Saturday, January 21, 2017

The circle game


What is the source of the mysterious power of this image? Ginger is on a pouffe from Morocco decorated with a pattern typical of Islamic art. Cats are cherished by Muslims; so does the circular symmetry suggest the whirling of the Mevlâna Sufis - the mystics of Islam? Or maybe the image reflects the circular symbolism of the Christian Canterbury Cross or the circinate variants of the Tree of Life found in the Kabbalah? (The Kabbalah is in Abraham ibn Musa's reading a Jewish parallel to Sufism.) Or perchance the powerful visual energy come from further afield - from the Far East and the circular mandalas of Hinduism and Buddhism. Perhaps all these traditions combine in this syncretic orb? On the other hand it may be an uncomfortable reminder of the skeptical Krishnamurti's observation that "We are afraid to leave our own little circle and discover the circle, the barrier, around another". Or was my camera simply in the right place at the right time? Does any of this matter? Because as Joni Mitchell explains:
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
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