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An eminently Omphalos-like title for a post.

Carnival, the sometimes riotous  pre-Lenten celebrations in The Roman Catholic world, culminating in Mardi-Gras. Picture processions and masquerades, harlequins dancing to festive music until the early hours of the morning, Roman candles spraying blazing diamonds of fire, a bacchanalian orgy involving an entire community, the promise of love around every shadowy corner, behind every mask. A release from the restraining mores, a delirious drunken suspension of custom. A freeing of the psyche from the bounding and restricting habits of convention.

A Carnival Dream is a double ditching of all that makes us who we are, providing security in identity, defining our role in society. As such, it can be wholeheartedly embraced, perhaps as catalyst for an expansion of our being, a transcending of ourselves, a simultaneous heightening and deepening of our every faculty. It can be a fecundating liberation from the prison of the self, that which we’ve constructed around us through education, through career, through every interaction and encounter since early childhood. A lowering of our defenses, a casting aside of insecurities. It can be a portal to a new and broader, fuller and richer experience of Life and Love.

Unless, of course, it isn’t. Which, sadly, is probably the case in this instance.

The Carnival Dream? Merely a boat. A cruise ship. Massive. 130,000 tons, 260,000,000 pounds! A small town, population 5000. 3600 passengers. 1300 crew members. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, spas and fitness centers and you name it.

Seven nights in the western Caribbean. Four ports of call. A floating Shangri-La plying paradisiacal waters.

A few more days to pack. A couple shirts, pairs of short pants, sandals. A couple movies on the iPad: Huxley On Huxley and a documentary on Charles Bukowski. A couple of hardcover books: David Attenborough’s Life On Earth and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces; an iPad ebook: The Autobiography Of Goethe.

Everything I need to tackle the Carnival Dream. Won’t be an Omphalos Cafe to retreat to, but we have a balcony overlooking the ocean which will do.

One more thing I’d like to find. Another movie. Not Titanic. It’s an old classic from the late forties or fifties. Saw it on the shelf of Casablanca Video, which specializes in hard-to-find films.

Ship Of Fools.