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Monday, August 28, 2006 


Watertown, NY. 80 miles. Grass. Perfect circus weather.

Two days of dreary weather in Rome gave way to perfect circus weather 80 miles to the north in Watertown. In late August already the leaves are changing here. We have now touched each of the Great Lakes, and here near the St Lawrence River we’re skirting Canada once again. After Potsdam tomorrow we will turn south for four weeks, then west toward Oklahoma.

In May in Arizona Valeria Albuquerque fell while climb to the high wire and fractured a small bone in her ankle. Surgery followed. The doctors felt that in three months Valeria would be ready to ready to the carpa (tent) and work in the pista (ring) again. Last Friday an x-ray revealed that Valeria’s ankle has not healed properly and she will need further surgeries and she may never work on the wire again. We are fragile. We tell the world that circus is wonders. We smile and do not tell the world that we break easily. Circus is a business of generations. Daughters and sons follow fathers and mothers into a career where the star in the center ring may be busted up and selling novelties after just a few seasons. But to leave the circus is to enter a world somehow more frightening where community is far less tolerant, or supportive, or international. The language of circus is not English, or Spanish, or even Italian, but rather the shared bonds of experience and triumph and heartache.