Circle 1: Human Love
As the title of this first circle of From Love’s Shining Circle indicates, human love and authentic fulfilment are at the heart of the five chapters in this section. It is the authentic love of one person for another and the reciprocal application of this dictum
The Three interlocking Circles
The circle is a timeless and powerful cultural form. As explained at the beginning of From Love’s Shining Circle, Irish writer John O’Donohue saw a deep human fascination with the circle “because it satisfied some longing within us. It is one of the most universal and ancient shapes in the universe.” The book title itself comes from another Irish writer, the poet Thomas Moore who wrote the lyrics for the song “The Last Rose of Summer” from which the title is drawn and was its inspiration. The three interlocking circles image has many cultural references, the Trinity of Christian theology being a main symbol of divine and human love
Image One (page v)
The Tau Cross of St Francis of Assisi sets the tone of the entire book, From Love’s Shining Circle. It indicates the search for complete human and cosmic love that is the main thread of the narrative. Tau, the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, became symbolic of the Crucifixion within Christian faith. While the Tau Cross has resonances with other Mediterranean cultures, it is of particular relevance to St Francis of Assisi who adopted it as his personal coat of arms
Circle 2: Transcendent Love
While the French Jesuit theologian and palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was never declared a heretic by Vatican authorities, he came close to it. He knew that he walked “with the heavy tread of an elephant on the best-raked flower-beds in the garden of scholasticism,” to quote his words recorded by Abbé Paul Grenet and repeated in From Love’s Shining Circle, along with this elephant illustration
Circle 3: Creational Love
The image of a harp for the third section of From Love’s Shining Circle heralds a world of love, peace and harmony. While the five sections address both sides of the human story - war and peace – the final chapter looks towards the attainment of cosmic harmony, impossible as it may be.
Michelle describes her illustrations as medallions, keeping in mind that the circle relates to continuum - eternity - and the title of the book.
Her style has developed over many years, from group classes in Mackay where the High School art teacher nurtured and encouraged students to develop their individual talents. Life has never been dull since her art began taking varied fields and forms of expression, and has kept her going through a bout of rheumatic fever and other ups and downs of life.
“The ancestors on both sides of my family laid some of the foundations of my creativity, but the Lord is the Creator, and my inspirational guide. When I set to work on the medallions, I was house-sitting a friend’s home and had peace and tranquillity as my canvas,” Michelle noted.
Her creative activities have embraced, acting, pottery, ceramic dolls, wedding gowns, liturgical commissions and Church ministries.
“Fabrication, as I will name it, has presented various challenges and possibilities. I did teach fashion subjects at TAFE in New South Wales, yet always felt the involvement of the Holy Spirit’s guiding hand.”