Sunday, November 7, 2010
Life Is A Circus
For some odd reason I have been reflecting back on a movie I haven't seen in, oh, at least thirty years, but which left a strong impression on me. I speak of a movie which came out in my childhood (but my religious family never went to see movies in theaters because they were thought of as "worldly" establishments), although I never saw it until I was a teen and caught it on the late movie. The movie is 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, starring the versatile Tony Randall in the lead role.
In our very high tech age old movies have lost their appeal to many folks, computerized special effects having raised the bar so high that the older stuff is thought not to measure up. This is totally wrong, I believe, if you have retained the ability to use your mind to fill in gaps and to look beyond mere forests to search for the trees. If you have never seen this movie, I urge you watch it the first chance you get.
There is a quote in the movie, spoken by Randall as Dr. Lao, that always stayed with me and has a deep, abiding specialness to me. Whenever I hear someone speaking about life in general or some aspect of life as a circus (which is quite often, actually), I think of this:
The whole world is a circus if you know how to look at it. The way the sun goes down when you're tired, comes up when you want to be on the move. That's real magic. The way a leaf grows. The song of the birds. The way the desert looks at night, with the moon embracing it. Oh, my boy, that's… that's circus enough for anyone. Every time you watch a rainbow and feel wonder in your heart. Every time you pick up a handful of dust, and see not the dust, but a mystery, a marvel, there in your hand. Every time you stop and think, "I'm alive, and being alive is fantastic!" Every time such a thing happens, you're part of the Circus of Dr. Lao.
And I suppose I have become more inclined to find meaning in the life I live instead of spending my time searching for "the meaning of life." Life is a circus, and more often than not I find myself in total awe of it.