Fire & Ice

Photo by Shannon Algiere

Hearthfire is pleased to share these words from our friend David Wagner, who sent them in response to a recent Sacred Partnership retreat. “The Block of Ice” is a vital dispatch from the inner front: heart work that becomes artwork. It demonstrates the power of our own images and experiences to move us, and, when shared, the power of that expression to move others. To honor and continue that circulation, and with kind permission from the author, we share these words with you in a new category of post we will call Sparks.

The Block of Ice

I came upon my heart, trapped in a massive block of ice. I could see it, buried deep within. It was beating. It’s my heart and I became furious that it was being kept from me, outside of me. I chipped and slashed and pounded my way to it. Hands raw and broken, breath steamed and rapid, I stepped back, cold and shivering to see my progress. There wasn’t much and worse, there were cracks and gouges now that made it impossible to even see my heart. I had lost all connection.

So I sat, spent of physical energy and I glared at this formidable foe. Eventually my breath slowed and my glare softened. I imagined my heart slowing down in there. The sizzle of my fury had settled and questions gently rose.

“Why was my heart in there anyway, who put it there,” I wondered?

I inched closer to the face of one side of the block. My slow, steady breath began to melt a tiny layer from it. I reached out to gently touch it. I began to smooth the chips and gouges with the heat from my hand. In this manner of perception I was able to see how impressive and beautiful this block of ice was. I was mesmerized by the way the light bounced off and through it.

As its transparency grew, I began to see my heart again. It was calmly beating now, healthy and consistently. It was safe inside this great block of ice. I saw how vulnerable it really was and became grateful for the protection the ice afforded it.  Even though I still deeply longed for it, I felt fortunate to have such an awesome protector of my most valuable and precious possession. I looked upon and caressed it gently and lovingly and all the while it was slowly melting . . .


“What if it melts completely away,” I panicked, “Who will protect it?”

I looked for a cold, dark place to move it, but it would not budge.  All I could do is wait.

Perhaps while I sit here, calmly and compassionately, I can hold my gaze upon my heart, learn its ways, get to know it from afar, so when this block that has protected it for so long finally melts away, I will know more about how to protect it myself. Perhaps I will learn a whole new way of life as I sit and learn from this mysterious part of me that I have longed to connect with all my life.