When we see you 

We spiral

A goblin wheel spins on a dark blue sea.


To be surprised, to be stuck, to repeat.

A yellow wheel turns on a blue sea. On its spokes are three mischievous goblin-like creatures and animals. They are falling, climbing, and sitting, each at different places.

The wheel is called ‘The Wheel of Fortune.’ Who are these creatures, and what is this strange wheel?

A wheel is a circle of spokes that turns and spins, often connected to an axel, which is then connected to a larger machine.

The movement of the wheel controls the movement of the larger machine; 

So a wheel is a point that decides direction.

Fortune speaks of the chance, luck, or money we might receive in life. Fortune may be good or bad, bringing us up or down.

To speak of someone’s fortune is to speak of that which we receive.

So the Wheel of Fortune could decide the direction of what we receive from life; 

The direction, and destination of our fortune, both good and bad.


The wheel of fortune has six spokes that reach outward from a revolving orange center. Its spokes create an order to its movement. Like a strange clock, this wheel has a machine like logic.

But there are no measuring instruments that we can recognize here – there are no numbers or letters. And the spokes appear in not perfectly even rows.

It spins on a blue sea, in water, in slippage; our conscious vision and calculations may not be reliable here.

The ocean is where our life began and where the oldest life forms exist;

in mysterious and dark depths this wheel spins.

Depth; the depth of the world, and the depth of psyche.

The wheel turns beneath what we can see.


‘The Wheel of Fortune II’ by Jack O’Flynn and Lisa Rytterund, pencil on glazed ceramic cards, 2022.


There are three creatures on the wheel. They are at different stages, one is climbing, another is descending and a proud-looking sphynx like goblin sits atop the wheel with a sword in hand.

The creatures pull and claw at the wheel, are they hanging on for life or are they trying to clamber to the top? Maybe they are the ones who move the wheel.

But the wheel is connected to a lever, which leaves the picture. Something outside of their control is in charge of this wheel.

The way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. The Wheel shares in God’s sadistic pleasure of seeing people disappointed, let down and tormented by life’s cruel twists and turns.

We have ideas, plans, and dreams for our movement forward in life.

The Wheel reminds us we are never fully in control of our movement, in fact, we may be controlled and at the mercy of a cruel and twisted machine, one run by goblins and steered by an invisible hand.


‘The Wheel of Fortune III’ by Jack O’Flynn and Lisa Rytterund, pencil on glazed ceramic cards, 2022.


The blue goblin on the top of the wheel sits, seeming to look on at us with a smirk. They have a sword in hand, a crown, and a cape. They appear to have acquired something on this wheel.

Looking closely, they have a small platform to sit on, They are on the wheel, but they are not fully attached to the wheel like the others.

To recognize that we are not fully in control of how our life spins, and to accept the ups and downs of life with a smirk – may be a profound accomplishment in this spinning vortex.


Planets, stars, and galaxies are pulled apart and spun around each other by mysterious forces;

To be on this planet in one way or another is to be along for the drive. We do our best to move forward and make choices. But like a clock that moves with thousands of levers and parts; there are variables and mechanics in life that are out of control.

There are events that will happen to us, people who will change us, and roads closed off to us.

The Wheel cautions: you are not in control and beneath the veil of your actions there may be a spinning indifferent wheel of maniacal goblins.

But perhaps it also says – don’t take this too seriously. In the words of Bill Hicks:

‘It’s just a ride’.






Artwork for this post was created by Jack O’Flynn and collaborator Lisa Rytterlund in Bergen, Norway.

Lisa Rytterlund is a Swedish artist currently based in Bergen, Norway. Primarily working with clay and ceramic processes, they currently create work that explores self-portraiture along with mythical and religious symbolism, through an often playful approach and humourous lense.

Find Lisa’s work here https://www.instagram.com/rytterlund/


Jack O’Flynn 2022