Clowning, Jail, Markets and Dancing under the Luna Eclipse

I went clowning at a play centre.  I haven’t done much clowning that is commercial, so I was curious.  I arrived at the place and met the client.   I left my gear there and went off to find the coffee shop.  I was standing in the shop and it seemed like a supermarket.  Turns out they sell coffee, I said I wanted to sit down.  The lady standing next to me invited me to come and sit in her beauty salon.  She has a waterfall, comfy couch etc.  I agreed and got my coffee.  I had a half hour to spend.  We chatted about beauty on the inside and feeling good on the outside.  She does massage and body work.  I pondered on people not feeling that good, so coming to feel better about themselves.   We had a nice chat then I headed off.  I laughed when I got to the play centre as I left my bag with her.  I went back and got it. 

I got myself dressed as a clown and launched myself into the room.  Parents were coming in with children.  The children were really babies to 5 years old, so quite young.  You clown in different ways with young children.  I have to go a little slower and not come up to them quickly.   I use squeaky toys and bubbles which they love.  I found the kids at first a bit shy then after a while there was a group of kids who were fascinated with me.  It is so interesting to see them warm up.  One child I played a game with and he said he was scared of clowns, nowadays I say ‘no your not, you are scared of your thought about clowns’, jokingly I went you are not scared, he’d go yes I am, no you are not, yes I am, I might say I am scared of kids, they then say no you are not and on it goes.  So you can play in that way.  Another child I juggled for and pulled faces.  I find connection happens more through that.  I pulled out my colourful bird and flew around landing on kids.    It squarks so I squarked around the place.   I feather dusted children and parents, cleaned seats and carried on.  I pulled out my vibrating  massager and massaged parents, they love that.  I feel they are so tired.  My massager vibrates and I use it like a space ship and make out it is coming in for a landing.  I massaged kids heads, backs and arms.  I saw a wonderful little baby and I experimented with her feet.  She twiddled them, then I tried her leg, no crying yet, so all is good, so I went to her tummy and gave it a massage.  There was a smile.  I am noticing which kids are brave and which get scared of difference, it is really interesting.  I turned on my laughing dragon and jumped over it as it rolled around on the floor.  The kids loved it.  I had a singing flower which the kids turned on and off to make me go and stop.  I pretended I was a statue when it turned off, they loved the power of making me move.  I twirled my ribbon around and let’s some kids have a go.  I also used the orgasmatron on a few parents.  I brought out my juggling balls and juggled for kids at tables and played with the playdough with them.  I did some chasey’s around tables with kids and pretended to run from them.  I pulled out my clubs and did some juggling and then the rings.   I taught a father to juggle and he felt he will get juggling balls, I really encouraged him. I crawled into the jumping castle and some kids joined me in there as I jumped up and down and then fell down.  A few kids piled onto me.  It was really nice connecting in this way.   I just lay there and let them have fun rumbling. I am not seen as a adult, I am seen as a clown. They feel free with me.

I had a lovely morning playing, it is tiring but satisfying.  When I finished I realized I couldn’t go and change, this affects the image of the clown.  So I rang a friend and dropped in on her on the way home (to my temporary home).  Anyway, she kindly made me lunch and we chatted away.  She told me more of her extraordinary life and talents.  She invited me to come to a dance at night.  It is a free dance, where they play lots of variety of music and everyone just dances, doesn’t matter if you have a partner or not.  So I agreed.  In the meantime had a shower took off the makeup and then decided to go to Fremantle.

I was told to park at the prison.  I ended up going in.  I had a bad feeling about this jail as I drove past it before.  It turns out when I checked it out more it was a jail for convicts in the beginning and they hung people there.  I don’t like jails and don’t agree with punishing people as a model of reform.  I believe you have to model and create an environment conducive to respect and learning.  Of course there are some that are not reformable but they are the minority.    As I walked in the guide asked me if I wanted to go in, the price was a bit high and I was planning to get going into Fremantle.  She engaged me in conversation asking if I was with a partner.  I said no.  She said it is better to not have one you can go where you like.  I agreed.   Told her about my travels.  She then told me she couldn’t get away from her mother, and she was around my age.  She said all her life her mother had controlled her.  Now she was 91 and could get sick, she felt she couldn’t leave her.  I said you have to leave home mate.  I told her about Byron Katie’s work and the importance of questioning negative thoughts.  I said you could go away and then come back and she could fall sick.  You can’t just wait worrying about it.  Apparently she was in therapy to try and somehow break this attachment of guilt around leaving mum.  I pointed to the prison cell and told her ‘that is where you are’.  You have to free yourself.  She liked what I was saying.  I said to her the fact you are telling me means you want to free yourself, that is a good sign, it means you will.  Her mum is pretty old so one way or another she will find her freedom.  It was interesting to think that a mother had so much control over her child.  How can that be love, to not free your child.  Anyway, we really clicked and she encouraged me to go and check out the art by the prisoners.  

