Laura Alary

Laura Alary

Writing stories that make us bigger on the inside

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Spirals

December 31, 2020

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for spirals. Spheres and circles too, but spirals in particular. They figure in a lot of my jewelry and doodling. One of my earliest school memories is being reprimanded by a teacher for decorating all my S’s with spirals to make them pretty for Christmas. She made me erase them all. I am sure the shades of generations of Celtic illuminators wept with me.

Part of what attracts me to spirals is their beauty. The elegance of the nautilus, the magnificence of whirling galaxies, and the mathematical precision of the arrangement of sunflower seeds all satisfy my spirit. But there is more. I love the movement of the spiral—the inward journey, resting at the centre, and the outward return. Like labyrinths, they condense a lengthy pilgrimage into a small space and help us remember that we need all three parts.

Add another dimension and the spiral does not simply lead inward and outward. It descends, burrowing deeper and deeper into ideas and stories and experiences we thought we knew. Some people are drawn to the adventure of the open road—the highway stretching away toward the horizon. But on this day when we get ready to begin another circuit around the sun, give me the spiral with its ever-deepening path, and its promise that even when we need to stay in one place, there is always the possibility of more.

Happy New Year to you all.

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