Man of a Million Circles


An ungoogleable phrase, except one… and that surprised even me.

But when I have published this essay, there should be two.

Try to Google it, in inverted commas - “man of a million circles”

Searching for the Perfect Circle

The Meaning of a Circle

The circle probably existed before the beginning of recorded history. Natural circles have subsequently been observed and noted, such as the shape of the Moon, Sun, Eyes, Sunflowers, and ripples in water.

The circle is the basis for the wheel, which, as we all know, has been described as the ‘World’s Greatest Invention’, and thus countless devices and machines came into being.

The early sciences, particularly geometry, astrology and astronomy, interpreted the circle as being connected to the divine by many medieval scholars, and some believed that there was something intrinsically "divine" or "perfect" that could be found in circles.

Squaring the Circle – Pi

Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction (equivalently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern).

Rather, fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. The digits appear to be randomly distributed. In particular, the digit sequence of π is conjectured to satisfy a specific kind of statistical randomness, but to date no proof of this has been discovered.

Also, π is a transcendental number – a number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

Squaring the circle is a problem proposed by ancient geometers. It is the challenge of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge.

The expression "squaring the circle" is sometimes used as a metaphor for trying to do the impossible

A Million

As a kid I tried to count to a million, but got bored, or fell asleep. Every once in a while the idea would pop into my head, but I am not sure if I even reached 1000 – probably not.

There are the rhythms of one million that we can possibly identify with, as we have probably all ‘achieved’ these events. 

1,000,000 breaths = 50 days

1,000,000 heartbeats = 10 days

1,000,000 blinks = 46 days (if one does not sleep)

1,000,000 steps = 7 days (if one does not stop)

My Million

I have been drawing mandalas for approaching 10 years, each comprising of circles, within circles, within circles, and some examples containing 1000 circles or more. Each drawn by hand.

So, assuming 5 mandalas per week, each containing 400 circles, in pencil, pen and ink, that makes over 1 Million.

I have done it, not an extraordinary achievement, I know.

And generally, whilst I draw, I imagine every tiny glitter of the metallic inks is a star, each circle a galaxy, and each complete mandala a universe.

Art of a Million Circles

The question now is - Should I do it?

Should I embark upon the craziness of drawing 1,000,000 circles in one single work of art? No.