Sunday, November 25, 2012

And then it was gone

After three months in Sydney, Cirque was leaving again.

I had been through this before, but this departure was very different to my past experiences.  I was happy and actually relieved that they were leaving.  This stint with Cirque had not been the joyous experience that I had been expecting when I signed on for another spin.

However, seeing the tents slowly going down still made me feel sad.  It wasn't the sadness that this particular show was leaving, but rather the sadness in knowing that this was Cirque itself that was leaving my life.  I would not be working for Cirque again, that much I knew.  From this point onward, I would only ever be one of the paying patrons.  I would not be one of the insiders, I wouldn't be able to see the workings of the shows with that deeper understanding that comes only from having seen the show and its preparation countless times.  Cirque had become intertwined with my young life, so in many ways this goodbye to Cirque was also a farewell to a part of myself.

The goodbye with Cirque isn't slow either.  From the outside, there is surprisingly little that changes up until the end of the last show.  As far as the paying customer is concerned, nothing is out of the ordinary and walking into the final show will appear little different to the first.  Small changes are occurring though and once the final patron is out the gates, a torrent of new workers suddenly appear to begin the task of deconstructing the entire site. Standing inside, you can literally feel the walls around you falling and the ground underneath your feet being removed.  Frames are dismantled and storage chests are filled.

When you are working for Cirque, there is a permanency about it. It is built to feel like it belongs to its location, to feel like it has always belonged to that location.  But it's a lie.  None of it was ever meant to remain.  Yet in many ways, it is merely a condensed version of what we face in everything we do.  Even the most permanent of relationships and enterprises that we may create, only last for the briefest periods of time.  A home will only last as long as it is filled with family.  A career will only last as long as you are there.  Friendships only last as long as you allow them to.

As I stood outside of the front gates, watching the construction workers swarming in to pull the tents apart, I already felt distant from it all.  The tents had already been emptied and most of the staff were gone.  All that was left was the shell.

No comments: