Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I used to worry that my heart might be ice, or that it may become so. So I worked with chisel and hammer, trying to find a spot to tap through and let some light inside, to melt a bit of the ice away. In a small area, I worked through several layers, when I finally broke through I was surprised to find smoke billowing out. I peered in, and saw not the core of ice I had expected, but one of fire.
And suddenly I remembered that it had always been so, that I was the one who long ago had built up thin layers of ice all around it. That it was the fire that I feared, for if unleashed it might burn a hole through me, through my life, mere kindling, ruthlessly consumed, devouring whatever it pleases, devasting me in its massive glow.
Not made of ice, made of fire.
Trickier to navigate now in some ways, I still have to tap through and reach it, feel some of its heat in my life, but I can't fully release it. I need both. I have to work at the balancing of the elements, tempering the fire, but not extinguishing it with snow.
I have made several holes through. But sometimes I get scared, the fire fed by oxygen, licks at the ice around the holes, and the ice starts melting, and I feel the burning within me, so then I spread thin sheets of ice over them, covering them back up, cooling down. I feel safer, but I feel less, and begin to worry I will eventually grow numb, so I go back and make the little holes again.


gayƩ said...

Oh, fire and ice. Both dangerous, both beautiful in many ways, can't co-exist if too close, can't do without one another. What to do...
My - occasional - problem is that I let the fire grow stronger until it consumes me and / or gets me in trouble. I wish I could build some ice around it, as some kind of protection, yet everytime I try I fail.
I still prefer, however, fire to luke-warm. :) Talk about living at extremes.

Taffiny said...


Hi. I hadn't really thought about that, that some people would have all the great stuff that comes with the fire, but not be able to give themselves the protection of the ice. But as you say, you prefer the heat. I assume there is something more real, more true in living in the fire.

sognatrice said...

I like to think of having a heart split down the middle, one half fire and the other ice--at the extremes are the extremes of course, but the middle, where they can't help but mix, is "just right."

A little too Goldilocks perhaps, but I'm an admirer of moderation and moving to the extremes when necessary.

Great, thought-provoking post.

Taffiny said...


Thanks. I am glad to find I am not the only one who has trouble (or has thought about the potential trouble, if they themselves are often well balanced) with the balance.

The middle. I'll try to nest there. :)

gayƩ said...

I am sure you are fine where you are, as where you are is where you are meant to be. Otherwise you wouldn't be there. If this isn't cryptic (zen) enough let me try something else next time. *smile*
I was born confused so it doesn't take me long to get there at all.
I NEED the protection of ice. I am not happy with the extreme heat, ouchie ouchie most of the time, so can I borrow some ice from you?

Taffiny said...


Gee I hate to admit that I am good at making ice, but yeah I am, so I am sure I have some to spare.
I am not sure though how shipping works on protective ice, or do we just zen send it, brain wave style?

Vesper said...

Pure poetry, Taffiny. We all are fire. Life sometimes encloses it in a hearth of ice, or we might choose to build it, but the fire within hopefully stays. I don't think you should be afraid of it. It is your gift, even if it might make you suffer sometimes.

Taffiny said...


:) In case it isn't obvious, these thoughts were brought back to me while I was reading your poem the other day. Some would have been in comments, but I clicked on them, dragged them away, since they led off topic. And decided to post them here.

I am hoping in time, to become less afraid of my own fire.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautiful writing, Taffiny. I'm reminded of the yin and yang, the balance of all life. But I also reminded of the four elements, earth, water, fire and air - perhaps there is this in all of us.

Taffiny said...


I hadn't really been looking at it in those ways, now I will have to have a look from those perspectives. Thank you.