Thoughts on circles, inspired in the moment I realized I was standing in the same place my mother had, some 50 years ago, taking a photo of the same building.
That she had been there, too, struck me as both strange and beautiful, since none of it had been planned. The moment simply arrived, then fleeted away, leaving me with a deep impression of having travelled around a circle.
Since that moment, I have been reflecting on circles, in a neurotic, obsessive kind of manner. I’ve been writing about them and have started painting circles and swirls on very large canvases in my studio – sometimes in the middle of the night.
The circle has become my muse. No doubt about that.
I had been traveling around a circle, and only now saw it for the first time. Or had the circle had come to meet me, spinning and swirling, revealing all of my life, what had transpired, so far.
Now that it’s so clear, the circle, I mean, I see it everywhere – in the seasons as they spin round from year to year, faithfully returning. I see the circle in the way the earth moves around the sun, bringing a new sunrise and sunset with each cycle. The moon, hiding and revealing, always circling.
Rainbows are circles, I saw one over a waterfall where the hoop of a rainbow came to meet me at my feet. Where did it begin and where did it end?
I thought of the garden, when a seed goes into the ground to die and becomes a new creation. Each ending is a new beginning. This is the circle of life.
I notice tracks all over these tangled, overlapping circles. I’m aware that I’ve become a part of another’s journey, not just my own. These familiar footprints are my mother’s, I’m sure of it. I see their shape revealed in the dirt, the sand and snow, in the garden, pressed into the green grass. In this way, we share the journey. I follow, amused and curious to pick up the crumbs and clues she left along the way. But, she’s always one too many steps ahead. I fear I will never catch up.
I now look for her in these circles and wonder what is to be learned? I feel my heart expanding as the universe does. Molecules moving outward, getting ever more spacious. I am struck with the notion of forgiveness in the stories I encounter along the way.
Circling, spinning, swirling … this is the motion of a circle. Going back, I move forward. Healing, always healing.
These old stories, dusty relics from the past, they offer an invitation.
And, so I open my ears and my heart.
I revisit. I redo. I renew.