Dedicated to Toots Hibbert (1942 – 2020)

In early 2020, I started work on a new group of small stone heads. Small seemed appropriate, as after hearing about COVID-19, I was aware that it might well be a constraining event, and that I might not be going out for a while. The notion of possibilities being forsworn, avenues closing off and a sense of closing in, translated to me closing in on the stone, paying more attention to these small and, in some ways, more demanding objects.

I started with a collection of about 10 small blocks of stone, marble, onyx and quartzite. The colours varied from white marble to multi-coloured rainbow onyx and almost black sardonyx.

Since the emphasis was on each stone’s smallness, the materials required a particular kind of hard, but delicate work to get right. Some of these stones, the quartzite for instance, are very hard to cut and abrade, and don’t take kindly to fine work. Some, like the marble, while hard, are also very finely and densely constructed by nature, and can be excellent for fine work. The white Avorio di Siena marble for example, polishes beautifully to a softness almost like human skin.

The attention to detail at such close quarters was demanding. I thoroughly enjoy the big movements necessary for working on large pieces, and working on such small stones presented numerous physical constraints. But the delight in seeing almost microscopically into each piece and returning to rework the tiny, ant-like details was truly a labour of attention and dedication.

With this collection, I was again drawn into the aspiration I have with every piece I carve in stone: to find the place where the two of us – me and the stone – coalesce in the space-time continuum. Where the hard and quiet nature of the old stone and I, short lived and very organic, co-exist to produce a certain timelessness. My feeling is that thinking about human dignity, based on serious thought and contemplation of the world, alongside the natural dignity of the stone, allows the work to meld these two notions together in a physical space. This produces pieces of worked stone that embody these years of life on earth, and at the same time having a future equally as long as and possibly longer than their pasts.

Through the intervention of human touch, worked stones become a part of human culture, manifesting the bond of dependence and awe that exists between conscious humans and the planet. There is common ground in our shared history as creatures of this created planet. We are entirely dependent on Earth for our life and our qualities of experience.

It is also an expression of the gratitude I feel for the edgy gift of consciousness. Leaving these marks and forms in the stone seems to me to be embodying human consciousness, and connectedness with the planet, through these ancient, tough and resilient co-habitees. It speaks to our understanding that we are not separate. We are connected, all participants, family, all together a part of this planet.

A small piece of worked stone can embody a lot. It can embody desire, affection, respect, gratitude, prayer, aspiration. And it can embody acknowledgement of pain, suffering, careless deaths, profound struggle, and destruction beyond comprehension: an acknowledgement that these are our heritage and future. In the stone there is a stillness, which perhaps we can sense, an awareness of connectedness, delicate and strong, which allows us to contemplate together a world full of beauty in a universe untellable.

Emily Young, Santa Croce. November 2020


1. Earliest Worked Stone/Origins of human life on Earth

The first traces of our hominin ancestors can be found in tools made of worked stone. Evidence of these worked stone tools date back some 3.3 million years.
(The world's oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report. They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago. see note 1 below)

2. Stories in Stone

Since then, over those millions of years, humankind’s cultures and our relationship with the planet can be seen through the enduring material of stone. Any organic traces of manufactured objects soon disappear as they degrade back into nature. Both in terms of objects and later, architecture, we can achieve some understanding of ancient cultures, or, at the very least, some connection. The stories that have survived from more recent stone remains are not so different from our more thoughtful contemporary preoccupations: our survival, and the desire to understand the source and assuage the power/s that created and creates the universe we see around us.

3. The Fossil Record: reading the fossil record to understand how the Earth formed and the origins of life.

In the 1800s geologists were able to push back the plausible dates of the age of the planet by millions of years by observing the fossil record, preserved in natural stone. This allowed Darwin for instance to formulate his breakthrough theory of evolution, as the new time frame was so much deeper than previously understood. (Bishop Usher in the 1700s had worked out that the world was created in 4004 B.C. according to biblical texts). Thus the history of the Earth, and soon afterwards our knowledge of the age of our solar system, (4.5 billion years) our galaxy (13.4 billion), and ultimately our universe, (13.8 billion years) has been revealed through studying the rocks beneath our feet.