So I mozied into the introductory part of the museum first.  There were leg irons and whips.  Made me think of Cambodia (Tuol Sleng Prison).  Although Cambodia was much worse as was Insein prison in Burma.  I don’t like cruelty or any form of violence.  How can you reform people through aggression.  How do they learn peace when you teach through violence. The theory is make them hate jail so much they don’t return, what about looking into why they were violent, why they broke the rules, what went wrong and reform that mistaken belief.  I’ve had some conversations recently about that and the fact we don’t punish the families that abuse children or pattern violent behaviour.  Nor as a society do we stop violence on t.v. or violent games.  I believe we can draw out the good in people with the right modelling, as people are naturally good. The Seville Statement asserts violence is learned it is not natural.  Most men don’t have good role models anyway, so how are they supposed to develop respectful behaviour and citizenship?  Anyway, I looked at the jail and it was depressing to see the little cells.  You can imagine the misery in this place.  Anyway, I went into the gallery and the paintings were incredible.  Much better than what you would find in a gallery.  Some of the pictures were landscapes, you could imagine how they missed the outdoors.  Others were of sexy women, not many but a few.  There were a few paintings of pits or wells, dark places they were falling into.  There were some excellent aboriginal pieces, you can imagine them going into their dream time to escape the horror, loneliness of prison separated from their people.  I felt for the inmates and thought I don’t know that much about the deeper aspects of men.  I feel interested to know men better. For some the isolation would be transformative, for others a nightmare with deep resentment.  Apparently the older prisoners found life on the outside very difficult and didn’t know how to adapt, so many came back to jail.  Apparently in the earlier periods they were breaking rocks.

After a while I went down to Fremantle to the markets.  I found some clown props.  I love the eggs you can throw on the ground and they spread out then regather themselves.  I got a pink pig, smiley face, egg and tomato, so will have fun with those.    I ended up sitting at a table.  I noticed this guy on the other table notice me.  I had fresh strawberries in front of me on the table.  The guy came over after 5 minutes and took a strawberry acknowledging me.  I said they are not mine go for it.  Then he came over and started to talk to me.  We talked about life and society.  He had concerns where it was going.  He was from Yugoslavia and talked to me about communism.  He spoke of Tito’s regime.  He said as young people they got playboy and looked at the ads, they thought capitalism was great.   However, when he finally came to Australia it was not what he had thought it would be.  He was an interesting guy.  I told him I thought it will collapse.  Looking around the market, so many things to keep us distracted.  We talked about the importance of family, of education and critical thinking.  He was intellectual and engaging and I was open to different viewpoints.  He was there waiting for his wife, so he wasn’t trying to pick me up, which was good.  I liked the fact he had the courage to sit with me.  I didn’t mind at all, I am open to people.

After a time, stalls were closing up, so it was time to go.  I shook his hand and thanked him.  His name was Peter, I told him mine.    We will never see each other again, but shared some time to discuss society.  I love exchanges like that.

I went back to my friends place, her friends turned up and then we went dancing.  We went to a place called Zorbas.  It was free dance.  You just get up and dance.  I am a good dancer and just danced like no-body was watching.  Being a clown is great, you feel confident to shine.  So I just shine, I don’t care if anyone watches or not.  The beauty of free dance is that people do their own thing and smile at each other.  I love the energy of that, it is the new energy I sense manifesting here and now.  People went outside to look at the moon, apparently it was a full lunar eclipse.  I thought it was partial and found out only later it was full, the date was the 10th of December.  This is also the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  It was also the anniversary of my return to Australia from my world trip.  A year has passed.  Wow.   I loved nature and felt privilege for seeing even a partial eclipse.  I was told later it went red. 

So after dancing myself to the point of real tiredness, I felt great but ready for home.  My couch surfing place is home.  Headed back with great joy in my heart.  I love my life.

Mohandas Gandhi

“My life is my message.”