According to a dictionary, definition of a circle is a round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the center). Can you now draw a circle? I am asking the people who have never seen a circle. Can you? Does this definition sound like a work of art?
Well, according to mathematics it is described as: In any circle, if you divide the circumference (distance around the circle) by its diameter (distance across the circle), you always get the same number. Did it get easier now to draw one? Or is it more difficult now? Again, I am asking only those people who have never seen a circle.
Alright, let me help. Have you seen a rising sun at dawn or a setting sun at dusk? Yes, I am talking about the round reddish thing that often invokes some sort of awe. If you blink or squint at the right moment, the same reddish thing turns white and then soon you can damage your sight if you stare at it directly.
If you are still unable to comprehend, then may be look around attentively. Do you see anything perfectly round shaped? No, not the photo frame. That’s rectangle perhaps. Oops, the cup or the bowl can be mistaken as a perfect circle. Nope, there is nothing you can find that is a perfect circle. I know.
Now take a deep breath and look inside yourself. Do you see anything circular? No, no, I am not talking about your organs. I am referring to – you know – your inner self.
What do you see now? Close your eyes if things in sight distract you. Where did it begin? Yes, of course, at birth. And it will end in death. That is definitely not a circle. Many attempt to describe that as a circle. But it is actually just a cycle. Oh yeah – that’s right. A cycle. The wheels of a cycle are a perfect circle. There you go. I am relieved now. Now, if you can define the wheel, you can define circle.
But, since I closed my eyes and began to stare inside the self, I see something else. Do you see what I see? Often not the same. But may be similar. That’s good enough.
I see a color. Blue. You see yellow? It’s still a color. Similar. Even if you see blue sky or yellowjacket, we are still on the same page. But if I see blue and you see, let’s say, a gun? We are still on the same page. Because gun usually has a Cerakote coating that makes it gray or black or kind of a pewter color. We are still talking about color. It is similar.
Let’s change to something else – other than color.
What do you mean? I have to forcibly change what I am to see inside the self naturally?
Well, kind of. Because to draw a circle we have to have a bunch of dots or points. Once we have those points, and as we connect all the dots in a circular stroke, only then we can call it a circle. So, let’s create those dots.
Got it. Because since we wake up in the morning and until we return to the bed for the night, it’s not like we stay in just one state or see just one thing. Activities, events, interactions, transactions and so much more happen during the course of the day. So, at the end of the day when we connect all those dots, it comes to be a circle.
- I see a flying bird.
- You mean – you turned into a bird and flying?
- You mean you are flying and flying …
- Yes, that’s what I said.
- So, you never stop? How about when that reddish round disk like thing sets onto the horizon – when it becomes dark all around – what do you do then?
- I guess I stop flapping my wings.
- Ya, that’s what I meant. I see my wings are clipped.
- Come on. Don’t use metaphors here. Have you literally ever seen a bird with wings clipped?
- I guess, not.
- Then tell the truth. What do you see?
- I see a bird sitting in a nest with wings so tired that cannot flap.
- Are you a pregnant bird?
- Because birds don’t sit in a nest unless they are pregnant.
- Let’s start it over.
- What do you see?
- You go first.
- No, this time you go first.
- I see… um… I see water.
- What? Are you thirsty?
- No, no. I see flowing water.
- Like a river?
- No. Like a drop of tear.
- Just one drop?
- Could be more.
- Does it turn into pearls?
- No. It just flows down the cheek. Then, I don’t see it any more. Then it’s just… messed up.
- Messed up?
- Yeah, I don’t see what exactly happens to it. I don’t know where it disappears.
- Come on! How can water just disappear?
- I don’t know. I don’t see any further.
- What? Are you blind?
Blindness is another reason why someone may never see a circle. So, I approached a blind man and asked him – can you define a circle? He didn’t say anything, but he thought for a few moments. Eventually he lifted his head up as if he was pointing towards the sky.
Wow! Man – that’s a huge circle for a blind man to see. I followed his facial movement, but nowhere could see the beginning or the end of the imaginary circle. It could be that he was pointing towards the ceiling. I wasn’t sure. I told him – you are lucky. Anything can be a circle for you.
I was about to leave but he interrupted. He said, “What do you see?”
What a question from a blind man! I wondered! I didn’t know what to tell him. So, I asked, “What do you want to see?”
He replied softly, “I can’t see, but can you at least tell me what you see?”
- I see you – first of all.
- Really? What do I look like?
- Um, a man with no eyes.
- You are not seeing clearly.
- What makes you think that blind man? You can’t see – so just trust what I say.
- No, I can’t. It is not true that I don’t have eyes. I do have two eyes just like you. But my eyes don’t work like yours.
