sunday thought: centrifugal forces

05/09/2010 § Leave a comment

A circle humbly shapes our lives and what a powerful form. It is ceaselessly in motion: spinning, revolving, spiraling, turning. It pulls your eye in but pushes you to look away. There is no direction in it, rather it creates one and rolls with it.

Sitting on my bed of circles, I am reminded of how many things in my life revolve around this particular pattern: A watch, a fan, a lens, apparently my bed spread, a custard tart, a bicycle wheel, just to name a few. The more I look at them, the more I am pulled back to my memories as a child and the centrifugal forces I grew up with.

As a kid, I remember loving the merry-go-round. I always chose to sit on the horse that bobbed up-and-down — the one on the outside closest to the world — or the fastest spinning tea-cup at some amusement park — twirling it as fast as it could go — or somersaulting down steep hills until my belly ached from my guts be pushed into knots. I remember the feeling of spinning with my arms out, the tingle of blood rushing to my fingertips. I would get dizzy if I didn’t focus on a far off object. When I stopped, I would sit and simmer in the feeling of self-induced nausea, wondering why I did something so uncomfortably unnatural. Once I reached some level of normal breathing, I would get up and spin again.

The other day, I rode my bicycle to pick up my last assignment from school. My legs were spinning out and my legs started to cramp inside. Walking into the 10-floor building, I asked the front desk man if he knew where people went to pick up marked papers. He didn’t know, he was the security guard. Right. Try the fourth floor, where my class was. Spinning around towards the elevators, I felt dizzy which I assumed was from my quick ride over.

Arriving on the fourth floor was just as unhelpful. Try the fifth floor, for student services. Up one. The lurch of the elevator coincided with that familiar dinging sound. It made my stomach leap a little. At student services, they were annoyingly unfriendly — the woman crudely recommending that I try the eighth floor. Turning around, I left the receptionist’s cold stare and made my way to the elevators. On the eighth floor they recommend that I try the 4th or 5th. Finding out that I had already done so, they attempted congeniality by pulling a trigger blindfolded. Ok, well try the third floor. This was not getting me anywhere, I thought, I am done. So, I turned around and left.

Walking out of the bureaucratic building — where so many people know so little of anything because there is too much for one building to know — I tried to catch my breath. Still, I had to cross Bloor Street, so I bounded between traffic and unlocked Blue Velvet. Spinning around, I threw my leg over the saddle and began to pedal. Suddenly sitting, I felt nauseous. I looked up and saw the clouds spiraling around my head, the towering buildings of downtown closing in on my face. The sun was out, but it went dark. For a moment.

For a moment I had no idea where I was. The city looked unfamiliar. The sky was a different hue and the sounds were not as I remembered. For a moment I was not here, but I was not frightened. Instead, it was simply different, like I had revolved full circle, back to a beginning of an end to a beginning, as though if you cut me in half, you could see a newly formed and smoothened rung of a tree that has grown.

Perhaps I have hardened bark on the surface, but my insides are soft circles of different moments. Ones that appear to repeat themselves but push me outwards while pulling me in.


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