Sunday, June 3, 2012

St. Circularius

St. Circularius. Photo and story © 2012, Robert Morris

If you've heard rumors of an actual canonized saint living in Joshua Tree, you're not alone. Behold: St. Circularius lives! He bears a remarkable resemblance to our friend Robert Morris, the noted high-desert photographer (to visit Robert's website, click here).

Here is the story that the world has been clamoring for:

According to tradition, St. Circularius was born in Trebizond in the 14th century. Being desirous of seeing more of the world, he set out one day to explore Asia Minor and the regions beyond. He first made his way to Konya, where he visited the famous whirling dervishes of the Mevlana order. As they whirled round and round, Circularius (who at that time bore the name Bob) was struck by a sudden realization that the circle was the key to the secrets of existence.

He then prevailed upon the metalworkers of Anatolia to fashion for him his distinctive golden hat and his Holy Wheel of Wisdom, which he affixed to his staff. Wherever he went he preached to the multitudes upon the evils of rectangularism, and when he reached Constantinople he was canonized, given the name Circularius, and presented with the golden orb of sainthood.

Eventually, however, he grew weary of preaching to the rectangular heathen and yearned for a quiet life of contemplation and pleasure. His supplications were heard, and one day (known thereafter among his followers as The Day of the Great Transportation) he was miraculously transported in time to the beginning of the 21st century, and in space to the southern Mojave desert of California, where he established a hermitage, stocked it with food and wine, and attempted to retire from sainthood.

Much to his astonishment, however, his cult continues to flourish amongst a small circle of devotees called "The Rounders," who dedicate themselves to good works, intellectual study, artistic endeavor, and the consumption of tasty food and strong drink. In honor of their leader and his teachings, they greet each other with the mystical formula "Be not a square, daddy-o" and communally partake of the Sacred Circular Pizza and flagons of wine on his feast day. This solemn supper is followed by raucous revels in which they cavort unclad in their hallowed groves of Joshua Trees.