Wheel

I wonder what went behind the invention of the wheel?

Was it created after many months of trials of objects of varying shapes and sizes by our Stone Age ancestors until they got it right? Or perhaps the wheel had been invented many eons earlier than the Stone Age, and kept a closely guarded secret, passed on by generations of the same family like some secret heirloom until the time was right for it to be revealed to the eagerly awaiting and utterly desperate world. Or maybe, someone by the name of Offa Rockstone, fast asleep in his cave dwelling under his comfortable sheepskin blanket dreamt of one of the inventions that would revolutionise humanity.

Maybe it was all three. Offa’s ancestors had tried for decades to come up with a simple solution to help them to carry their wears to wherever they needed to go. They were close to inventing the wheel… but not close enough. Their devices were too heavy, too bulky or too square. Their challenge was for someone in the family to create this marvellous contraption that would help not only them, but all mankind. For generations this challenge was passed on… from father to son, mother to daughter… and eventually it arrived on Offa’s lap.

He had his eureka! moment one cold, dark winter’s night, as he slept after carting all of his worldly goods into a cave for the night. In his sleep, he had a vision… and the very next day the wheel was born. It had a bit of a wonky start, of course things always have teething troubles, but eventually Offa’s wheel took the world by storm.

Well, it may have happened that way. I don’t think there are any recorded cases of the invention of the wheel. And dreams have started many a successful enterprise all throughout history, and hopefully included in this count will be my dream (see yesterday’s post for more details!)

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is Wheel, and I’ve been desperately trying to come up with some kind of way to illustrate the wheel without using a vehicle. The Sanskrit word for wheel is Chakra, and the Chakras are the centres of life-force energy that are dotted around the body. I could have gone down that route, but, thanks to my blogging friend Shree Jacob, I’m still learning about the relevant Chakras, so decided to go with something I know absolutely nothing about – the invention of the wheel!

The picture above is my interpretation of Offa trying to sleep, but finding his thoughts controlled by a certain circular object that was mere hours away from creation. Would you be able to sleep if you were so close to the dawning of something so simple, yet so monumental?

Also, Sideview’s weekend theme for the weekend just gone (yes, I know I’m a little late!) is Family Heirloom, so I thought I’d have a little fun and tie in both themes with this post. Shree, incidentally, also participates in Illustration Friday, and has come up with a fabulous mandala design for a wheel, which reminds me of a Chakra image if ever I saw one… click here if you’d like to have a look!

It’s more than likely that more thought went into the creation of the wheel than I give credit for in this post, but if something so great has lasted for so long, since those days in the Neolithic Period, imagine what great things we can create today, with our technological advances, if we put our minds to it.

Or, put another way, followed our dreams…

Posted by Tom Merriman

A future writer living in the present day

22 Comments

  1. I suspect the wheel evolved in stages, each leaving behind some heirloom quality bits of wood

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    1. That’s more likely than my theory, Sideview! 😀

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      1. But nowhere near as entertaining

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  2. Little known fact:

    OFFA also invented the SOFA because he was tired of sleeping on rock hard ROCKS. 😀

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    1. Offa’s Sofa could be the sequel, Nancy! Actually, thinking about it, if he was *tired* of sleeping on rocks, you’d think he’d be able to sleep anywhere… 😉 Sorry, Nancy, I’m just playing with words again!

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  3. Your story has to be more interesting than the actual one, Tom, whatever it may be.

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    1. I’m sure it was more interesting at the time, though, Andra!

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  4. Great shtufffs, you!, I enjoyed this on many levels, And I spent some time lost in it.

    I immediately focused on the image. As it reminded me of the Western Mag rims I had on my ’76 candy apple red Cutlas (boys and their muscle toys). Those wheels, that car! That was more than great wheels to a young man as I was back then and I know I lost sleep over those wheels. Secondly, the image reminded me of a now deceased contemporary Canadian artist Greg Curnoe who spent many years doing art which used the wheel as a starting point for his art. Much of it bicycle wheels and bikes and colour wheels. Here is a very small sampling http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/greg%20curnoe

    In short, Curnoe, as well considered the wheel as influential on the forces which power life and drives creativeness. The wheel was more just motif to him.

    Came here by way of sideviews theme heirloom.

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    1. Hi Hudson! Thanks for commenting and introducing me to 1) the ’76 candy apple red cutlass, and 2) Greg Curnoe. Nice car and nice artwork!
      I’m going to have to catch up with the other heirloom posts… I’m always catching up! 😉

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  5. Nice story Tom! 🙂

    I can’t wait for the result of following MY dream, but I’m truly looking forward to its fruition! 🙂

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

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    1. Thanks, Prenin. Don’t blame you! 🙂

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  6. “so decided to go with something I know absolutely nothing about – the invention of the wheel!”…LOL! That was funny!
    I really like your story about the birth of the wheel and the drawing is really cool too!! And as usual your history lesson is way more interesting that in the text books 😉

    Thanks so much too for the mention and the link back 😀

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    1. It’s a pleasure, Shree.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my twisting of one of history’s more important events! 😉

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  7. Good one T…I like the simple lines and love the color…Turquoise seems to be the energy right now. It’s popping up everywhere. Awaiting a large snow storm. I wish I could push a button and fly my home somewhere else until the winter is over 🙂 Oh well. Maybe you could work on that. It would be great to fly to Machu Picchu…Well done T…..Blessings…VK

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    1. Thanks, VK. I tried to go with a ‘dreamy’ feel with this one, so nothing is exactly clear, but the idea is there. What isn’t very clear is a swirling mass around the wheel, but it’s there in parts.
      I’ll see what I can come up with regarding your snow… and Machu Picchu come to think of it!

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  8. What a cool post from such a simple topic!
    Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Hook!
      To be honest, I didn’t really know where this post was going to lead to, but it went OK in the end!

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  9. if we put our minds to it there is so much we could do

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    1. There is Jo… and then some!

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  10. I am so glad the wheel was round! 🙂 makes life so much easier… and Loved your drawing and life should always be full of Dreams!

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    1. I agree, Sue… dreams give us the gentle push that we need sometimes!
      And yes, we should be grateful that they did invent a round wheel!

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