Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Spirals and Gravel

I am a fan of sacred places and spaces.  Sometimes they are fueled by movement of the body in some kind of ritual.

Here, I explored making a spiral in a bed of gravel at a friends home. While it wasn't an exactly religious experience per se. starting out at the center and walking in a tightly spiraling path outward was both meditative and rhythmic.  Not to mention a little dizzying.

While temporary, the completed spiraling form had a beauty and appeal about it.  A few days later, it dissolved in the storm runoff from our recent heavy rainstorms.  Largely a figment of my body memory, I do pleasantly I remember the flowing feel of walking in the heavy gravel, the stones giving way beneath my feet making crunchy noises as I made my spiral shape.  What was really neat was how the low afternoon sun grazed the ridge and gullies, amplifying shape and form.  The photo captures the essence of the light and is a reminder of how fleeting such experiences truly are.

The act of turning in circles like this has a name, circumambulation.  Whether its a pilgrimage around a holy mountain, a religious monument or a May pole, the act of circling around is a primordial aspect of our lives.  The experience of being in the gravel reinforced this greater message in an aspiritual way.

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