Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rediscovering what the world looks like through child-like eyes

About eight or nine months ago, my sis, brother-in-law, and I took their daughter, who was just about one at the time, for a walk in the woods. At some stage, my niece got set down on this uneven, dirt ground for what must have been just about the first time in her whole life that she'd ever tried to walk other than on the flat, even floor of a house. And she was just totally fascinated and amazed by the small pebbles and the burnt red autumn leaves, and her wonderment made me see those rocks and leaves through a child's eyes. And they were fascinating and amazing to me again for the first time in a while.

This was the experience that first leapt into my mind after this afternoon's performance of Aurelia's Oratorio. It was a kind of mishmash of theater and circus, a surrealistic circus/theater of the absurd with puppets and acrobatics and magic all coming together breathlessly. It was magic. Whatever anyone says, it was magic that Aurelia Thierree and Victoria Thierree Chaplin (yes, that Chaplin [his daughter and granddaughter]) and Jaime Martinez have created.

The performance unfolded in a cascading series of luminously ludicrous vignettes, which pile on top of each other and topple over each other as some kind of racing over-exited child with Aurelia appearing now in a chest of drawers then disappearing into the red plush curtains only to reappear hanging on a drape of curtain hanging from the ceiling. At one point, the curtains themselves were playing footsy with each other and then storming and collapsing, sending Aurelia gliding down her thin piece of curtain back smoothly to the ground of the stage.

And the effect builds slowly as you smile and clap lightly and laugh, and suddenly magic exists again in the world, and you believe as you haven't since you were just a small child that magic is real and exists and is wonderful and alive and here, now. The innocence of childhood comes rushing back into yr bloodstream. I felt like a kid again.

And I could forget for just a quick moment that a garbage truck smacked my car and took off without so much as leaving a note, and the bumper of my car is hanging diagonally attached only on the one side. I'm staring at the grill right now sitting on the floor of the living room, and the truth is I should be pissed. I should be royally pissed and stressed about what a hassle it's gonna be to get Boston Public Works to pay to fix my car, but I'm not. I'm smiling like the cheshire cat at this rediscovery of magic in the world. Tomorrow, there's time to be pissed and stressed and hassle about cars, contact lenses, and groceries, but tonight, right now, I'm going to walk along the edge of the ocean and try to see that great body of water with the eyes of a child. I think I just might be able.

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