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
William Blake - Auguries of Innocence. 1803

4. Manifesting Philosophies.

In Greece, three and a half thousand years ago, the European project of evidence based science and logic began. The natural world became the subject of study, as did the nature of human nature. Philosophy, logic and mathematics flourished. The first anatomically correct sculptures of humans and animals were born in this period. To understand a thing was to have some power over it. The study of the natural world, definitions of classes of entities based on observation and evidence, of types of thinking, of modes of being, of philosophies as ethical and reasonable life choices, all these were born then. The works carved in stone were probably the most skilled ever to be produced. In other parts of the world similar exceptional ways of thinking were manifested in stone, Buddhist sculptures for instance.

5. The Twenty First Century.

The twenty first century finds us in a philosophical and environmental chaos, a kind of nightmare. Technology and ethics fight for the middle ground, while around the world the land literally burns, floods destroy, and the heating seas become dangerous to life: the old waterways run dry, glaciers and poles melt. It’s plausible, we are told, that in the years to come, humankind’s numbers will dwindle, possibly to extinction: technology may save a few of us. Many of our descendants and our fellow creatures and life forms on Earth will be lost in the future times of heavy climatic pollution - climate chaos: brought on by us, humans living now. Maybe not, maybe the world will be mended again. Both possibilities are real, a completely new experience for humans, and the stories of destruction are incomprehensible and terrifying. Cassandra lives again.

In centuries or millennia to come, who will still live on Earth? Who will look back at us and read signs of our lives and civilizations? What will they see? What will they, or it, understand of us? Knowingly or not, carved stones - worked now - have a good chance of enduring into unknowable futures, where, like the stone carvings and buildings we see now from thousands of years in the past, they’ll bear some kind of witness to us.

A stone carver can put into the working of the stone their thoughts, questions, dreams. Those carvers from history, across the globe, with skill and poetic justification, live on with us now, telling us elements of their thoughts, questions and dreams. Carved stone manifests the purposes of art, of poetry, in cultures around the world throughout human history. Stone endures. It can hold beauty for us.

These are the thoughts that now run through my life and work, and are carved into stone. In nature, stone can tell us more than we knew we knew: the fossil record has allowed us to see into the geological past, and it’s shown us how to look further out, into deep space and deep time; we get a sense of how big is our world, and our universe. And also it’s shown us how to look further in, into the nature of matter, energy, time, and consciousness: both, outwards and inwards, show us how little we know, how little we are. How we stand at a convergence of these two realities, marrying them together.

There are profound mysteries in our lives, where we’re blind and helpless in the face of nature. And we see ourselves, as the saying goes, through a glass darkly. To carve and bring life, another kind of beauty, into a rock, whose existence is so wild, so much more ancient than ours, is a call, a bleat perhaps, into the future from us, now.

Emily Young February 19th 2020

Note 1.

The oldest handmade stone tools discovered yet predate any known humans and may have been wielded by an as-yet-unknown species, researchers say.
The 3.3-million-year-old stone artifacts are the first direct evidence that early human ancestors may have possessed the mental abilities needed to figure out how to make razor-sharp stone tools. The discovery also rewrites the book on the kind of environmental and evolutionary pressures that drove the emergence of toolmaking.

Chimpanzees and monkeys are known to use stones as tools, picking up rocks to hammer open nuts and solve other problems. However, until now, only members of the human lineage — the genus Homo, which includes the modern human species Homo sapiens and extinct humans such as Homo erectus — were thought capable of making stone tools. [See Photos of the Oldest Stone Tools]
Ancient stone artifacts from East Africa were first uncovered at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in the mid-20th century. Those stone tools were later associated with fossils of the ancient human species Homo habilis, discovered in the 1960s.

