Lessons from the circus

September 10, 2007


The Dublin Fringe Festival began on Saturday night and I and my blogger friend Dermod had great seats for La Clique at the Spiegeltent. Dermod has written a lovely review of the evening here but I wanted to throw in my tuppenceworth as well. For a couple of hours on Saturday evening I was enchanted and entertained by a series of fabulous performers (who were joined on the evening by the wonderful Camille O’Sullivan). And as I was sitting there at the front of the tent watching a double jointed man squeeze through a stringless tennis racquet and two “strong men” with unmatchable finesse and showmanship do unspeakably amazing feats I realised I was impressed. I was so very impressed. And I took great comfort in the fact that there wasn’t a single person in that audience who could emulate what these performers were doing. There wasn’t a moment of envy – just sheer admiration. And it got me thinking about how important it is to be impressed by other people in a way that’s healthy and nurturing.
At one point the above mentioned double jointed man balanced precariously on a series of tin cans (4 to be precise) on top of a piano, the top one was the size of a bean tin…he then wrapped his legs around his head and wondered out loud with us that if he could follow his dream and spend his life doing this…what might we aspire to?
Well, tin cans and stringless tennis racquets aside for a moment, he had a point…and it was eloquently made and even more eloquently received by many of the people I knew there that evening. What if following our dream meant being the best we could be? What if waiting for the “right” thing to come along meant we were missing opportunities to be impressive in other areas of our lives? What if we had to learn to be impressive first and the dream might follow…and what if we allowed ourselves to be impressed once in a while without feeling threatened?
All that and more at the circus..and if you plan on going to the circus, using the piano as 12 o’clock, get a seat at 3pm…I can’t tell you why but I do promise you’ll be impressed.
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2 People reacted on this

  1. I remember feeling similar thoughts when I saw Cirque du Soleil years ago. Amazing feats that your mind knew you were seeing, yet couldn’t fully trust it was real.
    Reading your muse about impressing others made me think of the (admittedly rare) moments when I’ve impressed myself…when I’ve gone above and beyond my internal drivers and had a “wow” moment of self-reflection. That also has great impact in the healthy and nurturing zones.

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