The Wheel

“What goes up, must come down. Spinning wheel, got to go round.”

Spheres, discs, circles, wheels. One of the greatest inventions of humankind, the wheel; allowing us first better and easier transport of persons and things, and then leading to scores of inventions that are invaluable in our daily life for thousands of years. Sundials, gears, chariots, spinning wheels. Our sun and all the planets are spheres, thanks to gravity, and they move in (generally) circular orbits around a flat disc in space. We see circles and cycles in our daily lives, from dawn to dawn, birth to rebirth, to the ever-spinning wheel of the year.

Technically, there is no “up” or “down” on a wheel; each point is equal to any other point on the circumference by definition. Wheels only achieve arbitrary spatial designations through their relational interactions with other objects or beings. So, we say the “bottom” of the hour, but given that any individual¬†minute simultaneously occupies a different sequential spot in 60 different overlapping hours, designating one of them the “bottom” is only meaningful to someone counting a specific one of those existing hours. Likewise, though the wheel of fortune spins with the winds of chance, our “good” fortune may equal someone else’s “bad” fortune in one simultaneous event. Or not; we may simply be having our turn at the “top” of the felicitous Ferris Wheel, or at the “bottom”, depending on where in space you are viewing from. Or perhaps the Fates are nearing the end of your cycle on their wheel, and are readying their scissors to snip your thread; that doesn’t mean that the wheel ceases to turn, merely that your ride on it has changed nature.

What cycles are you in? Where is the wheel of fortune spinning you? Can you look out from where you are and see the vast expanses spreading out before you? Or has the wheel picked up speed as it swings through the nadir of its orbit and is heading up?