It is time for the clown.
I want to share my knowledge about a figure in our society that is often overlooked. It’s most precious function is to live and move around with pleasure, to inspire, to transform and create balance using sometimes humor, sometimes not, and sometimes with a grain of critique. The figure I want to describe is the celebrated clown.
Now, there are several types of clowns, and this clown I am thinking of is less known, than what most people think of. Maybe you have seen a clown perform in a traditional circus, or the Harlekin figure in Tivoli, Copenhagen. Maybe you are also acquainted with the medical clown. And then there are all the other clowns that have been demonized and embodied in psychological horror movies. I am also the first to admit that I share the instinctive fear of the Clown that constantly smile with a big painted red mouth and dead eyes. And I am also scared by the McDonalds clown.
The clown I am about to describe is in many ways equal to the human being. It does not necessarily have a painted face, big shoes or dressed up. But it is just as spectacular and genius.
The clown lives. He or she creates things spontaneously, without preparation, or makes something from whatever is available. He breaks down rules to make other rules. And then he breaks his own rules. And makes new rules. She is in a constant change.The clown is transparent. The clown responds to situations showing his or her emotion, because he does not know how to hide it. Somehow the clown connects with people, while showing his or her innermost fragile parts of being a human being.
The clown is recognized by his red nose. Its a mask that the clown uses to be free to do what he or she wants. In a way the clown illuminates the taboos and the structures that are no longer functioning and therefore important to break out of. Structures that can be creating chaos, depression and stress in todays society, just to mention a few examples. With the mask the clown can set him or herself free and protect the person behind, even though this type of clown that I am describing uses his or her own personality, vulnerability, and emotions to create universal material.
This clown is on a “mission” to create personal contact, and the point of this clown is to show what drives the human being. It is love, spontaneity, impulse, the laughter, emotions, and the humor and turning things upside down that creates the new.
The thread throughout this blog, (to become a book), is to use the energy of the clown to open up more senses that may be hibernating or need a kick to help us or inspire us to other ways of doing things. And a not less important reminder to get in contact with our own impulse of what we are driven by. If you – a teacher, leader or other person guiding others – can stay present using your own impulse, you have an important way to be in greater contact with other people.
My maestra Christina Marti described what a clown is with this text below.
The clown follows his or her impulse.
To follow your impulse, means to be more spontaneous
To be more spontaneous means to be more honest
To be more honest is to be closer to “the truth”.
To get closer to “the truth” means to allow yourself to be surprised by the actions that appear
in front of you that has nothing to do with the established social norms.
This does not mean that we do not act from the social masks that society has given us, but that we act from our other great mask, which is our personality. This is the first big step. And if we can get this far, then our actions will stem from a place of innocence.
The authentic clown comes from this place.
Innocence lives in the space where we allow ourselves. Where critique, judgement, norms and interpretations cannot write their dissertations.
The clown allows us to see and experiment, as if it was the first time. We are present, living and curious.
Innocence is a part of our essence.
The essence reveals our most pure form. It shows ourselves to us, and makes us transparent and vulnerable. If we allow ourselves us all of this the clown shows itself. This is what the clown is made of.
(Buenos Aires, 2006)
I am to become a clown sociologist. What exactly defines a clown sociologist I am still about to define. What I do know is that I want the spirit of the clown to have more space in our society. I wish to see more people in contact with one another and less disintegration.