The very best books for me contain hope, and magic, and romance – a sense of the world that lies hidden just sideways to the world in which we live. Books of the possible, that create magical, wonderful worlds that spark our imagination. One such book is “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. In some ways, I wish someone would create the circus that she has – and in other ways I fear it would never match up to the imagination in her book.
Among a host of wonderfully imagined characters is an ordinary boy, Bailey, whose encounter with the circus and with the flame haired twins Widge and Poppet leave him irrevocably changed, forever transformed by the magical and mysterious Circus.
One evening, Bailey creeps into the Circus, where he explores the tents with the twins. As dawn breaks, he finds himself returning to the farm that he hates, unsure of who he is any more – his encounter with the magical world of the Circus leaves him slightly bewildered and unsure whether the boy he is now bears any relation to the one that entered the Circus a few short hours before.
But by the time he reaches home, he is “sure that the Bailey that he is now, is closer to the Bailey he is meant to be than the Bailey he had been the day before”.
Somehow, that seems to sum up the journey through life – to seek to be closer to the truth of Who I Am than I was a day earlier – to find ways of letting go of the things that do not serve me, the things that weigh me down, the things that do not seem to come from Love. and to take hold of things that build me up, that come from a place of Love, the things that feel good, and right.
The Japanese have a principle that threads through their manufacturing industry of kaizen: the art of making continual, simple small improvements. not big breakthroughs (although those come) but simple, easy to do changes to the process that create something better.
It takes the pressure off when I know I don’t have to change overnight. I simply have to resolve to become closer to the man I am meant to be than the man I was the day before. And that feels.. enough.