the night circus soul keepers

Dark Theatre: The Art of Unsettling

Every night as the circus opens, we recommend admitting a lie or a deception, sotto voce, a rogue’s prayer to the soul. Trust us, your secrets differentiate you from no one, but the soul awakens a little when she hears them. We have her interests at heart.

Try to practice unsettling what remains settled in you—those ideas, for example, inherited and those stories, unedited. And if only you could raise your hypocrisy to the level of art, like forgery, there might be real hope for you.

Some people expect to be rewarded for stumbling and rising from the floor but we give no credit for living. We favor vitality over goodness, even over effort; a great belly full of dreams that laughs uproariously at the endless repetitions and inferiorities.

In your case we do not worry there may not be enough quarrel in you, enough perversity or enough courage to acknowledge your worst inclinations. We know you know that the soul converts them into tenderness. Nothing pleases her more.

So why not admit the theatre of dark and hidden life has always made you dream. The more you expose yourself the more you become unrecognizable. The more you rupture, the more you rapture. Remember, we are listening. What you decide to keep from the world, tell us. We understand everything. We pass it on and the world is able to breathe because you dare.

original text and adaptation by sb: from a poem by stephen dunn