In 1973, recording artist Billy Preston released "Will It Go 'Round in Circles?" It was a chart topper on the Billboard 100, and it's still one of those songs that makes me pull out my air guitar and pretend drums, whenever I hear it on the oldies radio station.
It just must be something about the whole circular concept. Think of a vortex. You know the swirly thing that goes around and around, and you just can't help but watch it. Some optical illusions are built around a vortex that your eye could see as a spiral, or as concentric rings. When you look away, you have to blink to clear your vision.
I visited the Niagara Falls Vortex a couple of years ago. Man, that thing is huge! It is called, "Devil's Hole," and it is located very close to Niagara Falls. There is a suspended cable-car type of trolley that'll take you over the middle of it, and you get a real close look at the depth and violence of the waters as they smash into the enormous rock caldron, crashing and careening wildly.
We were there in the winter, and it was cold and rainy, which seemed to make the whole area somewhat ominous. I couldn't help but ask the brilliant conversational tour guide, "You suppose anyone ever jumped off here?"
Serious as a heart attack, he replied, "Nah, they would-a died."
Across the U.S., in Oregon, they have the Oregon Vortex (www.oregonvortex.com). It is home to the House of Mystery, originally an assay office, and later used for tool storage, built by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company in 1904.
But, in the history of the surrounding area, the Oregon Vortex goes way back to the time of the Native Americans. Their horses would not come into the affected area, so they (the Native Americans) wouldn't, either. They called the area the "Forbidden Ground," a place to be shunned.
Scientifically speaking, it is a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground -- simply a whirpool of force, a whirling mass of air and other elements.
And over in the Southwest, we have the Sedona vortexes -- not vortices, but vortexes. These are "energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy, located in the Sedona, Ariz., area."
The energy from these vortexes saturates the whole area, in and around, Sedona, and can be noticed in a subtle but general way anywhere around town.
According to the Loves Sedona web site: "If you actually go to one of the vortex sites, which is where the energy is strongest, it can be a very uplifting experience. The energy you take in at one of these energy centers can stay with you and affect you positively for days afterwards." Well, that's what the web site says. Remember, they have peyote out there, too.
In my case, I'll just stick to watching the scrubbing bubbles as they whirl around in my big ol' cast iron bathtub. It's probably not quite as grandiose as the others, and I don't get that whole uplifting experience, but it is cheap, easy entertainment, and the principle is the same.
Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.