As I write this morning, I reflect on a radio programme I heard yesterday. The writer, Patrick White, was discussed, and his book, The Solid Mandala (Radio National, 9.30 am 30 Dec).
The word mandala means circle. Main characters in White’s book are twins. They reflect opposing aspects of White’s own nature: one pragmatically objective, the other imaginatively subjective.
Sadly, the two sides are not reconciled in the story. However, White brings them to life through his writing. Through scenes that convey inner tensions, moments teeter towards a balance.
The recurring theme of the circle conveys the idea of unity.
The circle gives readers something to hold on to. The circle suggests the possibility of reconciliation between different world views.