"The traditional view for decades was that the earliest stone tools were made by the first members of Homo," study lead author Sonia Harmand, an archaeologist at Stony Brook University in New York, told Live Science. "The idea was that our lineage alone took the cognitive leap of hitting stones together to strike off sharp flakes and that this was the foundation of our evolutionary success."
However, there were hints of primitive tool use before Homo habilis. In 2009, researchers at Dikika, Ethiopia, dug up animal bones nearly 3.4 million years old that had slashes and other cut marks, evidence that someone used stones to trim flesh from bone and perhaps crush bones to get at the marrow inside. This is the earliest evidence of meat and marrow consumption by hominins — all the species leading to and including the human lineage after the split from the ancestors of chimpanzees. No tools were found at that site, so it was unclear whether the marks were made with handmade tools or just naturally sharp rocks.
Now, scientists report stone artifacts that date back long before any known human fossils. Until now, the earliest known tools were about 2.8 million years old, the researchers said. The artifacts are by far the oldest handmade stone tools yet discovered — the previous record-holders, known as Oldowan stone tools, were about 2.6 million years old.
"We were not surprised to find stone tools older than 2.6 million years, because paleoanthropologists have been saying for the last decade that they should be out there somewhere," Harmand said. "But we were surprised that the tools we found are so much older than the Oldowan, at 3.3 million years old."
It remains unknown what species made these stone tools. They could have been created by an as-yet-unknown extinct human species, or by Australopithecus, which is currently the leading contender for the ancestor of the human lineage, or by Kenyanthropus, a 3.3-million-year-old skull of which was discovered in 1999 about a half-mile (1 kilometer) from the newfound tools. It remains uncertain exactly how Kenyanthropus relates to either Homo or Australopithecus. [Gallery: See Images of Our Closest Human Ancestor]
"Sometimes the best discoveries are the ones that raise more questions than provide answers," study co-author Jason Lewis, a paleoanthropologist at Stony Brook University and Rutgers University in New Jersey, told Live Science. "In any of these cases the story is equally new and interesting. We are comfortable not having all of the answers now."
The stone tools were discovered in the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya, where the arid, rocky terrain resembles a New Mexican landscape.
The artifacts were found next to Lake Turkana in 2011 almost by accident. "We were driving in the dry riverbed and took the left branch instead of the right, and got off course," Harmand said. "Essentially, we got lost and ended up in a new area that looked promising. Something was really unique about this place, we could tell that this zone had a lot of hidden areas just waiting to be explored."

By the end of the 2012 field season, excavations at the site, named Lomekwi 3, had uncovered 149 "Lomekwian" stone artifacts linked with toolmaking.
"It is really exciting and very moving to be the first person to pick up a stone artifact since its original maker put it down millions of years ago," Harmand said.
The researchers tried using stones to knock off and shape so-called flakes or blades — a process known as knapping — to better understand how these Lomekwian stone artifacts might have been made. They concluded the techniques used may represent a stage between the pounding used by earlier hominins and the knapping of later toolmakers.
"This is a momentous and well-researched discovery," paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood, a professor of human origins at George Washington University, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement. "I have seen some of these artifacts in the flesh, and I am convinced they were fashioned deliberately."
Analysis of carbon isotopes in the soil and animal fossils at the site allowed the scientists to reconstruct what the vegetation there used to be like. This led to another surprise — back then, the area was a partially wooded, shrubby environment.
Conventional thinking has been that sophisticated toolmaking came in response to a change in climate that led to shrinking forests and the spread of savannah grasslands. Stone blades likely helped ancient humans get food by helping them cut meat off the carcasses of animals, given how there was then less food such as fruit to be found in the forest. However, these findings suggest that Lomekwian stone tools may have been used for breaking open nuts or tubers, bashing open dead logs to get at insects inside, or maybe something not yet thought of. [Denisovan Gallery: Tracing the Genetics of Human Ancestors]
"The Lomekwi 3 evidence suggests that important evolutionary changes that would later be really important for Homo to survive on the savannah were actually evolving beforehand, in a still-wooded environment," Lewis said.
"The capabilities of our ancestors and the environmental forces leading to early stone technology are a great scientific mystery," Richard Potts, director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement. The newly dated tools "begin to lift the veil on that mystery, at an earlier time than expected."

This discovery also has implications for understanding the evolution of the human brain, researchers said. Toolmaking required a level of dexterity and grip that suggests that changes in the brain and spinal tract needed for such activity could have evolved before 3.3 million years ago.

The scientists are now looking at the surfaces and edges of the tools under microscopes and with laser scans to try to reconstruct how they were used, "and also studying the sediment in which they were found to search for trace elements or residues of any possible plant or animal tissues that could be left on them after use," Harmand said.
The site is still under excavation, and Harmand said other artifacts could exist from early attempts at knapping.
"We think there are older, even more rudimentary, stone tools out there to be found, and we will be looking for them over the coming field seasons," he added.

