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The Pendulum Circus

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 February 2019, 5.12pm

In the famous Pendulum Circus, things certainly go with a swing, from one mad certainty to another.

‘Nothing too extreme!’ declare the bill boards but with the ringmaster absent, a conflict occurs.

The Dark Clowns – old Trumpet, Boriss and Farago – joke, leer and smear. They know all about performance and the power of mesmerising illusion.

‘Step this way, ladeez and gennelmen – where your darkest and most splendid of dreams come true!’

Cajoling the crowd, they call forth the victim’s rage; they grin, threaten and lie, riding the wild tide of feeling, so long repressed – but now allowed, glorious and unleashed.

But not everyone in the circus likes these showmen. Some actually hate them (no, really) and their cheer leaders boo and hiss when the dark clowns appear; while sharp shooters on the high wire take aim and fire. 

They aim critique and facts at the clowns, indignation and ridicule, and how the crowd cheers!... but the bullets bounce off; they do no damage at all.

As someone wryly observes, ‘You can’t kill an illusion that suits or a rage unresolved.’

So inside the Pendulum Circus tent, as you can see, things certainly go with a swing, from one mad certainty to another, all bombast and bullets; noise and moral fury.

While outside the tent, in cleaner air and away from the hollering mobs, is an opening…one only few find, though why this is so, is not known.

But there it is, a fissure in Soul Rock, easily missed - an opening into dark, un-created space.

It rests between seeing and feeling, between intellect and sense, this is how you arrive, I’m told; a place of deeper knowing, better knowing, slowly accessed.

‘Leave your slogans at the door,’ says an old sign by the entrance in the rock.

‘Good luck with that,’ writes a chuckling passer-by. And the Pendulum Circus publicity agrees.

‘Look at our crowds, listen to the uproar! We’re the truth! We’re what’s real! The Opening is a myth, fake news! Come and join in the fun! ’

Though some do stoop to enter…and in sudden silence, inhabit the unformed air. They sit with its discomfort, gloom and grandeur, bereft of slogans which have no traction here.

And there is sound, unheard at first. But if you listen, echoes of a long-ago dream, bestowing a lightness of spirit, a sense beyond both hope and rage, a different knowing.

‘Goodness, truth and beauty are your dream-makers now,’ says the doorkeeper, who you hadn’t noticed. ‘Powerful dream-makers those three!’

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