Circles can be great. Within Religion’s the circle represents the idea of God having no beginning or end; the sign of something being everlasting. Wedding rings are round for the same reason, to represent and unending love. Circles also represent movement… after all… pretty much all modes of transport require wheels, which happen to be round! Maybe not the pogo stick but from my experience that isn’t the greatest mode of transport available. Sitting in circles shows a sense of equality and no one necessarily being in charge, and a circle is a good shape to sit in for pass the parcel! We are taught in the Lion King that the circle of life is a good thing… I dare you not to sing it! So circles are good… or are they?
Again within religion… a circle isn’t necessarily a good thing. Within Hinduism there is the concept of reincarnation and I am often asked by pupils what they need to do in order to come back as a certain animal – yet they are missing the point. The point is to escape the circle of life, the circle of reincarnation and to be at one.
We often say that we are caught up in vicious circles, bad habits, addictions, relationships. My mind keeps turning to the 80s sitcom of ever decreasing circles, which is not the jolliest of sitcoms and I think the circles refer to the not particular happy marriage at the centre. The circular habit of their life… doing the same things over and over and over again.
This time last week I was recovering from a 25km walk. You would think, walking along a coastline would be quite straight forward, but apparently not. As you can see here
We were doing really well, then suddenly we got to a section of a couple of paths with scattered red signs saying
“DO NOT ENTER. PRIVATE LAND. THIS IS NOT A PUBLIC FOOTPATH”
We couldn’t work out what to do… on the map it suggested we should be going straight on but the notices would suggest otherwise. As you can see we tried a few different paths, some which were clearly in the wrong direction, but turned round and ended up back in the same place. Some of the routes we tried a couple of times… but we ended up in the same place. We knew where we needed to go but the signs suggested otherwise. In the end we referred to Google Satellite (not even google maps – as we didn’t trust it). On the satellite we could see the path, but in real life it wasn’t overgrown. So… after much discussion… persuading each other that we had to go this way as the actual path was overgrown (and that’s the story we were sticking to)… we approached the signs.
It turned out that we didn’t actually have to go on to the private land at all… we just walked incredibly close to it and walked past a lot of the signs… and then we were back on track. It was where we felt we needed to go in the first place but the signs were enough to put us off. Google Satellite and being with another person gave us enough confidence to take that path.
How many times do we know what we need to do… but there is something that is enough to persuade us to go round in circles avoiding it.
How much time do we waste putting off the inevitable? I know I am an expert at writing lists… supposedly to help me to know what I’ve got to do but it also helps to put off doing the actual work.
I had brunch and lovely long chat with E this morning, which was lovely but I have to admit she made me cry! She asked me a question about something that I am dealing with at the moment. It’s a question I need to answer… and I know I need to answer… but I have been walking in the most eccentric circles just to avoid it because the DANGER signposts attached to the question. E acted as my google satellite, giving me the necessary KICK UP THE BACKSIDE but also the confidence to take the path even if it isn’t necessarily going to be easy.
Last Saturday we walked 25km, we could have walked 23km if we had taken that step that we knew was right… with confidence at the beginning… rather than being put off by the POSSIBLE danger.
Circles keep us moving… are we moving forward or we in an endless cycle of spinning on the spot needing the confidence to let go.
I know what I need to do.