Sunday October 22nd 2017



Luna Park

Preface: Religions in the universe.

Hebraism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Catholicism meet together in a Luna Park. The essence of each religion is always the same: to raise man toward the Grace of God. Little Thomas will learn from a Ferris wheel the Lord is the Sun that enlightens man’s faith.

A short story : Luna Park

When I was a child, I had a true passion for Luna Parks. At my times merry-go-rounds and circus were the only small amusements for a few. Stable Luna Parks were hard to find, especially since coming to town only once a year, during the summer, in July. The children were usually accompanied by their parents, because every respectable family did not trust vendors and acrobats, who were Rom for the most part. You would never know that some children were abducted.

But I was such a strong and stubborn. Although I perceived the distrust of my parents and the point of growing intolerance whenever those big Luna-Park trucks came to town, like clockwork, I plucked up courage and I went alone, without saying a word to mom and dad.

The first time when I was about to enter, all alone in that big park lit up with lights and colours everywhere, I felt worried and excited at the same time. And if I really risked being kidnapped? What would have happened? Who were these acrobats then my father so despised? No repent, stubborn as I was, I walked by the great central door, all coloured lights, which said just “L-u-n-a-P-a-r-k”.

As I entered, I met a very tall man, bushy beard, wearing a green coat. He was holding a shield on one side, and a large knotted stick part. He immediately told me not to worry, seeing me a bit lost through all the crowds who walked here and there to make the tickets. Then he said:

“My name is Moses. I ran away many years ago from the town where I lived. My job was really boring and my boss was so bad that one day I drove. And here I am; now I’m the keeper of this park. And you?”

I nod, thinking that at least this explained his long beard. “My name is Thomas, can I enter the park?”

“Sure – replied Moses – kids your age don’t pay the ticket”.

I started running behind him, thinking that he would take me to one of those colourful attractions which made enchanting the whole playground. As we walked through the main path, I noticed that he conspicuously clutched on his staff. He had left his heavy shield at the entrance. Maybe it was a bit too old for the job, I thought.

Moses kept talking, describing with minuteness of detail all the rules of the park, the opening and closing hours of the attractions and the names of many other things right now I can not recall. What I remember is that after a very long time we were back to the front door. Everybody was coming out and I had not seen anything yet.

“You promised you’d brought me to see the park” I said to Moses, with a little of regret, serious now and tired.

“I promised you I would, of course, but since you are still too young to go on rides you will need to return at least accompanied by mom or dad”.

That night I went home dejected and a little angry for not having even tried. In silence, without making too much noise, I slipped from the back of my house because my parents did not know I left.

Stubborn as I was, the next day I returned to the park, trying to hide under a nice red hat I loved to take with me in moments of solitude.

Moses immediately recognized me. He was also quite fast, since he wasn’t in his thirties anymore and we met only once. “Didn’t I tell you should have been together with your parents?” He said his voice thick. “Yeah, but I thought ….” “Okay, I understand – he said – I understand, follow me, I want to show you something. I will try to satisfy your desire”. And we walked to a big shiny red house, covered with mirrors on the front. Once inside, all around there were mirrors of various shapes and colours. These special types of mirrors did not reflect the same Thomas I was used to see through any mirror of my home.

“What sort of mirrors are those?” I said as I looked at myself a bit thin, a bit fat or a bit two-faced head, through those mirrors, as I walked. “It’s the game of distorting mirrors – said Moses – Although usually the mirror reflects whoever is in front of them, you will not be able to recognize yourself because you’re watching only your appearance, not your essence. In short, the mirror makes you see what you want to see and tries to make you understanding who you really are”.

After this cryptic explanation, I was shocked and I wondered if that in those mirrors that changed shape every time, was really me.

“And what if there was somebody else in the mirror? And what if…” Moses laughed. “You were not ready for the Luna Park, I told you so.”

The day after I returned again and Moses welcomed me with open arms.

“Follow me – he said – we’ll have some fun. Let’s see if you’ve got a nerve as you say… the hedges that you see before you are the entrance to a maze. A labyrinth is a path rather large, so as to that it is difficult for those who enter to find the way out. But I know you’re smart and brave. For this reasons I wish that you tried to find a way out alone. I will try to guide you by my voice, from the exit side of it”.

It was difficult and suddenly I was afraid of not being able to get out from that maze anymore. Eventually I reached Moses across the other side and I felt like I woke up, as rested for a moment. We sat on the wet steps of a large fountain, just out of this labyrinth. All dancing water fountains were at the centre of it and coloured reflections of lights all around.

“Now you understand that life is hard sometimes, like traversing a maze. Reaching the end of it is something long and tiring. Just as you were getting a sense of relief when you came out of the other side, so is life at the end of each major difficulty: there is always someone who loves you and urged you to follow the right path, not just the easiest one”.

Then we sat down together to eat cotton candy. I felt really happy. I founded in Moses my new best friend and I thought he was teaching me so many beautiful things.

The following day, it was a Sunday, mom and dad finally took me to the Luna Park. I wanted to introduce my new friend Moses to them, but I decided not to. They might have discovered that I had been in that park before. As we entered, Moses winked at me, and he said: “Admission is free for your kid and for today’s parents as well! Welcome to the Luna Park” without another word that might arouse any suspicion. I climbed on a carousel-kick, with mom’s permission. I was so excited. The prize to be won if somebody had pushed me up enough was only a caramelized apple. “What sort of prize was that anyway?” I wondered to myself.

I managed to catch the apple just to show myself out with my mother. Although I was glad I got it my father told me not to eat otherwise I would have had probably bad stomach.

Why should I feel bad for a caramelized apple I worked out so badly to grab? – I thought without the courage to talk back to him. My mother instead, said: “sometimes the rewards we gain are not real prizes. Be careful what you aimed at”. I was confused, and really I did not understand. Then my father said with his own words: “If they put a goat hanging from the ride you’d take that as well? And would you would eaten?” I laughed.

A great speaker read the same chant from a distance, inviting people to climb on the big wheel. “Whoever loses this round – it said – can no longer climb to the top, this is the last lap…” We hurried to the long queue of people, close to the wheel. I looked up and saw that those lights were reflected on the metal, like the rays of sunshine. Before long the queue was over and we managed to climb. Another round, all the more so as I almost couldn’t breath, high above. However, the more we climbed, the more I felt relieved.

Since then, I decided that I would always visit the Luna Park, each year to come.

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