Circus Week!


This week is Circus Week at our house. Over the weekend we attended Fools’ Fest in downtown Burlington. Friday, we go to pick up one of our teens who is at Circus Camp, with Circus Smirkus. The kids will perform the routines they have been working on, acts in progress.Anyway, I will have more to say about circus as the week moves along.

Our family sees a lot of circus, attending performances almost every opportunity we have. Circus is dear to us. We love the beauty, skill, and daring of circus performance. Circus reminds us that we can be in the world skillfully, can entertain and be entertained, and can laugh and cry with others. Circus invites us to have faith, find the miraculous in the ordinary, and transgress our everyday boundaries. Ultimately, circus reminds us  to have fun.


Circus probably has its origins in shamanism. Shamans in many cultures perform magic, clown, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of balance and dexterity. Shamans often live at he edge of the village, transgress cultural norms, and revel in the sensual and sexual. Everywhere shamans and healers know the healing power of faith, and the importance of laughter. They remind us that we are alive, artistic, sexual beings, miracles of creation. They know these are subversive, transgressive, healing messages.

Fools’ Fest is very much about transgression. The performers come from all over the world. All are street performers, living many months a year on he road, and performing for tips. They encourage audiences to laugh, and to be moved by beauty and skill. Most are irrepressibly sexually transgressive in their patter, bringing sexuality center stage, out of the wings where it quietly resides for most people in every-day life.

We did not see every act. A few we enjoyed were:

Hilby the Skinny German Juggling Boy was the consummate clown, engaging the crowd in his efforts to perfect one trick after another. The best clowns teach us that we are all clowns, failing repeatedly at the simplest tasks, only to ultimately succeed beyond out wildest expectations. When, after repeated failures, he demonstrated startling  juggling skills, we, the audience, were pleased for him. This self-effacing clown won many hearts over this past weekend.

Ambidextrous, three women aerialists, and a male clown who acted as the MC, hail from Chicago. The women’s backgrounds in dance come through in their perfectly choreographed aerials. The man kept the audience engaged with a steady patter, skillful juggling, and unusual unicycle act. Their act was a deliciously varied artist tour de force.

Audience for Ambidextrous


Alakazam, a juggler from Australia who advertises himself as “the human knot,” due to his abilities as a contortionist, played the crowd perfectly. His patter was filled with sexual innuendo, his tricks looked dangerous, and his smile was infectious. Although covered by tattoos, he was Everyman. Although clearly very intelligent, he was the Fool. In short, he was an exceptional clown!

The Yo-Yo People hail from Boston. They have had a baby in the years since we last saw them. The couple are married, and enjoy reminding the audience of that. Their show allows each to demonstrate his or her skill at a variety of tricks, draws kids and adults from the audience up to the stage to do tricks of their own (with the help of the performers), and is family friendly.

Yo-Yo People

And always there were Waldo and Woodhead, the world renown, clowning and juggling duo. Exceptional juggling, clowning, and musicianship are the hallmarks of their act.

I hoe you will catch these performers when they come to a venue near you.

Audience for Alakazam

5 thoughts on “Circus Week!

  1. Hi Michael,

    I am enjoying reading your posts! – Just wanted to ask if you mean “Dreaming the World” or “Word” in your blog title – I do see how it could be either way but wondered if it might be a type (I just assumed it was World until I looked the second time!)


    1. Carol,

      The title is “Dreaming the World”, which comes from many traditions. First Nations people around the world believe the world is as we dream it. When enough people choose a good dream, suffering declines and joy increases. When too few dream a beautiful world, times darken. We can work in a suffering world and dream a healed world, at the same time. When we are able, we may live in the true dreaming and in the everyday world at the same time – having a foot in both worlds (or many worlds). When we are truly awake we know that this world is Paradise. And, of course, we also forget….


  2. It – your title – looks just great now! I do love WordPress and may yet return to it…

    I wanted to say how much I liked your description of Dreaming the World in your previous comment.

    Seth, a charming old ex-Earth traveller, channelled by Jane Roberts, was, I think, talking about the DreamTime, when he describes Frameworks 1 and 2. One framework is our visible reality here, and the other is the one we visit in our dreams (and other states). Seth said that we join in our dreams with others to design and create what we could call world history…We “respond to casting calls”, volunteering sometimes to be born to play certain roles..If a certain “drama” does not receive enough volunteers in Framework 2, it simply never takes place in “framework 1” – our everyday visible world.

    Seth’s description is less poetic…I much prefer the visioning of Dream Time and Dreaming the World, but as you say, and as we have been taught by Elders since the Beginning, we do collectively create our common world…This idea seems lost, but is a timely message in darkening Times…

    All the best, Carol

    1. Carol,

      Yes, we would do well to dream more together. I believe the Dreaming is something we visit only sometimes in our dreams. We are perhaps more aware of it when we choose to journey there in our dreams, visions, and journeys. The elders have said that, as you note, the Dreaming is right next to us. (It is also true I am also, now, and Elder….)

      Yours, Michael

      Michael Watson, LCMHC JourneyWorks 11 Kilburn Street Burlington, VT 05401 802-860-6203

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