I went to the circus and cried my little eyes out.
This wasn’t ladies on horseback and fire-jumping tigers. It wasn’t clowns and slapstick either.
It was a different kind of circus. The kind where every performer identifies as LGBTQ. The kind where body shapes are diverse and gender is fluid and performances defy your expectations and not everyone is a trapeeze-artist (though some people are!) but everyone is fabulous.
The kind where the most incredible love scenes happen by trampoline, or on a wobbly ladder, or in a tower of bathtubs, or on a swinging, suspended mattress, and where ‘issues’ are worked out excruciatingly on the trapeze. Where a nonbinary person is unravelled from bandages by caring hands and a tiny, delicate-seeming woman thrashes erotically on rope-like sheets and stupid, constrictive shoes are set alight. Where tummies and cellulite wobble and lipstick is smeared and hair and jelly and flour are all over the place.
That video is beautiful but it doesn’t do Puffball anywhere near enough justice. There was humour, live music, crazy antics and an INCREDIBLE bathtime scene, pain and love and sex and reminiscence. Puffball is apparently based on the stories of LGBTQ young people and is as messy and colourful and ugly-beautiful as queer-angst feels. There weren’t many words and there were even fewer explanations, honestly, I hadn’t a clue what it all meant most of the time. But something inside me did.
I wrote yesterday about filling the well. Today I feel like my well is spilling over, all over the floor, like falling in love with my best friend at school, like the pain of her rejection, like reaching out and turning in, like knowing and not knowing and knowing and and not having a clue who I was growing up but being it anyway because what else can you do.
The circus filled my heart with love, because it showed me that love is whatever love is. Love is a bunch of circus freaks. Love is the freedom to be yourself. Love is loving someone who is emerging, shouting ‘take a good fucking look’, love is trying to impress someone by bouncing on a trampoline. Love is messy and colourful and angsty and beautiful and love makes me cry my little eyes out.
Image: The Ten of Cups, from the Streampunk Tarot by Charissa Drengsen
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.