Tears of a Clown

June 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

As kids or as parents, at one time or another, we’ve all been to the circus.   Who can forget the daring lion (or similar “wild cat”) tamer … the family of elephants joined by a snout-to-tail line formation … the car that provides transportation for seemingly a busload of riders … the trapeze artists that make you second guess Superman’s ability to really fly … the jugglers that appear to have more hands than a pick pocket at New York’s Port Authority building?  Like they were all in your life as recently as yesterday?

Oh, did I mention the clown?  He is probably the biggest enigma of the entire three rings?  Remember how he would attempt to sweep the spotlight into a dust pan?  That antic and so many more made us all laugh to varying degrees.   For we could always count on a grin from the guy with the big round, red nose, the bowler hat and accentuated flat feet.  With all the laughs he gave us, did you ever stop to ask yourself, “Why does he look so sad, although he’s making us so happy?”

He, in so many ways, depicts what “love” for many of us really is.  In many ways, love is about give and take.   Many times during a relationship, we have to find a way to make our partner smile while we’re wearing one — upside down.  The laughter that we sometimes seek for ourselves has to be postponed and offered to another.  This manifests itself in a variety of ways.  Perhaps you volunteer to watch the kids during an evening that usually is not your night to do so, but the wife has to prepare for a major meeting the next morning or your girlfriend’s apartment was just burglarized and it’s up to you to explain how fortunate she is because so much worse could have taken place.

With music forever on my mind, allow me to, once again, borrow from the brilliance of one of my favorite pop songwriters and former business colleague, William “Smokey” Robinson.  I’ll recount only part of one of his many hits, while anticipating your appreciation of the “Tears Of A Clown”:

Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around, oh yeah, baby baby
Now if there’s a smile on my face
Don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Don’t let this smile I wear
Make you think that I don’t care

When really I’m sad…I’m hurting so bad…… 

Just like Pagliacci and Smokey, often times we have to wear a different face than what we feel to spare the ones we truly love.

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