The scientists detailed their findings in the May 21 issue of the journal Nature.

HOWL, 2008 Onyx. 2.5metres



This is the howl that came when the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report of 2007 on the impacts of climate change on the future of the planet was published and then greeted with a stunning silence: and soon after that, the same stunning silence that greeted the Stern Report of 2008 on the financial implications of climate change for the planet.

The sculpture was carved with an acknowledgement of human frailty in the face of death and loss and change. It's a monument to those in the future, who come after us, who will bear the dreadful repercussions of the profligacy and cruelties of our time.

In the age of this piece of stone, in the hundreds of millions of years shown in the physical, material presence of it, and its variegated beauty, lies the story of it’s formation through deep geological time; geology and physics can read in stone the creation of the planet, it allows us to imagine the cosmological time scale, the billions of years it took for our solar system and galaxy to form. We can start to get a hint of a sense of the pace and power of the creation of our planet, and our universe........ a notion of where, and what, in fact we are.

Along side the howl, there is also the grace that comes with the recognising knowledge of how purely beautiful is the planet, in all its complexity, and the love we have for it and all its inhabitants, the total biosphere of miraculous life.

And how full of sorrow and bewilderment we are for what we have lost, and are losing; and how gently, we might one day surrender to the sense that now we are here to serve the Earth, and the Earth’s future...our future in the fullest sense.

Emily Young


When I first started carving pieces of stone, I was constantly saying to myself: this is extraordinary – what on earth am I doing? I seem to know what to do, how to find a form I like, but how, why, what for? What is it that is happening when I carve stone? Many answers came, none the final one: but the best answer is – I am doing Nature’s bidding. I am a part of Nature, and I am a manifestation in human form of her creativity; me carving stone is one of the infinite ways nature expresses itself. I am compelled by everything that I have ever experienced, or was born from, or know about, to do this, here, now...

There is a story told in every piece of stone that is more magnificent than any creation myth; it’s a story that shocked and astonished the Christian geologists of the late 1700’s in England, when they first started to decipher, through the fossil record, the history of life on Earth. Then, through learning to read the tracks and traces of the cataclysmic and remorseless geological changes that formed the planet, this story was uncovered which led directly to the computing of the true age of the Earth, the Solar System, our galaxy and the Universe. The science we depend on in our everyday lives is tied in, inextricably, to that history of learning to read the fossil record, in the stone, in the land.

So here we are, integral parts of the natural world, acting as natures’ agents, infinitesimally tiny players in the vast cosmos. In my particular little corner, when I carve a face into the stone, I seem to be acting out my self consciousness onto the stone, a stone that holds some of the history of the globe, formed of the very same original kind of material that I am formed of – a process begun billions and billions of years ago in the origins of our universe. I put a little modern consciousness back onto nature, who made both me and the stone. I carve the stone into familiar forms, carrying with them an emotional charge; the forms are beautiful, the stone broken. The expressions of sadness, of reflection, are easy to read – I like to think that anyone who ever lived on Earth, anywhere, any-when, would recognise these forms, and the expressions.

These expressions, and the breaks, showing there on the pieces of old stone, also tell another story: there is in our human nature, fully created by the laws of Nature, something urgent, always desirous for more, a short-sightedness and self obsession that while being born of necessity, of survival, now appears to lead to self destruction: this self-destruction has two effects: one, we destroy, profoundly change, our physical habitat as we strive to feed this infinite desirousness, and two, we lose our dignity in that process. Our dignity is made of care, of a rational and feeling response to our surroundings, to the land, the sea, the mountains, the air and of course our fellow creatures, both human and all the other inhabitants of Earth. The whole of the rest of the natural creation in fact.

So my work is a kind of temple activity now, devotional; when I work a piece of stone, the mineral occlusions of the past are revealed, the layers of sediment unpeeled; I may open in one knock something that took millions of years to form:  dusts settling, water dripping, forces pushing, minerals growing – material and geological revelations: the story of time on Earth shows here, sometimes startling, always beautiful.

What is this beauty? The shapes I impose on the stones are formal, discs, waves, the shape made by a planet as it moves through time around the heavens, or the familiar faces and bodies of my own species; graceful, strong, thoughtful, reflective – there are no huge mysteries here, nothing particularly demanding.

