Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Circles*

*But Were Afraid to Ask.

buffalonickle-100I fell in love with circles at a young age, but it took me fifty years to realize it. When I was a kid I started collecting coins; Indian head pennies and buffalo nickels mostly. They were out-of-print with just enough in circulation that I would be thrilled with delight every time I found one. As I grew older my interest expanded to silver dollars and gold pieces, all of which I cherished.

In high school I loved studying solar systems, planets, and anything that followed an orbit. I frequented planitariums as often as I could. I owned more globes than baseball cards.

asu1-100I also had a passion for architecture. I loved Frank Lloyd Wright. I attended ASU which had two FLW buildings on campus. I loved his use of circles, arches and spirals. I traveled around America visiting Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, but I still never connected my enthusiasm for FLW with collecting coins.

Nor did I connect it with my passion for collecting antique signs like the round coke sign that I use as an avatar. Or the hundreds of other signs and logos that are predominately circular in design. Or the vintage bone china plate collection I had amassed.

zencircle1-100As a Zen student I spent countless hours with a calligraphy brush doing an exercise called "drawing the perfect circle." As a music lover I collected albums and was delighted when CDs were invented. As a traveler I collected coasters from every place I visited. As a poker player I collected playing chips as souvenirs of the money I lost. As a political junkie I collected pins of every candidate I supported and most of them that I didn't.

clock-wells1-100Still I never made the connection. It was just recently when my friend Bob and I were looking through boxes of old photos that I had taken over the course of many years. Bob asked if I had noticed that my pictures had a common thread? I didn't, but he did and he was quick to point it out. That was my eureka moment.

fwheel2-100With the exception of friends and family, the vast majority of my photos pertained to something related to the circle. Ancient Roman aqueducts, the Mayan calender, modern suspension bridges, manhole covers, clock faces, diving helmets, domed capitals, wagon wheels, port holes, Buddhist mandalas, water wheels and wind mills to name but a few.

I loved anything and everything related to circles. Round things, arched things, oval things, egg-shaped things, spherical things, and of course curved things. As James Joyce said, “Roundness you think good.”

Most people know their life passion early in life. Call me a late bloomer. Obviously I always had a passion for circles since I was a kid, but it took me half a century to connect the dots. (Pun intended.)

Since I had my moment of self-enlightenment, I realized that I knew a lot about the art, history and psychology of circles. Enough to write this blog without fear of running out of new source material.

pi-gravatar1-100If you follow along with me, I will do everything I can to keep your attention with fun facts and interesting insights. I promise not to bore you with the mathematics of circles other than an occasional reference to the unique nature of pi.

Speaking of pi, I will let you guess my favorite desert. Here is a hint; it is as American as …

Enjoy the blog,
Boz Donovan


4 responses

24 05 2009

Very interesting stuff. I never knew there was so much to know about circles. This has been fun. I’ll be back.

12 09 2010

I love this! I believe in the circle too. Circle of Family, Circle of Friends, Circle of Life (outer and internal). When our company developed their social media plan and I had the opportunity to participate I was able to choose an avatar for the site, which was a color paper wheel that had been designed by our art dept years ago but I thought then and now illustrates what our stores are all about.
I will be back too!

28 09 2010

I am a professional music therapist and trained singer/songwriter (for fun and money), hoop dance artist (for fun), mom (for fun and humility), wife (for connection), and world traveller (for experience).

In the music therapy, the circle is many things: the seating arrangement, the drums, the turn-taking, the tones and repeats, the overlapping sounds, and the moving of statements and their representations of our experiences in time.

I am venturing into studying “Circles, Cycles, Cymbals”, the exploration of shapes, dynamics, and music, and how these work together in the therapeutic process.

Thank you for this fun and insightful link!

You may be interested in the book “Circles and Dots” by Mark Hampshire and Keith Stephenson, a wonderful 260-page paperback journey into those round things.

11 10 2010

a life saver, i actually had a research about circles and this is quite the thing, yet i nver imagined to find a blog about circles, wow …

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