carnival of sorts

Photo Aug 23, 8 27 48 PM

I was going to do a long post ruminating on failure, and how it feels to stand up in front of a group of people you like and respect and be too nervous to speak properly, and forget what you were going to say, and basically look like a stammering sweating idiot…but you know, I’ve relived it so many times in my head that I’m just totally over it. It happened. I fucked up a good opportunity and feel embarrassed about it, but there’s just nothing I can do except move on and stop cringing every time I think about it.

I love this quote from a new blog that I’ve been reading:

“We’re often scared to fail because of what people will think. Lovely people don’t care if we fail. And as for everyone else, stuff them. Have a go anyway. Fail gloriously and then go to the pub, happy that you at least gave it a shot.” – Lazy Girl Running

Or, as Miss L said, “Not everyone can be good at everything, Mommy.”

So yeah, it’s been a week. It’s been one of those weeks where the bad things that have been ripening start dropping off their trees in big swollen clusters of three, and burst their pestilence. I’ve dreamt of owls and 610 and bathtubs and snowstorms, and it’s been a week of death in the family, back thrown out, power failures, missed deadlines, misunderstandings, and poor nutrition. It started with the terrible hour in the boardroom on Monday and ended with poor Sarge digesting half of a knitting project and being horribly ill on green alpaca wool. (He’s feeling better now, I think, and back to chewing fur off toy mousies.  He will never learn.)

I’m a little superstitious and assign strange portent to unusual things. We spent last weekend with my brother and sister-in-law and nephew, and, besides hosting a beautiful party for Miss L’s birthday, they took us to a local fair. It has been twenty years at least since I was at a fair, and we had a riot. I know I will remember it for a long time. You know the kind, the traveling caravans who set up their midways in a parking lot or a field somewhere. The transformation always strikes me, the complexity of lights and colors and sounds that they can create, the maze of booths and rides, the total sensory immersion. It’s a kind of magic, a strange box that opens up and turns into something much bigger and more complex, creepy and beautiful and revolting. Everyone becomes a caricature of themselves and the midway is haunted with spirits of people who don’t exist anywhere else; they drift out of the boxes of staring stuffed animals and dyed goldfish and take twisted shape, gain their flesh for as long as the Ferris Wheel turns. Then when the lights are snuffed out, and carne vale, farewell to their flesh, and, weeping, insubstantial, they are packed back up into their boxes, into their caravan, and they leave behind only a scarred and trash-strewn circle of dead grass and scarred pavement to show they were ever there.

Photo Aug 23, 8 44 39 PM

I think when you buy a ticket, you maybe lose a bit of yourself in that strange carnival for a little while, and that magic has clung to me this week, turning my days into a funhouse mirror, dissipating slowly.

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