Like other pilgrims over the centuries, I’m inspired by images carved into cathedrals’ stone walls. During the Middle Ages, when many were illiterate, these illustrations taught people what a thousand words could not.
This Wheel of Life is one of my favorite icons: it suggests a timeless and positive way to look at change. I’m thinking today how I can apply this visual metaphor to my writing career, the topics and characters I’m writing about, and other aspects of my journey through life.
At the top of the wheel, you’ll see a well-dressed and smiling king or queen. This is the position of Happiness.
Notice that the wheel doesn’t stay static. The carefree individual from the top of the wheel soon appears to be in distress, upside down and falling through space. This is the position of Loss.
As the wheel continues in its forward momentum, the once-happy individual from the top of the wheel is now at its bottom – naked and being dragged through the mud. This is the position of Suffering.
The wheel persists along its path, and the traveler, once again clothed, rises up to the position of Hope.
Maybe we could use this picture to teach each other. I’m wondering: What does this illustration suggest to you?