After a few days with old friends, and then a few days on my own in the mountains, I am back in Barcelona to visit Pallapupas, for the Grand Finale of my trip!
It was great to have a few days on my own to reflect a little on what I have seen. And to be honest, I didn't think very much at all. I just walked. And walked. And walked. And then I cried.
Ooft. Looking at the valley in front of me, the brutality and beauty of it all washed over me like a wave. I cried big fat hot tears.
I am sharing this because when I tell people what I do for a living, one of the first responses is something like, 'oh wow, it must be hard seeing all those sick children? I could never do that!' And it kind of irritates me. It implies that, in some way my need to be a good person somehow outstrips my need for artistic satisfaction. But I don't do this work to polish my halo, or to be a 'good person'. What we do as hospital clowns is an exchange. It benefits me as a human being and a performer enormously. It gives me energy and a sense of purpose, and and escape from my Ego as an Artist (which is sweet relief, let me tell you). It is creatively challenging and interesting and surprising. There is no better job in the world for me, as far as I am concerned. From the very start of my journey as a Clown, working in Hospitals has always made perfect sense.
But! So much life and death and laughter and pain – so much beauty and brutality? Well. Sometimes it is true. You just have to let yourself cry.
And today...watching Pallapupas in action...I cried tears of laughter. Nearly all morning. No exaggeration. These guys are wonderful. More tomorrow!
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and reflection on clowning as an (therapeutic) art form.