By Jan Martinez

I pin them carefully through the paper and onto the cardboard with the little stickpins provided. I choose a color: red, blue, green. Even in my young hands I’d prefer a pen with a weightier line, but this is what I have, so I begin to move. To inscribe a dance on paper. Arcs swirling into flowers, planets, shapes, anemones, galaxies… Later I’d noticed that the patterns of life and matter repeat everywhere. Was it later? Was it before?

There was a Disney cartoon about this. Sometimes I still look it up today on YouTube. Donald Duck stomping through time and space quacking on about the Golden Mean, the Golden Triangle, the perfection of the Spiral. I still love it, as much as I did when I was a child sitting at a table with my beloved Spirograph, making patterns, some I could predict, some not. A miracle in plastic gears and perforated paper on an evermore pin-cushioned piece of cardboard.

Do we live our lives in ever widening circles? As I sip my tea – a blend that most certainly contains Ceylon – I stare into its amber depths. I imagine a staircase starting at the edge and inclining downward, wrapping around with infinite gentleness, so shallow at the top that the liquid is almost clear. From the top it looks dark at the bottom, but it’s just deep. Our eyes and bodies adjust as we live our lives in ever deepening circles.

If I live to be 100, I’m already more than halfway to the bottom of this cup – this cenote – we call life. And there’s great stuff down here: wisdom, knowledge, freedom, choice, pain, grief. There’s movement: flow, dynamism, momentum. And there’s love and calm, bliss. So don’t be afraid. Come on in. The water is fine.