This still isn't the final site, but it's completely revamped anyway. That's what happens when I try to 'edit.'
It's linked to the top right, if the link in the blog ends up not working.
|member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life|
This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.The book opens thus, with the unannounced arrival of the circus. You enter the world as an astonished outsider, as part of the crowd anticipating its new role as audience, but you leave the story in quite a different way, more aware, more alive, a part of the circus: knowing that you have a role in keeping it alive.
The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding ﬁelds. Black- and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.
ʻWhat kind of circus is only open at night?ʼ people ask. No one has a proper answer, yet as dusk approaches there is a substantial crowd of spectators gathering outside the gates.
You are amongst them, of course. Your curiosity got the better of you, as curiosity is wont to do.
ʻCelia,ʼ” he says without looking up at her, ʻwhy do we wind our watch?ʼ
ʻBecause everything requires energy,ʼ she recites obediently, eyes still focused on her hand. ʻWe must put effort and energy into anything we wish to change.ʼ
Beyond the ticket booth the only way forward is through a heavy striped curtain. One by one each person passes through it, vanishing from sight.When it is your turn, you pull back the fabric and step forward, only to be engulfed by darkness as the curtain closes again.After the above quote, in which you, from the audience, enter the circus, your eyes are closed by the darkness and given time to slowly adjust to some other way of seeing (which becomes stars lining a twisted hallway, through which you feel your way until you are set back out in the light, which is now blinding in its seeming intensity...), a new chapter opens in which we meet Bailey. Bailey is a young boy who discovers the circus as we do, with its unannounced arrival in his town. He goes; he is enthralled. But during the day, his irritating older sister dares him to enter the gates during the day.
There is so much that glows in the circus, from ﬂames to lanterns to stars. I haveA complex illusion of illumination. Like a holograph, creating a three-dimensional world out of light and air: this is what our brain does, by the way--it formulates some visual representation of a series of informational signals, and it convinces the rest of our senses of the details of that representation. If you donʼt like the style of your holograph- maker, create a new model. Put the spotlight on different parts of the stage, close your
heard the expression ʻtrick of the lightʼ applied to sights within Le Cirque des Reves so
frequently that I sometimes suspect the entirety of the circus is itself a complex illusion
of illumination. --Friedrick Thiessen, 1894
On this evening, Mme. Padva wears a dress of black silk, hand embroidered withDo not think you must be born a magician, like Celia, or tutored from childhood, like Marco. Do not even think you must be a regal and aging theater personality, like Mademoiselle Padva. You, the anxious one from the back of the class, the one who wanders through life, shufﬂed from one position to another by “higher forces,” the one who doesnʼt see how you can have any impact on your own existence--or at least no more than it takes to keep your head barely above water--this is the call youʼve been waiting for. Get up. Focus on the thing that matters, but focus on it internally. I think the confusion about magic is, weʼre all trying to bend the spoon in front of us. As the small, wise child in the Matrix says, there is no spoon. You choose something fantastic, something that exists only in your own head. You focus on it, you develop it--
intricate patterns of cherry blossoms, something like a kimono reincarnated as a gown.
Her silver hair is piled atop her head and held in place with a small jeweled black cage.
A choker of perfectly cut scarlet rubies circles her neck, putting forth a vague impression
of her throat having been slit. The overall effect is slightly morbid and incredibly elegant.
Mr. Ethan W. Barris is an engineer and architect of some renown, and the second of the
guests to arrive. He looks as though he has wandered into the wrong building and
would be more at home in an ofﬁce or a bank with his timid manner and silver
spectacles, his hair carefully combed to disguise the fact that it is beginning to thin...
The ﬁnished clock is resplendent. At ﬁrst glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black
clock with a white face and a silver pendulum. Well crafted, obviously, with intricately
carved woodwork edges and a perfectly painted face, but just a clock.
But that is before it is wound. Before it begins to tick, the pendulum swinging steadily
and evenly. Then, then it becomes something else.
The changes are slow. First, the color changes in the face, shifts from white to grey, and
then there are clouds that ﬂoat across it, disappearing when they reach the opposite
Meanwhile, bits of the body of the clock expand and contract, like pieces of a puzzle. As
though the clock is falling apart, slowly and gracefully.
All of this takes hours.
The face of the clock becomes a darker grey, and then black, with twinkling stars where
the numbers had been previously. The body of the clock, which has been methodically
turning itself inside out and expanding, is now entirely subtle shades of white and grey.
And it is not just pieces, it is ﬁgures and objects, perfectly carved ﬂowers and planets
and tiny books with actual paper pages that turn. There is a silver dragon that curls
around part of the now visible clockwork, a tiny princess in a carved tower who paces in
distress, awaiting an absent prince. Teapots that pour into teacups and miniscule curls
of steam that rise from them as the seconds tick. Wrapped presents open. Small cats
chase small dogs. An entire game of chess is played.
At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the
juggler. Dressed in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that
correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at
midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern.
After midnight the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and
the clouds return. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself
vanishes. By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.
He tells himself that it is not a bad life. That there is nothing wrong with being a farmer.
But still, the discontent remains. Even the ground beneath his feet feels unsatisfying to his boots.
So he continues to escape to his tree.
To make the tree his own, he even goes so far as to move the old wooden box in which he keeps his most valued possessions from its standard hiding spot beneath a loose floorboard under his bed to a nook in the oak tree, a substantial indentation that is not quite a hole but secure enough to serve the purpose.
The box is fairly small, with tarnished brass hinges and clasps. It is wrapped in a scrap of burlap that does a fairly good job of keeping it protected from the elements, and it sits securely enough that it has not been dislodged by even the most resourceful squirrels.
Its contents include a chipped arrowhead he found in a field when he was five. A stone with a hole straight through it that is supposedly lucky. A black feather. A shiny rock that his mother said was some sort of quartz. A coin that was his first never-spent pocket money. The brown leather collar that belonged to the family dog who died when Bailey was nine. A solitary white glove that has gone rather grey from a combination of age and being kept in a small box with rocks [note: this glove was given to him when he snuck into the circus].
And several yellowed and folded pages filled with handwritten text.
After the circus departed, he wrote down every detail he could remember about it so it would not fade in his memory. The chocolate-covered popcorn. The tent full of people on raised circular platforms, performing tricks with bright white fire. The magical, transforming clock that sat across from the ticket booth, doing so much more than simply telling the time.
While he catalogued each element of the circus in shaky handwriting, he could not manage to record his encounter with the red-haired girl. He never told anyone about her. He looked for her at the circus during his two subsequent visits during proper nighttime hours, but he had not been able to find her.
Then the circus was gone, vanished as suddenly as it had appeared, like a fleeting dream.
’Secrets have power,’ Widget begins. ‘And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it…
This is, in part, why there is less magic in the world today. Magic is secret and secrets are magic, after all, and years upon years of teaching and sharing magic and worse. Writing it down in fancy books that get all dusty with age has lessened it, removed its power bit by bit…’