For the Love of Clowns

Love and War.  What else is there?  Ok, there are dishes to do, so we can stop and think about love, or war, or the love of war, or the war of love.  Freud famously obsessed about sex and aggression, even when all those other stressed-out Victorians tried not to notice.  Civilization depends on good manners, so you can be sure that the clown, who treads where ordinary humans are too polite to go, will usually be mucking around in love or war, or both together.  In my last post, I extolled the virtues of "Fuck You!" in freeing the clown to play.  But...Love.  Love is what powers the clown.  Love is why the clown meets the audience, well mostly, anyway.

Poofy du VeyIn the marvelous Burden of Poof, the shimmeringly vulnerable Poofy du Vey expresses her struggle with her longing for love.  As she goes into the audience to find helpers, we can see she is both terrified and compelled to connect.  Don't we often make neat little systems to contain screamingly undefinable important matters?  Poofy makes a touching to-do list, containing perfectly normal tasks, and, well, I won't give away her act, but let's just say that she can't stay away from her imperative to find love.  We are with her, every step of the way.

Pinot and Augustine are virtuosic clowns with a history, playing one more time September 10th at 7pm.  Like an old married couple, they have an arrangement that works for them.  Pinot and Augustine, Photo by Ian DarsonHe is the bossy one, taking the center of attention, planning the bits, while Augustine is the submissive helper, following his commands, except of course when she slips in a fast one, which is pretty much every chance she can get.  This good-natured war is excellent entertainment, but they give us more than that.  They show us how love arises from vulnerability.  There it is again, that word, vulnerability.

Writing this post, I had to interrupt the process in order to have a phone session with a client.  As usual, I had the urge to get myself together.  I brushed my teeth, fixed my hair, put on clothes and some eyeliner, even though I was probably not going to be seen (never a guarantee, nowadays, with Facetime and all that).  But then, also as usual, I realized that I couldn't prepare enough to vanquish anxiety.  No matter how much experience I have, I truly don't know what's going to happen.  I just have to trust that I have enough to be helpful.  So, when I pick up the phone, I invite us both into the unknown, and we meet in this intimate space.

When a clown goes into the audience to invite participation, both clown and audience are vulnerable, not knowing what will happen.  When we love, we likewise open ourselves to the unknown, inviting connection and pleasure, but also the possibility of pain.  No wonder we are scared.  No wonder we protect ourselves in lunatic ways.  Clowns show us the absurdity of our protections through their crazy antics, but they also show us the beauty of love.  



(Related posts:  PsychoZen of ClownFailure and FreedomTruth! What is it?Purpose and PoliticsDemons and Death) 


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Reader Comments (1)

what a beautiful post. many takeaways here, and your own vulnerability so clearly and eloquently described in the marvelous description of your client-calling eyes tear up yet again. maybe i'm becoming a big crybaby in my advanced age. maybe i'm allowing myself to become vulnerable. vulnerable at last!!

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan

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