Circles and spiral patterns are how Aza tries to make sense of her mind and her world. She consistently picks up on the circular patterns around her as she talks about the circular freeway system around Indianapolis and the light cycle that's created between her phone and Davis' phone on facetime. She struggles with thought spirals that trap her in a conversation with her own mind, and listens to Davis talk about how the galaxy is actually a very large spiral. By identifying these patterns, Aza begins to create a sense of order, or at least provide a name for her chaos. In this way, the circles and spirals are symbolic of Aza's greater project of finding her place in the world and beginning to make sense of the world's natural chaos--and the human tendency to find patterns in the chaos.
Circles and Spirals Quotes in Turtles All the Way Down
... and meanwhile I was thinking that if half the cells inside of you are not you, doesn't that challenge the whole notion of me as a singular pronoun, let alone the author of my fate?
I have these thoughts that Dr. Karen Singh calls "intrusives," but the first time she said it, I heard "invasives," which I like better, because, like invasive weeds, these thoughts seem to arrive at my biosphere from some faraway land, and then they spread out of control.
When my thoughts spiraled, I was in the spiral, and of it. And I wanted to tell him that the idea of being in a feeling gave language to something I couldn't describe before, created a form for it, but I couldn't figure out how to say any of that out loud.
His bacteria would be in me forever, eighty million of them, breeding and growing and joining my bacteria and producing God knows what.
Him: When you're on a Ferris wheel all anyone ever talks about is being on the Ferris wheel and the view from the Ferris wheel and whether the Ferris wheel is scary and how many more times it will go around. Dating is like that. Nobody who's doing it ever talks about anything else.
As I looked at his face looking at mine, I realized the light that made him visible to me came mostly from a cycle: Our screens were lighting each of us with light from the other's bedroom. I could only see him because he could see me.
It was saying that my bacteria were affecting my thinking--maybe not directly, but through the information they told my gut to send to my brain. Maybe you're not even thinking this thought. Maybe your thinking's infected.
... the stupidity of Ayala, Aza, and Holmesy and all my irreconcilable selves, my self-absorption, the filth in my gut, think about anything other than yourself you disgusting narcissist.
I know that girl would go on, that she would grow up, have children and love them, that despite loving them she would get too sick to care for them, be hospitalized, get better, and then get sick again. I know a shrink would say, Write it down, how you got here.
So you would, and in writing it down you realize, love is not a tragedy or a failure, but a gift.