When I was a kid in the 1970’s my parents brought me to Washington Square park in Manhattan. There were people playing music, juggling, walking on tightropes, playing chess, riding unicycles, and just hanging out.
It made a big impression on me. Adults were doing fun things, not just kids stuff though, they were doing activities that took great skill. After I grew up and went back to New York in the 1990’s, I discovered that scene was replaced with guys with coiffed hair and tailored suits. Where were the beatnik banjo players, where were the Frisbee players, where was the magic?
The big cities are always magical places, the land where large urban populations grow is blessed with advantages such as protected harbors and connected trade routes. These areas soon give rise to winding market places and cobbled plazas where interesting things from around the world mingle with the thoughts of a well traveled citizenry. Like plants and animals, magic comes and goes based on the health of the environment. Once the environment that shaped an organism disappears that creature goes with it. I’m afraid magic has become scared and is hiding from us, nervous of the hum of industry and distracted by the glimmer of technology.
Because of this, certain people and animals have felt the urge to journey back to retrieve the magic we have lost along the way. You might be one who has felt the call. Often the first sign is that a beautiful thing has entered your life and captivated you. If it’s an old violin that your great grandmother once played then there are places to learn what that fiddle has to teach you, but if it is a dog that has captivated your heart then Canine Circus School is here to guide you.
Canine Circus School is located just seven miles from San Francisco in the East Bay. Like many of the best secrets we are hidden in plain sight. Once you enter our gates you will find a place that evokes a feeling of possibility, a place that suspends time just long enough to catch a glimpse of another reality. We built our school with the thought that the environment affects the learning process. Joseph Campbell’s, A Hero’s Journey is one of the inspirations for our landscape design. Campbell tells of the secret framework behind all great stories: first we feel a call to adventure, then we experience a refusal to follow that call, but our second thoughts fade away and we proceed with the adventure. Along the journey we pass guardians, meet teachers, confront our shadow self and finally return to the normal world with a new sense of power and knowledge. We have tried to manifest this sequence into our landscape design that leads to the ring.
Don’t worry we don’t discuss airy fairy stuff with you, the inspiration of the Hero’s Journey will reveal itself to those interested. The interpretation is up to you to indulge in or not, but one thing is for sure this postage stamp of land is built on truly magical soil nestled between the beautiful cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. An adventure awaits you behind our gates that will bring you closer to another species. Along the journey we will train you to amaze your friends and neighbors. By doing this you will help to repopulate the world with magic and make your dog smarter, healthier, and better adapted to the urban environment.
We hope you can join us. Here’s our current class schedule.