From my Art & Spirituality journal.

I am fascinated by spiral objects. Seashells, snails, fingerprints, the arrangements of flower petals, smoke traces in still air, labyrinths and any number of things which start at the center and twirl out into infinity.

Symbols.com lists various associations of spirals as representing water, movement, and power. Spirals have represented the sun and eclipses, stars and planets, tribe migrations and rainy seasons, leavetaking and homecoming (depending on the direction of the spiral), and randomly enough, spin drying on clothes labels and horse dung in alchemy.

One of the compositional tactics I often use I learned in Drawing for Sequential class, and it employs the Golden Section by way of a spiral. Diving the picture into spiraling sections leads one to the focus of the drawing in a journey of narrative discovery on the way. In any given drawing, a tied-back curtain may point down to a hand, which points sideways at a rug, which leads to a wall corner which leads up to a windowsill (on which sits a knife) which leads to the face of the corpse, whose open eyes point subtly to a shadow which leads to a silhouette of the killer in a mirror held by the hand of the murder victim. (The professor introduced this concept during the horror assignment.)

Paradoxically, spirals can lead one inward or pull one outward, depending on whether one is inclined to go one way or the other already. I tend to search for the infinitely vanishing center out of an introverted tendency which always leads me to look inward and deep. Someone else may follow the motion of the ray out to infinity in the other direction. Whichever direction one goes in, one is led to the conclusion that a spiral essentially has no beginning and no ending, but only places where one decides to start and end.

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thus saith Liadan at 3:38 AM


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