The Windmills of Your Mind

Okay, that’s a song title. Dusty Springfield sang it first, in the original Thomas Crown Affair. The reason I like it (well, besides Dusty – she’s one of the all time greats) is the first couple of lines:

Like a circle in a spiral,
Like a wheel within a wheel

Circles and spirals. I find those very powerful motifs. So have eons of humans, if you look back at cave art, and labyrinths, and Celtic interlace, the Mayan calendar, and art nouveau and deco designs. It is probably the idea of a circle as a complete, enclosed entity. Definite boundaries – a circle of safety, a circle of friends, a circle of life.

And the spiral – it starts out as a circle, but then spins into the infinite, winding from the safe and known, out to who knows where. The realm of possibilities. The place of transition. Cusps. I like cusps. I like being on that threshold of safety and familiarity, but poised to go off on a new tangent. It seems like most of the important leaps in human history, human awareness, and human thought have taken place in these intermediate zones.

If I ever had to pick a religion, I would probably pick Wicca. Because they celebrate the Wheel of the Year. That’s one of those things I keep meaning to get around to researching. I am not sure how many Wiccans I would find in Utah. But then I read a book like “The Expected One” by Kathleen McGowan, about Mary Magdalene, and find out about the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, and walking it as a form of meditation. Which reminds me of the labyrinth at Knossos on Crete, which I have always wanted to see. Which reminds me of the Snake Goddess, and the Mother, and goddess worship on the isle of Malta, the Venus of the Willendorf, and I see that these same ideas have been around a REALLY long time.

Well, I knew that. Objectively. But feeling it subjectively is another thing. It gives you a shivery awareness that people hundreds and thousands of years before you, felt those same feelings, not knowing that you specifically would exist, but trusting that you too, would know Truth when you saw/felt/experienced it.

Symbols can be very powerful things. And we each find our own symbols as we spin off through our lives. Some of us are nesters and stay close to home and find the infinite in a grain of sand. Some of us venture out, and find that wherever we are, whatever we see, our fundamental truths seem to remain constant. People being people. Life being a journey.

I may not know the name or life history of some woman who lived centuries ago, but I bet that when I look at that great spiralled Milky Way in the night sky, I feel the same feelings she felt. For me, connections are critical. Connections to what was and what will be. So I know that farther down the line, a woman will hold a baby, love a man, think of a better way to do something, laugh at herself, or grieve for a loss, and she will in that moment, know exactly the way I have felt. I find that very, very comforting.


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