Thursday, June 11, 2009


All his life, Vilis loved circles. He just felt they represented the perfect shape. No edges or corners, not a single point along the line with a more glamorous role; everything equal. He believed circles were at the center of everyone’s lives. Where would we be without the wheel? How would civil servants describe there work other than by saying they go round in circles? Children are always excited by the Merry-go-round. Married just love the roundness of the ring that signifies their life long union, the state of their bank and the elation of the sex life.

So, when a call to the population was made to create a flag for his home town, Apkārtraksts in Latvia, Vilis thought it was obvious: a big white circle in the middle of a red rectangle. Vilis believed that not only would his flag give prominence to the perfect shape, but it would also be a great way to link the city’s standard to that of Latvia, which depicts a straight white line across a red rectangle.

Reception was mixed; some Apkārtrakstians loved the idea, while others thought it was ludicrous. Vilis was really disappointed because he could not understand what some of his fellow Apkārtrakstians found absurd about the flag. Being a stubborn man, Vilis set out on a mission to get his Baltais aplis (white circle) accepted. He knocked on every politically connected door; met every journalist, columnist, editorialist, publicist, capitalist, communist, socialist, therapist, herbalist and dentist he could find, trying to build support for his idea. It seemed that each time he got someone to jump on the bandwagon, someone else jumped off. Years went by with little change; season followed season yet the Baltais aplis was still no closer to becoming Apkārtraksts’ flag. Over time, the population lost interest in the flag project and so the whole thing was forgotten.

Vilis never forgot. He grew more and more bitter and finally decided to move out of Apkārtraksts to live in the countryside where he could pursue his lifelong interest in crop circles. Vilis went on to marry and lead a quiet, fairly uneventful life. His study of crop circles resulted in the Latvian best seller: Aplis šis! (Circle this!).

Vilis’ son, Siliv, was feeling sad as his father was being laid to rest. Although he had had limited contact with him since he and his mother had separated, Siliv still loved his father. After the divorce, Siliv moved to Apkārtraksts with his mother. Vilis, for reasons unknown, always refused to go and visit him in the city; so Siliv saw little of him. Siliv still always felt a deep connection with his father. After all, all his life, Siliv too loved circles.