There are two likely reasons you’ve discovered this “hidden” page, curiosity or cleverness. Both are excellent qualities:
There is also the additional possibility of serendipity, which should not be immediately discounted. One should never underestimate the value of favor finding you amusing, because being the mascot of chance has its perks.
Whatever might have led you here, welcome!
Your sense of wonder, love of play or bit of dumb luck has allowed you to slip a toe or two begind the magic curtain of what we do. As a reward, you’re about to learn a little bit of clown philosophy.
jan nasa pona
You’ve stumbled across the strange symbol that lives, amongst other places, at the bottom of our website. Maybe it looks vaguely familiar. Perhaps you’re beginning to wonder if that “clown stick figure” might have any deeper meaning.
Without that feeling of wonder, life can get boring. Everything that could be interesting becomes plain old ordinary stuff, and all the wondrously impossible things that make life amazing don’t get a chance to happen.
Just for fun, let’s take a moment to really look at that weird little doodle…
If you allow your mind the freedom to go a tiny bit towards the unlikely, you might discover that you’re now looking at a surprisingly sophisticated and genuinely peculiar bit of symbolic and linguistic communication.
Admittedly, we prepared this example for you to make a point. It’s not just a silly random sketch. In technical terms, what you’re looking at is an example of a compound phrase that has been rendered in a heiroglyphic writing system for a constructed language called toki pona.
Let’s see how that translates back to a more familiar tongue…
|toki pona word||English approximation|
|jan||human being, person, somebody|
|nasa||unusual, strange, weird, foolish, crazy, drunk|
|pona||good, positive, useful, friendly, peaceful, simple|
Roughly translated, jan nasa pona means “the good kind of crazy person” or “people that are the useful sort of strange.”
Or, philosophically speaking, Clown.
A couple of decades ago, a linguist in a far away country created a language based on the ideas of positivity and simplicity…to battle their own depression and sadness. In that language, the very name for the idea we call “clown” can be drawn to look like one.
On a surface level, it’s the sort of meaningless coincidence that people continually write off as dumb luck. We would too, but we made the same agreement to freely seek the unlikely that you did a moment ago.
Felix culpa, or feeling the magic. It’s entirely up to you.
sina lukin e lipu mi
As a newly-minted connoisseur of crypto-linguistics, it was incredibly clever of you to notice the “secret” message we crafted and hid on the back of our business cards:
wawa pi jan nasa pona li olin mute tawa ale
Translated from the original toki pona:
“The power of the clown is a lot of love towards everything.”
Love and respect. It’s that simple, and it’s magic.
Once you start to see the world through this lens, you’ll find that there are hidden messages all around you. Sometimes, magic is simply paying attention, finding the games the world offers you, and playing them well.
And most of all, being kind while you do.
kama sona e toki pona
Having about 120 words in its vocabulary, toki pona is the world’s simplest language. Created by linguist Sonja Lang as a philosophical experiment, it’s said that it can be mastered in around 30 hours of study.
The reason for an alternate language for clown is that we need something that is outside our thinking if we are going to allow thoughts from outside ourselves to happen.
We have to trick ourselves into believing in magic.
People are very rooted in their words. By unsettling that, we get to see the world differently…as a foreigner.
With toki pona there is also the value in intentional ambiguity. Much of comedy is built around misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
As is poetry.