The Unfinished Circle represents all that is broken about us, incomplete, unfinished, imperfect, undeveloped, missing, impaired, out of order, unpolished, malfunctioning, insufficient, lacking and unready about us all. Every one of us comes "just so" to each situation as it arises, and steps into it ready to do what needs to be done as well as we are able, bringing the best we have to offer in the service of our original nature and the virtues that are ours from birth to bear on the here/now of our living, looking to get better at it over time. May it be just that way with all of us!
The Incomplete Circle and The Gateless Gate are my two favorite symbols/metaphors at this time and place of my life. They are two aspects of the same thing. I am unfinished and I am whole-- and all it takes is a shift in perspective to see that it is so. The Incomplete Circle is my unfinished/whole state, and The Gateless Gate is the requisite shift in perspective, that completes the incomplete circle, and brings me wholly into the here/now of my living. And here/now like that I can do what needs to be done about anything that comes along. Rising to every occasion. Offering what I have to give from the storehouse of my original nature and the spring of living water in the form of the virtues that are mine from birth. I am well-equipped to meet each moment in every situation as it arises all my life long. So are you! The Incomplete Circle, and The Gateless Gate declare it to be so! As they have through all the ages from the beginning to right now!
Our symbols ground us, center us, focus us, guide and direct us, enable us to recover and regroup and find our way back to the here/now ready and able to step into the present situation, make out what's what know what is called for and do what needs to be done when, where and how it needs to be done no matter what, for the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it, regardless of the outcome, and onto the next situation already arising from the present one. Chances are, you have no idea of what your grounding/directing symbols are. We are tuned into many things, but the symbols that are uniquely our own are likely to be not among them. Oh, and here's the thing. Our symbols are like magic wands. Just as "the wand chooses the wizard," so the symbol chooses the sojourner, and blesses their way with assistance from invisible hands. Open yourself to the symbols present in your life, and be alert to those winking and nodding in your direction. Look closer at those and see what glows and grows to claim you and make you its own.
Japanese art (And tea ceremonies, which is, in Japan, a high form of art), are big on leaving out small details. Imperfections are the sign of the real thing. Reality is imperfect. Chickens are born without wings, or feathers. Squirrels are born without tails. Geese are born without feet, or lose them to turtles. The world in general appears to be lovely and fine (From space, for example). The closer we get to life the more gaps and cracks we find in lovely and fine. And art, in Japan anyway, reflects life. And life exhibits truth, the truth that no one is perfect, and that to strive for perfection is to reject something fundamental, and even essential, about ourselves. We have to make room for the unlovely and the not-so fine. Because that is who we are, un-lovely and not-so fine. And we have to let that be, because it is, and smile knowingly, stepping into the moment, into the situation as it arises, and making the best of it, anyway, nevertheless, even so. It is nature's way. It is the way. All the way. Along the way.