There are no carnivals in Maslow's pyramid.
When I was young I loved the carnival; flattened cats and big stuffed dogs, food on a stick, in a cone or bag, and rides dangerously unsafe, mirrors screaming horrific what you might become, or hinting maybe what you felt you were. Carnie folk smelling of the sum of your fears realized and no.
I once glanced love at a carnival. A boy who had been indifferent was suddenly not when in full view of the options in front of me. My game has always been shit or get off the pot. Generally speaking it is always shit in the end. I have my own games and rides, played in order to feel in or out of control, depending on the mood. And my young mood was always unpredictable. The ride fun, dizzy and sick.
The more time I accumulate under my belt, the less room in my waistline for carnival sideshows and rides. I save. My strength because I know it is not a game. My heart because it has been trampled, and confuses itself with the corn dog wrappers and spilled sticky liquid ice cream on the hot asphalt, I can accept less, but need more.
The carnival is now the work. Focus requiring a steady diet of abstinence, I keep a close eye on my ruminations so that they don't lead me back to the games I have always played, the ways I have always bet, the sustenance I have consumed that never could sustain.
Joni Mitchell told me over and over and over again, you will never know it, no matter how you look at it, but I have come to see that these are the words of a woman in love with an idea to the point of illusion, and she said as much.
And there is no time left for illusion. Time has run out on fantasy, on the man behind the curtain pulling the levers in order to scare you away from your dreams and desires. It is time for focus and effort, even though time has less meaning the more it goes on.
The challenge is to find fear, unearth terrify, and move my heart in. Poor confused heart, sticky with accident and carelessness but hoping for better and believing in more. Fluff has lost its place to sustenance and the endurance required is not trainable. The years I spent on my ass watching other people, other stories, other dreams unfold and just as quickly fold in on themselves are wasted time never coming back to me.
My story is not out of a playbook, and while I once believed this tale would require armour before the end, I am coming to see that this is also part of the illusion and that armour will only keep me from victory.
This shit requires the kind of courage they would never teach you because it is too dangerous. It is the courage of the self-possessed, the confident, the knowing. This is the destruction of the carnival as we know it, and that is why there is so much against it. Too many people love the carnival because for all its dangers, it is seen as safety. For all its hollowness, it is seen as filling.
I am awake to the danger of sleep, aware of the trap of distraction, and the only thing I can do is combat it with presence and a love that is not a game or a trick.
My love will never again be a manipulation.
It will always be a way through the fear and a hope in the dark. If you find yourself there, please do look me up.