immobile cyclone

“About one mile north of the oil seeps I selected my site. Irregular beds of limestone dip gently eastward, massive deposits of black basalt are broken over the peninsula, giving the region a shattered appearance. It is one of the few places on the lake where the water comes right up to the mainland. Under the shallow pinkish water is a network of mud cracks supporting the jig-saw puzzle that composes the salt flats. As I looked at the site, it reverberated out to the horizons only to suggest an immobile cyclone while flickering light made the entire landscape appear to quake. A dormant earthquake spread into the fluttering stillness, into a spinning sensation without movement. This site was a rotary that enclosed itself in an immense roundness. From that gyrating space emerged the possibility of the Spiral Jetty. No ideas, no concepts, no systems, no structures, no abstractions could hold themselves together in the actuality of that evidence. My dialectics of site and nonsite whirled into an indeterminate state, where solid and liquid lost themselves in each other. It was as if the mainland oscillated with waves and pulsations, and the lake remained rock still. The shore of the lake became the edge of the sun, a boiling curve, an explosion rising into a fiery prominence. Matter collapsing into the lake mirrored in the shape of a spiral. No sense wondering about classifications and categories, there were none.”

– Excerpt taken from “The Spiral Jetty (1972)” by Robert Smithson; Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, edited by Jack Flam

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symbol of all time

“The Oglala believe the circle to be sacred because the Great Spirit caused everything in nature to be round except stone. Stone is the implement of destruction. The sun and the sky, the earth and the moon are round like a shield, though the sky is deep like a bowl. Everything that breathes is round like the body of a man. Everything that grows from the ground is round like the stem of a tree. Since the Great Spirit has caused everything to be round mankind should look upon the circle as sacred for it is the symbol of all things in nature except stone. It is also the symbol of the circle that marks the edge of the world and therefore of the four winds that travel there. Consequently, it is also the symbol of a year. The day, the night, and the moon go in a circle above the sky. Therefore the circle is a symbol of these divisions of time and hence the symbol of all time.

For these reasons the Oglala make their tipis circular, their camp circle circular, and sit in a circle in all ceremonies. The circle is also the symbol of the tipi and of shelter. If one makes a circle for an ornament and it is not divided in any way, it should be understood as the symbol of the world and of time. If, however, the circle be filled with red, it is the symbol of the sun; if filled with blue, it is the symbol of the sky. If the circle is divided into four parts, it is the symbol of the four winds; if it is divided into more than four parts, it is the symbol of a vision of some kind. If a half circle is filled with red it represents a day; filled with black, the night; filled with yellow, a moon or month. On the other hand, if a half circle is filled with many colors, it symbolizes a rainbow.

One may paint or otherwise represent a circle on his tipi or his shield or his robe The mouth of a pipe should always be moved about in a circle before the pipe is formally smoked.”

The Sun Dance and Other Ceremonies of the Oglala Division of the Teton Dakota by James R. Walker

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Go round

“It’s natural to go to round objects.” – artist friend

I started thinking about the size of circles the other day and realized we use them to define even the smallest things. For example:

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Wait! They really are round!

 

“A circle is the only geometric shape defined by its centre. No chicken and egg about it, the centre came first, the circumference follows. The earth, by definition, has a centre. And only the fool that knows it can go wherever he pleases, knowing the centre will hold him down, stop him flying out of orbit. But when your sense of centre shifts, comes whizzing to the surface, the balance has gone…” ― Sarah Kane

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Then there’s the sun:

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Beyond that, we’re all rotating. See?

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They say the entire universe is expanding at the same rate. I pictured lungs inhaling.

“…the Power of the World always works in circles…” Black Elk, “Black Elk Speaks” by John G. Neihardt

It’s natural to go round.

By the way, all the pictures are linked back to their original sites. Please check them out! They’re all super neat!

Circles

Circles are simple shapes of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane which are equidistant from a given point, the centre. They can be described as closed curves which divide the plane into two regions: an interior and an exterior. In everyday use, the term “circle” may be used interchangeably to refer to either the boundary of the figure, or to the whole figure including its interior; in strict technical usage, the circle is the former and the latter is called a disk.” – Wikiquote

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“circles of discovery & healing”, 11/11, Katerina Marks

May the Force be with you 

  
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?
And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”

– Yoda says to Luke in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  
“You have to find something that you love enough to jump
over hurdles and break through the brick walls.”
– George Lucas
  
“A lot of people like to do certain things, but they’re not that good at it. Keep going through the things that you like to do until you find something that you actually seem to be extremely good at. It can be anything.”
– George Lucas