March 19, 2005

Mum and Philly's Flying Circus

There is something to be said, my darling punkling, about the circus. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm going to have a good hard crack at it right now.

Courtesy of your lovely grammy, who was going to come with us, we were treated last night to a pretty spectacular show. Now circuses are one of the things that I can talk to you about that have changed over the course of my life. When I was a child, the circus held to a fairly stringent formula in order to keep people entertained. Certainly there are still these types of heavy-on-the-lions-and-tigers-light-on-the-artistic-expression types of spectaculars floating around, but Quidam, by Cirque de Soleil, is something very very different.

The concept for the organisation was dreamed up in Canada by a couple of street performers. Your dad has, in fact, spent some time in the city that they're from, and will take you there if you ask nicely enough. Having been to Quebec, I can safely say that I understand why these artists were anxious to do something that would make sure that they didn't have to spend another winter there.

The story of this particular show was beyond the capabilities of your dad's brain to comprehend, but pumpkin I must tell you that in terms of colour and movement it was an absolute winner.

Some of the feats that were being performed on that stage reminded me that I need to talk to you about something that's pretty important.

Kurt Vonnegut didn't say, in the famous speech that he didn't make, the following phrase:

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of
it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest
instrument you'll ever own.

I would be the first to tell you, punkling, that I agree wholeheartedly with everything that Mary Schmich is saying here. That your body, no matter in what peculiar shape it calls its own, is absolutely the greatest gift you are ever given, and that with it you can do astonishing things.

Now if someone wonderful were to, say, hand you the keys to a Ferrari, it goes without saying that you would probably try to take fairly good care of it, to make sure you put the right kind of petrol in it and to get it serviced at regular intervals.

People don't do that, pumpkin, with their bodies.

People (ok, me) mistreat them, they put all kinds of crap in them, they don't make sure that the oil's changed regularly and then they wonder why the gearbox blows out at 38. I have to tell you punkin, that 38 might seem pretty old to you and why would you care if your back hurts when you're 38, but that it seems pretty young to me.

So please, do me a favour.

Try to treat your body well. I'm aware that you will likely hear stories as you're growing up about the ways that your father behaved when he was young, and think he's a hypocrite for saying things like eat your vegetables and don't drink so much, but truly, you will regret it when you're old and boring.

Love you, even when you don't eat your broccoli.

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