He poked in one of his eyes as he animatedly pointed his index finger towards his eyes. I am sure he felt the pain of it as a drop of tear flew down on his cheek naturally and then I couldn’t trace the tear any further. Perhaps it dropped on the surface. But there was no sign of a drop of water anywhere on the floor. Admittingly I corrected myself.
- Oh man; don’t do that ever again. If you need to point to something or need something, just ask me please. And I will help you get it.
- Okay, thanks. So, what do you see?
- I see a man!
- I already know that.
- I see a cane.
- Yes, that’s mine. My vision.
- A shirt. New one.
- Yes, the one I am wearing on, I know.
- Your beard.
- Yes, I get it trimmed at the barber shop not too far from here. I can tell you everything about it. What else?
- The sofa.
- Yes, I know a lot about that one too. It is still there exactly where it was few years ago. Hasn’t moved even an inch. What else?
- Looks like nothing I can see that you aren’t aware of. But what about the outside?
- Let’s step out.
So, we did. As soon as we stepped outside, once again he asked.
- What do you see?
- I see a bird.
- The one in the nest or the one flying away?
How did he know there was a bird in the nest on the nearby tree? How could he know another bird was flying away?
- I guess you know more about the one in the nest.
- I know about both. Fully. The one flying away, will soon have to stop flapping its wings, because it will be too dark to fly or to navigate.
- And the one in the nest?
- She is not giving birth to anything. Her wings are just too tired to flap and fly.
- How do you know all these?
- Because, they are all little birdies. They whisper inside me. I see all and everything through the whispers.
I sighed in disbelief. I finally decided to be brutal. I asked:
- Do you see me? Do I whisper?
The blind man smiled gently. Yet, another drop of tear rolled down from his blind eye and disappeared. He replied:
- That’s not a good question. Nonetheless, my answer is – I know I whisper inside you. And I also know, you still try and try and try some more to see me. Just like you are trying right in this moment.
I was shaking for a few moments. And then I froze. He saw that, I understood. I realized, I couldn’t hide anymore. With his eyes pointed straight onto my eyes, he stated:
- Are you done flying? Are you now ready to accept the darkness of my blindness?
- My wings are too tired to flap anymore.
- Welcome back to the nest.
He embraced me. No, he didn’t drop tears this time. It was my turn. But I couldn’t see my own tears. He did. He wiped them off and made them disappear. I asked:
- What did you do with the tears?
- They have flown away to merge with the stream. The stream will confluence with the ocean. And then the reddish round disk of the dawn that turns white moments later, will soak from the stream. That thing is always thirsty. That thing always needs cooling agent because it is unnecessarily hot all the time. Eventually, the soaked vapor turns into rain and finally returns back to the stream. A complete circle.
- Why didn’t you stop me when I flew away?
- Because, then we would have never experienced what a complete circle is.
My throbbing bosom was touching his chest. I heard the whisper of his heart from underneath. Why wasn’t his heart throbbing like mine? Why was he still so different than me? There was no reconciliation possible with a blind man. A blind man who clipped my wings. A blind man who never nurtured my wings when they were tired. Yet, the same blind man never stopped me from flying. I always wanted to fly in but ended up flying away.
- How far did I fly away?
I asked the blind man. The blind man replied:
- Only that far where the distance remained exactly same from the center of the circle. You were just flying in different directions, but never could go outside the orbit.
- Why couldn’t I?
- Because, you didn’t find any light outside the orbit. So, you flew and flew, you flapped your wings and flapped some more, yet –
- So, the cage that I flew away from, only made me to fly inside a larger cage where I never could see the boundary of the larger cage and therefore, thought I was a free bird?
- Yes. Exactly.
- I have touched every dot of the circumference of the circle.
- Perhaps. And now as you have touched me, you have completed the circle. But see, a circle has no beginning or no ending. Any point of a circle can be the starting point and as long as another point touches back the beginning point, it completes the circle.
- But what about our distance?
- It remains the same from our center. Let it be.
We both silently looked inside. He looked inside me, and I looked inside him.
I could see, it was blue. Inside him. His outside was still yellow. He broke the silence.
- Now that you have returned, don’t worry, it will turn reddish once again.
- Will we be healed?
- There is nothing to heal from.
- Yes; because those are just the dots that connect with each other only to form a circle.
I didn’t know what to say. The blind man could see it all. Will I ever be able to see? Do I see now, even in this moment? Suddenly I was scared. I lost my vision long ago and didn’t know I was blind. How am I going to see ever again? The blind man held my hand and said:
- Why you are turning into gray – almost like a pewter pale? It will be alright. I can see. Let’s begin strolling around the circle. The path we never completely traveled together.
I wasn’t hesitant, yet somewhat unsure. He pulled my arm mildly and with his pearl like smile said: