A few weeks ago I wrote about my home looking like Terry Gilliam’s wardrobe department as Duncan and I race to finish our costumes for our trip to Venice for Carnival. Today it looks more like a battlefield after a wizard’s duel. This is not necessarily a bad thing!
Do you remember Merlin and Madam Mim’s duel in The Sword in the Stone, each of them transforming into one animal after the next in an attempt to outwit the other? I almost feel as though my imagination is Merlin, and that my costumes are another wily wizard, and that the two of us keep changing shape! And of course, as in their duel, time is of the essence.
Which is why at this late hour, I choose to see only the positives in each of my costume pieces. Antelope headdress comes together much the way I envisioned it? Great. The fact that it’s now fuchsia? Awesome. The idea for the secret video camera concealed in one of the horns didn’t really pan out? So be it! I appreciate what it has become and move on to the next piece.
My goal in costuming myself for Carnival has been to transform my look completely. Doing so has been a series of feats from the magical school of the illusionist. I don’t have the resources to get everything perfectly right, and so I forgive myself if something turns out a little different than expected. Great magic—as with great art—starts with convincing ourselves that it worked, our idea came to fruition. And magic and art really flourish when we take them out into the world and spark other people’s imaginations, too.