Saturday, March 18, 2006

Carnivals, Circuses, and Cartwheel Galaxies.

When I was little, I didn’t have much time for words. Information in the air was plentiful. Ideas and messages were always coming at me. I could judge the tenor of a personality by taking a reading of the atmosphere. So what did words have to do with me? Usually words ended up confusing me. At the very least they complicated things. I ignored them when I could.

That left me with brain glitches when it came to certain words. To this day I have these couples that to me are like Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman. I have to think about to keep them straight. Catalogue and calendar is one couple. I have to stop to remember. It’s the same with a pedestrian and a Presbyterian.

There was one set that it didn’t matter if I got them reversed, because in my dancing childhood mind they meant the same thing to me—carnival, circus, and cartwheel. I used to think the Ferris wheel at the carnival would have been better named the cartwheel anyway because it so looked like one. Maybe if Mr Ferris had named it so, it wouldn’t have scared me quite so much. I might have actually gotten on one more than once. Or maybe not. With an aggravating big brother out to make me squeal the outcome might have been the same.

When I did cartwheels in dance class, I felt like I was in the carnival and the circus. When I did them in the backyard, I felt like I was a Ferris wheel gone amok. So I could see all three words really as one. I mean I really could see them side-by-side in living color—colorful, round, and all lit up.

Tonight I read about the Cartwheel Galaxy and saw a photo of it taken by the Hubble telescope. I’d never heard of it before. Memories of playing carnival in my backyard filled up my mind. Or were we playing circus?—I used to get all three words mixed up.

Carnivals, Circuses, and Cartwheel Galaxies.

That makes for one really nice universe.

I bet that galaxie spins round and round, just like the Ferris wheel at the . . .

you know where I’m talking about.
—me strauss Letting me be

2 comments:

Roberta said...

Like the words you mentioned that seemed so much the same to you, I could never understand why, as a child, everyone corrected me with such impatience when I said 'armbow' instead of 'elbow'. It's not as if they didn't know what I meant and I still think either of these is as good as the other.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Roberta,
I think you must be a lot like me and my son, we both often made up words like that when we were children. they were all words that made more sense than the real once. Of course we had no need to color within the line either. :)
Liz