But the stone itself, that’s something else. The loveliness, power and strength in the stone is the raw beauty of nature herself; I can put a more or less familiar shape onto it, like a suit of clothes, and then eyes can look in and see what has been there for millions or billions of years, made with water, made with fire and gravity, made with time; majestic and ancient, and alien, our ancestor, part of that from which we came.

And along with this readable embodiment of the past, comes a sense of the inexorable drama that is the Earth’s history, the almost incomprehensible passage of time. The Earth behaves as she must; she is acted upon and obeys the laws of Nature. But we, mankind, the most complex thing in the known universe, now turn on our creator, our mother planet, changing her into a different, less hospitable place.

We walk blindly into our future, seeing the past, but seemingly unable to understand the depredations we wreak on the land, the air and the sea, the harm we do.

The average Westerner doesn’t see or suffer much of these changes – we suffer the age old pains of Death, disease and loss; we may hear a bit in the news, but our supermarkets are well stocked, our banks and corporations profiting; we may have heard that in the global South the deserts are growing, or the floods are destroying the fields, or that the glaciers are melting. We hear that perhaps the Amazonian forests will soon be too dry not to burn: that when the polar ice caps melt, the seas will rise up onto the land: that the global South will be hardest hit: that we may well survive quite comfortably, those of us with money and choices, and that the African poor will not. Oh.

So these old stones, that tell us the story of the Earth, the studies of which pushed away the confines of superstition and ignorance, these old stones will outlive us, and remain like the ruins of a lost civilisation. In case technology doesn’t sort the problems, and we don’t all make it through to a happy future, these stone carvings will lie waiting to be read in some future-scape of strangeness, and be a memento of us, and a memorial to us.

The Earth is and has been so powerful, so wild, so completely the source and the surrounding of all that we are and are capable of – a long view of it shows it to be utterly beautiful and utterly rare. But our primitive respect and our physical sense of her honour is crumbling. And somehow we have become the gun that we shoot into the hearts of the innocent. We destroy, and as we destroy, we watch ourselves dancing and weeping on their graves.

And so I protest, in stone; I want people to imagine what we will look like to posterity, how we would judge ourselves if we had such vision, and what we would do differently now: I want to speak down the years and tell the future of that bit of it’s past that was us – about what happens in our hearts now – about our surprise, our fear and sorrow, and shame – our apology. These pieces can be seen as memorials to a lost future, to lost wildernesses, to lost innocence; to the pointlessly, needlessly dead.

And also they can be testaments to our desperate dream, to somehow make it better again – that I am, we are, sorry, angry, forlorn, for the Earth and for ourselves.

I carve in stone the fierce need in millions of us to retrieve some semblance of dignity for the human race in its place on Earth. We can show ourselves to posterity as a pitiful and brutal life form – that what we are best at is rapacity, greed, and wilful ignorance, and we can also show that we are creatures of great love for our whole planet, that everyone of us is a worshipper in her temple of life.

There is a great story told of how our ancestors were the best, the most successful hunters and warriors and breeders; the cleverest, most creative strategists; the lucky; the survivors, who were also the best poets and singers and story tellers. We are their descendants, and here’s another story, in stone. Our past is gone; our future is endangered. Here are stony tears, pathos, and passion; a subtle memory of stillness, of joyful surrender to nature: a dignity.

Emily Young, London, 2007


When looking into a piece of stone, one can read its history, both its geological formation far back in distant time, and its more recent experiences of the world; the surface signs of sun, wind and water, the cuts and bruises left by its journey out of the ground or the quarry.

To see how beautiful are these traces is to be lifted out of the present and to touch for a brief moment the natural processes that formed our planet, almost beyond human comprehension in their immensity and violence, almost inconceivable in their time scale. And behind the creation of our planet, hangs the creation of our solar system, and behind that, our galaxy, and behind that, the universe.

The grace, power and pleasure the natural world can show us is what drives the making of these pieces. The human form, the most complex of all life forms on earth, is carved out of stone, out of the same minerals, elements, atoms and molecules that have always made up our physical universe. These carvings, cut from stone hundreds of millions if not billions of years old, can survive a few more millions, or billions of years into the future; (to be seen by whom?). Our senses let us know what we can of our planet; we are always limited, always a part of the whole. The body is those senses, biologically constructed out of the same minerals, elements, atoms and molecules that form the stone, the land, the planet.

