Monday, July 25, 2005

A Ride on the Carousel

On my first visit to Duwamish, I spent most of my time at the bookshop and the curio shop. I am an inveterate fossicker and collector, and the curio shop was fascinating. I saw things there I could not identify and had never seen in my life. But I had vowed to travel light, so I sternly limited myself to one purchase in each shop. At the bookshop, the choice was really hard, as it seemed every book I had ever wanted was there – in the end, I settled for a beautiful old illuminated retelling of the legend of Dierdre andNaoise, and at the curio shop I bought a small handcarved box. I had found some lovely shells and pieces of seaworn glass on the shore, so I stowed them in the box. I love places like this, with the seaat the door. The coast reminded me of Scotland, where I spent some of my happiest years.

After the banquet, on my return, I heard a calliope echoing down the Marina, and resolved to find the source. I followed it to the Arima's Amusement Park. Inside it was just like all the sideshow midways I have ever known, but somehow even more colourful and enticing. For me, it was like coming home. I was born into the travelling life, my parents were performers, and so this place drew me like a magnet. As I wandered past the sideshows and knock'em joints, I found the source of the calliope – a magnificent carousel with gilded hand carved creatures.

The carousel stopped as I approached, and stepped up on the platform. In front of me was a magnificent shimmering jade green seahorse, fitted with a golden bridle and saddle. I climbed onto its back and the carousel started up again. I hung on to the pole that twisted in my hands like a stick of golden barley sugar, rising and falling with the music as the carousel turned.

It was a strange, dreamlike ride – the lights around the carousel blurred, and my sea horse seemed to sway on the pole – I felt the air ripple past me in soft, caressing waves, and tasted the tang of the ocean on my lips.Then the carousel slowed and everything came back into focus – the other riders on their fantastic steeds, the arch of the Big Wheel over sideshow alley, the blaring noise of the carnival barkers and the sweet smell of spun sugar.

One of the carnival roustabouts laughed at me as I climbed down from the ride, still slightly dazed and disoriented.

You're lucky it isn't Halloween," he said.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Gail Kavanagh said...

Thank ypou so much for inviting me here! Now I can explore everything - if I have the courage!

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Anita Marie Moscoso said...

Hi Gail,

Thanks so much for sharing this and I look forward to seeing more of your the way, love the picture!

Anita Marie


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