Sacred Clowns

In my younger years, I did not fully appreciate the play in sacred clowns; perhaps I had seen too many unhealthy ones covering up their pain with absurdities. Later, I became I friendlier with them. Joining in the frolicking dance that slowly unraveled my tightly clad sureties, I had to ask, am I one of them?

I have always valued authenticity. As a child, and before clowns were an actual danger, I was terrified of them. What possessed people to hide behind frighteningly big smiles? 

As the years progressed, clowns came to me in different forms. Jester visited me through detrimental and enlightened others. Just how fully could I engage, while distinguishing gift from clever deceit?

Good and bad were clearly intertwined as I noticed even the most adverse experiences, later turning in my favor. As joy and pain fused, I became intrigued with finding treasure in unlikely others.

Because I occasionally invited the less generous trickster in, I invited additional hurt, as well. Balancing trust in Brooding Spirit with personal soul care was key to my endurance.

St. John of the Cross wrote about his God inflicted wounds. Yes, Sacred Clowns appear in many forms, challenging our natural preferences. Enlightened ones come questioning the current state of affairs, inviting us to live bravely beyond. Consider Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Buddha, Jesus, or anyone who has lived on this earth, confronting the stuck-ness of things.

Being true to Self, also, threatens status quo and challenges people, leaving their long-held paradigms undone. If we are authentic, no matter how pure our intentions, we can expect to spark jealousy, fear and anger in others.

We ought not be surprised at the response of onlookers, either. In fact, we can anticipate suddenly finding ourselves outsiders or scapegoats for their causes. Still, the Holy is working all things for our good.

The discerning process of our interaction with others is comparable to Grouse’s dance. Ah, the sacred, spiraling dance that pulls us in, renews us, and then sends us back out into the world, this time to move more effectively.

In accepting ourselves as challenging, thought-provoking, sacred clowns, it is wise to remember that authenticity is a choice and comes at a price. With each new encounter we might ask, how much I am willing, or able, to pay?

Sacred Ruminations*