These angels, warriors and poets who people the stone, are born of sunny, windy hill tops, and the dark light of caves; a kind of ecstasy, a stillness, a remembered energy from childhood, from dreams of fish memory, from dreams of flying and the silence of stone.

The torsoes are stiller still, holding the feel of lying on warm grass, or stone, feeling the hard deep planet under the back, winding back a trail to the first  kinds of births, a frozen moment of fullness, in stone.

At the same time, I want the work to bear witness over time against our failures,  and  to stand as  a testament to our 'feeble tinsel winged hopes' and successes - our aspirations  towards compassion  for this precious beautiful globe and all who sail in her amazing arms.

Emily Young, 2005


A piece of stone, formed a hundred million years ago, worked now, could still be here in another hundred million. Who would see it? What would they see?

The stone is hard. It takes diamonds to cut it. I can hurl myself at a piece of stone, full strength, with hammer and chisel and not a lot happens. I do that a few times, and it will accept a small mark. It's strong, wild, ancient and it has a cold dark heart.

The stones seem to exist in an utterly different way to us, so slow, so silent and so long-lived; but to me they're kinds of ancestors.  They are made (like us) of particles that were born in starbursts, in galactic winds, in that first big bang. They participated more closely in the formation of the earth. There’s a poetry in them, in their impossibly long slow dance. They were here before and will be after us. They show their history, and thereby ours, and the earth's and the universe's.

Some stones ring or sing when I knock them with the right thing. The sound they make will tell if the stone is sound, solid, flaw-free, good to work, a quality that can be completely musical.

The exterior of a piece of stone is often a disguise: old, dull, weathered: but after a few hours of polishing, its surface shifts and reveals an extraordinary world of colours, whirls, stripes, dots; configurations of inhuman complexity and beauty.

Certain stones, when I break them open, give off a quick flash of stink, of sulphur, or petrol, or the ocean, (seaweed? old fish?). I know as I fill my head with the brief whiff of stony breath that the smell was sealed away, over how many millions of years ago?

Sometimes I'll polish a piece of stone and it'll gradually show a semblance of water, or the night sky, or flames, or honeycomb, or feathers, or snakeskin, or clouds, or melting ice cream and I am delighted and surprised, charmed.

In the past, stone was used to tell stories, to let people know about the Gods and Queens and Princes, the athletes and victors, the famous and the glorious, the vanquished and the foes. Stone was the best material to serve man's grandest ambitions. I don't want to make the stone my servant: a much bigger wilder story can be shown by the stone itself, of its history, of the earth's, and the universe's: the geologists of the C19th read in the stone a better explanation of our origins than the fabulous mix of myth, poetry, and history told in Genesis. Perhaps I use the human form to introduce people to the stone itself, so it can tell its story, which is part of my story, our story.

The word angel is derived from the Sanskrit Anjiras, meaning messenger from the gods to man. It seems to me that stones can also be seen as messengers from the gods. They are carrying information from our past, our creator.

The stones whisper to us about things older than we can conceive, gloriously mysterious, yet they are hard, and real; I can touch them with my hands, look into them with a microscope. Here, now, I make my marks on them, and then they carry on with their journey. Some of these stones are over 3 billion years old, and it is just possible that they could last for another 3 billion, becoming then messengers from us.

The looks on the faces of the angels are not planned as such, they arrive and surprise me often with their softness and sadness, and strength and calm. But like all good angels, they have a certain graveness, an objectivity, a touch of the infinite, and a certain compassion.

The discs, lunar or solar, are also like angels, heavenly bodies, stars, whirling in dark space, carrying information about our origins and throwing out light to us.

The great discs of our solar system, the planets, our moon, the sun, are embedded deep in the history and creation of our planet. The Disc is the mother of all shapes, primal and ubiquitous,  responded to by all life forms in the shape of the sun, the disc of light, photons streaming through to all of us here on earth. And galaxies are spiral discs, and in sub atomic physics, innumerable tiny circles dance and jiggle together, and in our our solar system we whirl together in great swooping cycles around our mother sun.

Emily Young, 2003