October 8th, 2006

work

Iron and Ice

bellamagic had a recent post that mentioned an iron bar of energy: "By nature I am outwardly stoic. Inwardly, the energy is so intense that it has formed into an iron bar." Here's a letter from the ensuing conversation:

You wrote:

Talk to me about the iron bar... how is it for you?

Probably more often ice than iron -- what I hold inside is usually fear rather than anger these days. (I do get furious too. When I was in my twenties I'd do the scream and shout and run out of the room thing, which always surprised folks who hadn't seen it before -- me, the calm serene one! Running out of the room! These days I don't do that so much -- Marsha's probably the only one who really sees me mad.)

Fear's a big one -- fear of making mistakes, of not doing it right, of screwing things up for Marsha. Some of it realistic, some of it not.

What resonated most for me in your post was "outwardly stoic. ...[i]nwardly ... intense". When I get these excruciatingly painful states of fear, or fear/anger, or paranoia, they don't (usually) cripple me as they did years ago and they don't (usually) last as long as they did. But just because I've developed the power to be outwardly stoic (mostly!) doesn't mean they are any less intense. So there I am with this bar of iron or ice through my heart and through my brain, thinking obsessively about whatever it is, and maybe if I'm lucky I remember Pema Chödrön talking about how such times are a wonderful time to practice and it still doesn't help a bit (except in the long run, probably) and I just want it to stop and it doesn't. Until eventually it runs its course.

And in some ways I think all that is just life, and I'm grateful that usually I don't whack somebody else with my burning iron or freezing ice; but it's not the kind of thing that gets talked about much, either in the mundane world or in Reclaiming or Feri. So I was grateful to read your post.

How is it for you?

Much Love,
-Yarrow

P.S. That's one thing to be said for the Buddhists, some of them do talk about it, and how to deal with it.