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Clowning and vulnerability

Two months!

I've lived here for two months which is wild and scary.


Wait. Side bar. I've just become aware of how I use the word wild in casual conversations when I'm not describing things that are actually wild which is interesting because I've been studying wildness a lot in this past month. That was just a little note to self to interrogate that but anyway!


Yes! Two months! This month has been a lot of study and thinking. I'm not going to say too much here because I have a video instead.


My Facebook notifications showed me this as a memory yesterday.


I was planning on going for a walk this morning to a bush area just to get some quiet and be with the trees because I was feeling kind of low energy, but I decided that maybe that was just me indulging in my Autumnal melancholy. So instead I brought the clown walk back into the world with my new clown, Brie (Straw, Brie).


It was a VERY interesting walk and I think it is better to describe orally, so here is my reflection with a dodgy automated transcript below.



CLOWN:

Hello, I just went on a very interesting walk and wanted to reflect on it to you.


*sigh* [whispered] breathe


So I went on a walk in my lovely outfit, or my nice pink skirt. And I was walking around the lake and waving at people and people were saying like, Oh, hello, how's your day going and stuff. And at one point, I was walking along, and this man said, Oh, I like your dress. And I was like, Oh, thank you. I like your blue t shirt. It looks like the sky. And he said, And I like your red nose, and I said what red nose.


And then he said, What are you? What do you do with your life? And I said, Well, right now I'm going for a walk. But sometimes I'm doing a PhD because I thought that was a funny way to say it. And he said, Oh, really? Um, would you would you mind if I walked with you for a couple minutes? And I was like, Yeah, sure. Why not? it’s a big open park with lots of people.


PARIS:

So I was walking along, with this random dude, I just met. And he's like, oh, what's your accent from? It was like, oh, a bit of everywhere because my accent is a bit bonkers in clown.


And I was like like, umm, what about you? And he said, Oh from Nepal, I was like oh I know someone from Nepal sort of a weird thing to say but I said it


And then we were walking. And he was like, so what's your PhD in and it was like all like theater and using it as a way to empower teenagers and hopefully do some fun things and make people happy and make the world seem less big and scary. And he's gonna make people happy, interesting. That's a good thing. to want to make people happy. You make people smile, things like that. And then we had, we walked around for almost an hour doing just laps at this park.


And he's talking about how he used to say that he wanted to be happy. And when it's like, oh, yeah, yes, I'm I agree that I would like to be happy. And he says, that, be happy implies not happy now. And it's a comparison to your past and your future and your present. And to be is something that is in the future. And because the future can never come and arrive, you will never be happy if you say that you want to be happy one day,


which was an interesting take. And I talked a little bit about queer future, except i think i censored myself and didn't use the word queer, but was talking about how a lot of my research is in the idea that the present isn't good enough. And we need to make it better for the future. And part of that is, like acting the future you want to be in right now. Rather than, say, one day, the future will be good. Question mark.


And who's like, Oh, yeah, interesting idea. interesting idea. And we got into this idea of, like, doing happy and do slash am happy as the thing that we're saying a lot. is like, I don't have wings, so I can't be happy with something just kept saying, and every time we laughed, I'm like, oh, like that. Um, but yeah, we're talking about like, happiness, and how happiness isn't a thing. So finding happiness, a weird thing to say as well, because you can't like, Oh, where is it? Here it is found it. And we're saying that, like, you can't make other people happy. But you can create happiness for yourself kind of, but he was also like, it's a feeling and it's a state. So it's not something that you can hold.


And so yeah, we're talking about how the language around happiness is weird. And the whole time I'm like, redner, is trying to maintain clown state, but also Paris academic brain coming through, which, like, I'm very much Baby Plan, and don't know what I'm doing. But trying to balance those two. mentalities was an interesting challenge that I set myself.


And then he was like, why is the world big and scary? Why can't everyone be happy? And I was like, a climate change was probably, and you're like, yes, the top 1% on everything, and they don't do anything about it. Um, and he was saying that we need to,


I can't remember how we got onto this bit, but he agreed, and he was like, we're trained to be greedy, because my mom taught me to bought six apples instead of the two that I need for today and tomorrow. But then if everyone buys the six apples, and I'll be enough for everyone to get six apples,


and how we've been trained, like rats in the science lab to do the things that we've been taught, we need to do to survive. And then we're talking about how like, how do we tell the rats that well being in the experiment in the science lab, you press the button, you get a piece of cheese is like not all there is if people are happy


With the little one bit of cheese yet, when it's like, you could go and invent your own cheese, or you could go and forage for berries and share those berries differenze. And then over on gets berries.


And yet, we didn't like content and conclusions, surprisingly, and break the mold, which was interesting.


And I think it's, I yeah, I'm very much baby clown. This is a new clown persona that I hadn't tried in public before. Which is hard, because I haven't had any, like other performance to test it with. But I was like, Oh, you know what, I was gonna go for a walk just in the bush today. But then was like, I think I made some connection. And like, last year, I was doing a few of these Klan walks before, the masks were brought in, in the first lockdown. And I would walk along. And it's really interesting the way that people react and,


like, communicate with clowns in public. And it's either avoid eye contact at all posts, or it's like little kids just like staring confused, or people like smile and laugh. But then I had a few times last year where I'd get usually older women coming in thanking me, which felt weird, because I, I don't know, I was just, like, I know, I was doing something, but it felt like weird, thank me for just being nice. Like the, the bar is low.


Which is sad. But it was nice to feel like I was making people's days better. But then my friend today was saying can't make people happy. And you can't tell someone to be happy. And making people happy is a like meaningless goal to try and make people happy.


But I think trying to create moments with the potential for joy is maybe something that I'm thinking about now. And consciously doing.


Happy, I don't know, I still feel weird about that phrase. Because he was like, we should all be happy all the time. And I was like, I feel like if we were all happy all the time, we wouldn't notice it. But maybe that's not true. And we would.But I yeah.


No one would come up and have a 45 minute conversation with me about happiness, and

greed and capitalism and things. If I was dressed even like this, like, even like this, no one's going to come and talk to me. But the moment that I put on this tiny little red mask the world sees me differently, which like, that is the point of it. It is a mask, and it is a theatrical device. But yeah, this guy within like a minute of talking to me was like, I'm not happy. And I was like, wow, that vulnerability and willingness to share something with a complete stranger is not something that people do to me often. Like I I don't think I am many people's first point of contact if they have, like a thing that they need to share with someone. And so for this man I'd never met, to open up to me and have this really long conversation with something yet special and not something I'm familiar with. And it's I've been thinking a lot about emotional intelligence recently, which I don't love and think it's like ablest and anti neurodiverse.


But I have been thinking about empathy, because I think I am very empathetic, but my empathy comes out in weird ways. Like, I'm the first person to notice if someone is upset, but then I'm like, I have this information. I know this person's upset. I know why this person is upset, but I don't know how to deal with that. And the mask as a tool that helps me deal with emotional situations is something interesting as well. Um, yeah.


I will be surprised if anyone has watched me rambling for this long, but if you did,


let me know your thoughts. Let me know we think um, yeah, I'm gonna try and do happy more em. Be more Hmm, maybe I'll just put the clown nose on more often.


hope everyone's having a nice day and


hope there are things that make you smile




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