fortunately had very low expectation. I wonder what the workers compensation rate is for an untrained aerial acrobat on non OSHA approved circus apparatus is. I may have a claim. I can’t imagine trying to pull off a neighborhood event like that in this lawsuit happy age. Anyway, fun was had by all. Thank again for making me remember the joys of a carefree childhood.

Steve Cotton said...

Irene -- See Darrel's comment. I don't want to just join a circus; I want to own it. But thanks for the reading suggestion. It goes on my list.

Mic -- I hope to go tomorrow. I will bring back the word.

Darrel -- Seeing that zebra in the trailer brought back our amateur circus to me. Who thought that the cantankerous Buttons could be ever be a show dog?

Anonymous said...

great post and i enjoyed darrel's comment.

teresa

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- You can see why I call him my best friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the joy of remembering you and Darrel's young years and the many adventures the two of you had. Thanks for the memories.

Mom

Steve Cotton said...

Mom -- Wow! It's like family reunion night. It is good to know we all share the same memories.