I am drawn to the spiral shape, using it in my collage work, and noticing it in jewelry, in architecture, and in nature. The spiral symbolizes transformation through growth and change. I have always embraced change, and find that I flourish when I accept the flow of change in my life and open myself to a variety of new thoughts and ideas. Author Angeles Arrien studied the origins of symbols in different societies, and discovered there are five basic shapes that appear in the art of all cultures: the circle, the square, the triangle, the cross, and the spiral. (Signs of Life, 1992).
A spiral is any plane curve that winds around a point in successive convolutions, the curve receding more and more from the point that is called the center. Our fingerprints are a spiral. Labyrinths are spirals, taking us from the outside to the inside, and back out again on a walk that facilitates the transformation of the human spirit. This is what the symbol means for me: the universe is in constant motion and change is a grand part of growth.
In the past, I kept the stories of my growth private, not wanting to show my vulnerability to the world. Did I think that I would fall apart or unwind if I exposed my true life? Publishing Space Between the Stars, my private became public, and it was thrilling not to hide anymore. Telling my story made me whole. There is such freedom in speaking what is true, and in others listening.
As I write my second memoir, the spiral symbol reminds me to honor the energy of change that has occured in my life, and celebrate every experience as powerful. I feel as though I am walking from the inside of my spiral to the outside, which is union with healing and truth. It is a fist-pumping triumph, and I hear cheering as I write.