by Billy Collins (from the Art of Drowning 1995)
I pour a coating of salt on the table
and make a circle in it with my finger.
This is the cycle of life
I say to no one.
This is the wheel of fortune,
the Arctic Circle.
This is the ring of Kerry
and the white rose of Tralee
I say to the ghosts of the family,
the dead fathers,
the aunt who drowned,
my unborn brothers and sisters,
my unborn children.
This is the sun with its glittering spokes
and the bitter moon.
This is the absolute circle of geometry
I say to the crack in the wall,
to the birds who cross the window.
This is the wheel I just invented
to roll through the rest of my life
touching my finger to my tongue.
(above photographed by M laying on the living room floor at night)
I used every favorite doily pattern as well as snowflake patterns I had in my library. Size 10 white crochet cotton with a size 6 steel crochet hook. Size 14 crochet hook for the seed beads. Stainless steel rings from 19" down to 1".
Concept conceived in August - hot dry August - thinking of snowflakes floating in the air while working on the top half in September and early October. In the cold of late October and most of November I thought of bubbles floating up from the bottom half to join the ones in the top half. The last 10 days or so I mostly thought of just getting the damn thing finished before December rolled around.
The play of gravity and movement and light and foggy sun shining through the rings – made the long process worth the effort. Today. When it's finished.
Thank you Cyndy for seeing the dream.
Thank you Mary for coming up with the name. Though as she pointed out my crawling around the workroom floor wiring rings together probably wasn't the idea behind Wagner's Ring Cycle.
Thank you M for making the copper frames for me, putting up with my snarling thru the wasp sting healing and for carting out the many rings I kept going back to buy. And for standing over the frames watching and offering advice on how to place the doily rings. And advising me that I don't need to put in all those 1" filler rings. And mostly, for getting the bottom ring into the window since it's bigger than the top ring. Not to mention the many other "ands".
Below photographed by M standing up outside during the day. (Thanks to all the neighbors who gawked and later today me how much they like this)